For Lai Sio Kit, it is extraordinarily meaningful to present his first solo exhibition in Beijing, where he studied painting at CAFA from 2002 through 2009. Entitled “Mid-air Journey”, the theme of this exhibition continues the topic of roof terrace, a space that has interested him greatly in recent years. This batch of works reveals the rich experiences of the painter accumulated from his long-time exploration of the same theme. We can see his skillful technique in depicting his subject matter. The various kinds of objects on roof terrace, their textures and materials, etc. are like the herbal medicines in the apothecary cabinet of a Chinese herbal pharmacy, with Sio Kit the experienced Chinese medicine practitioner skillfully concocting a prescription at will. The paintings on the second floor of the exhibition venue focus on depicting various kinds of objects on roof terrace, an expressive technique that concentrates on presenting the texture and grains of objects, so that these works belong to landscape painting and still life painting at the same time. The works on the ground floor express mainly on the overall structure of space and object. A group of creations are presented via a scattering method. They do not only convey a single space or viewpoint; also, the size of image in each painting implies the perspective relationship of a certain distance. It is no wonder that this kind of arrangement expands the horizon of the observer. Exhibition-goers ‘hover’ in the air, appreciating the unique urban landscape of Macao from both on high and from low angles, taking off on a sky trip.
Sio Kit’s works are neither like common landscape painting which focuses on expressing a deep extensity, nor do they comprise magnificent scenery. Also, he does not adopt a usual eyelevel angle in painting his works. The technique of nearly vertical overview perspective reduces the scope of field of depth to a minimum, showing a narrow perspective space. The layer of his works is not presented by the layout of objects. Instead, it is manifested via the unique traces and textures of objects, gleaned from sunshine and rainy immersion over a long period of time. Hence, the visual composition of these paintings relate not only to space but to time. The content of these paintings does not project any heavy sorrow, exaggerated passion, popular bright colours or ironic and invective attitude apropos the discussion of social issues. Their composition and colour tone are the same as the theme, which does not have emotional undulations. A kind of art value is re-granted to ordinary, trivial objects, akin to seeking a life attitude which is worth cherishing in ordinary life. The quiet atmosphere, like a fresh spring, flows from one to the other of his paintings.
In Macao, low-rise building roof terraces are deemed a private space. In fact, they are completely open to the public, embracing both private and public humorous characteristics at the same time. With urban development and safety a priority for new buildings in Macao, it is likely that these private spaces will one day disappear. Sio Kit uses his own point of view to express his affection via landscapes, presenting some specific scenes and their changes. His works do not reproduce reality. Rather, they rebuild the collective memory of local landscapes in Macao.
Bianca Lei, Curator
About the exhibition
Mid-air Journey – Paintings by Lai Sio Kit
Opening: 2013.04.13 15:00
Artists: Lai Sio Kit
Curator: Bianca Lei
Courtesy of the artist and AFA, for further information pleae visit www.afamacau.com.