Contrast, Abstraction, Beauty
This exhibition is an exploration of contrasting creative backgrounds, styles, and media. From the abstracted photography of Claudia Chan Shaw to the modernist sculpture of Dave Horton; from lyrical expressionist painting by Graham Kuo to hard-edged geometrical lines of Li Hong. Vibrant primary colours sit alongside softly-layered hues and the absence-of-applied-colour in raw steel. Structured composition confronts free flowing organic creation.
There are threads and broken threads in each artist’s background and training. Li Hong moved from Beijing to Australia 30 years ago after formal training at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and later at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney. Graham Kuo came to Australia at the age of 13, joining his grandfather who passed on the traditions of Chinese calligraphy, before Kuo began formal training in the western schools of painting and printmaking at the National Art School. Chan Shaw is second generation Chinese, whose training in fashion, design and photography bears marks of an Asian aesthetic but is clearly influenced by Western social trends. Horton’s work carries an unbroken lineage of western tradition, from the ancients to the moderns in poetry, music and art.
What binds these artists together? It is the fundamental commitment to abstraction as a pathway to creative expression and emotional truth. By highlighting the contrasts in the approach of Chan Show, Kuo, Li and Horton, this exhibition leads the viewer to abstraction as one of the universal foundations of creativity. The artist, freed from the constraints of representing the physical world, is able to explore the inner world, the barely knowable and beauty itself.