Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on September 17 of Dusty Landscape by Ho Sintung. Born in Hong Kong in 1986, Ho Sintung graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2008 and currently lives and works in Hong Kong. This will be her first exhibition at Chambers Fine Art.
In less than a decade Ho Sintung has emerged as one of the most distinctive artists of her generation. Preferring to work on a small scale and favoring pencil and graphite on paper above other media, she gives visual expression to her passion for all aspects of the cinema, not only films themselves but the buildings in which they are shown, posters and other ephemera. Although she has said that her favorite pastimes are “reading books and watching films,” her work also reveals her familiarity with a wide range of twentieth century visual art to which she refers in her tongue-in-cheek hommages to the “movies.”
For Dusty Landscape Ho Sintung turns her attention to horror movies. In a recent interview, she remarked how her father used to love watching violent and scary movies although she did not share his taste at the time. She recognizes, however, that “the horror film has a significance in the history of film that should not be neglected – it tirelessly brings up the past, retelling stories that have been rejected over and over again. It makes sure that prayers that were unheard will be heard; justice that was absent will resurface once more. Horror films respond to reality in the same way that our bodies react to horror films. These drawings, although milder and more tactful in tone, disrupt the familiarity of the densely-knit fabric of day-to-day life, exposing its inner abnormality.”
Her fastidiously executed posters for imaginary horror films with their off-beat humor and eccentric typography captivate with their mordant wit. Who would not want to sneak into a darkened theater to see The Weaker Man A Zombie Apocalypse of the Homeless in which zombie police only attack the homeless or Frankensticker, a tantalizing variation on perhaps the most famous horror story of all time? Equally enticing is When the Triangle Descends the Stairs, a rare abstract incursion into the realm of the horrific, appearing in an inset at the bottom of the sheet in an image that recalls the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
In a number of cases film stills give a foretaste of the horrors awaiting viewers of the movies. In Outlive the Light, for example, we see a 5 day weather forecast in which the temperature rises from 37 to 124 degrees and in All of them Switches the film stills reveal the visions of the delusional heroine telephoning for help in the poster.
In the small gallery Ho Sintung pays homage to one of the twentieth century’s most notorious cinematic masterpieces, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom which was inspired by the magnum opus of the Marquis de Sade. Obsessed by the design of the carpet with a geometric design reflecting the aesthetics of the fascists that became the stage for torture scenes, Ho Sintung replicates it and uses its pattern for a series of drawings. Portraits of the actors and actresses line the walls, establishing a dialog with the viewer.
The particular charm of Ho Sintung’s posters for non-existent films and installations derives from her ability to compress a wide range of cinematic, art historical and literary references into carefully orchestrated compositions. Executed with the greatest finesse in colored pencil on tea-stained paper they exude what the artist refers to as “an antiquated quality.” Unique among cinéastes, she gives visual expression to her passion for all aspects of the cinema rather than formal and critical analysis.
About the exhibition
Exhibition Dates: September 17 – November 20, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17, 2016, 3–6 pm
Venue: Chambers Fine Art
Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Art, for further information please visit www.chambersfineart.com.