Preview: Fresh

wriiten by Yvonne Teh
Feb 26, 2009
South China Morning Post

"Fresh", Ho Sin-tung, Elise Lai Yuen-shan, Chris Lo Sze-lim, Tang Kwok-hin Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Until Mar 28

Today they may be unknown young artists but chances are some will make it big in the future. For gallery owner Amelia Johnson, one exciting aspect of her work is to discover new talents. Her gallery's annual exhibition sets out to showcase works by emerging local artists.

"What's exciting about [exhibiting] young artists' work is that in the best case scenario, they'll go on to become phenomenal artists. I find it exciting and I take great pleasure in trying to identify those young artists who show that great promise," Johnson says.

The theme of this year's group show is Fresh, featuring four artists in all media including Elise Lai, a final year undergraduate at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

"Why I like her works is that she takes mundane objects and situations such as folded shirts or a person having a shower and creates something painstaking. She's very aware of the colours she's using." Lai also stands out creatively by making and painting the frames for her paintings. Johnson considers this as integral to the works as the frames balance the elements of each piece.

This mixing of media is common to the work of all four of Fresh's artists. Chris Lo's ceramics are mixed with other materials such as wood and horn. The results are, as Johnson describes them, "incredibly beautiful, incredibly haunting".

Despite its title The Map of Spain, Johnson says Ho Sin-tung's piece focuses more on the images within the overall picture. While Sigmund Freud may have a point when he stated, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar", Johnson is adamant that "with Ho Sin-tung's work, a landscape is not really a landscape and a map is not just a map!"

Look closely at Tang Kwok-hin's digital photographs and photographic prints on photographic paper (including Oceanake, pictured), Johnson says, and you'll see they are collages, some of them three-dimensional. "They're very poignant, very powerful but when you know the complexity behind their creation, it becomes absolutely interesting," she says.

Tue-Fri, 11am-7pm, Sat, 11am-6pm (and by appointment), G/F, 6-10 Shin Hing St, Central. Inquiries: 2548 2286