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Chung Shek, Kaz Orii and Paige Bradley
8 November 2014 - 10 January 2015 (Reception: 7 November 2014)
Mulan Gallery presents Unbound, an exhibition of works by Chung Shek, Kaz Orii and Paige Bradley running from 8 November 2014 to 10 January 2015. Self-taught Chung Shek’s realistic paintings of human subjects combine mastery of classical art techniques with a contemporary, pop-inspired sensibility while Paige’s figurative bronze sculptures embody the female form, in particular, with grace and tenderness. In contrast, Kaz Orii’s striking abstract works turn to nature, subtly commenting on the struggle between urbanism and nature while offering the viewer freedom for interpretation.
Chung Shek’s realistic paintings demonstrate a modern outlook while masterfully employing classical art techniques such as sfumato and chiaroscuro. The largely self-taught artist’s common subjects include koi fish and ballerinas; his human subjects are variously depicted as introspective yet relaxed, or bold and playful, meeting and holding the viewer’s gaze, as though letting them in on a secret. Dramatic use of light and shadow, and selective use of vivid colours lend Chung Shek’s works a pop sensibility that bring to mind photographs, testament to his sheer talent.
Kaz Orii’s abstract oil paintings subtly but subversively juxtapose the contemporary struggle between urbanism and nature. Painting spontaneously “from the unconscious” and having gradually shed representational imagery from his style, Orii relies on his instincts, love of nature and experiences of urban living to produce works that layer a palette inspired by Japan’s seasonal harmony of colours over rigid topographical urban forms.
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Paige Bradley is an American sculptor renowned for her figurative bronze sculptures. She is perhaps recently best known for her work Expansion, which depicts a woman’s figure with light emanating from cracks in her body, and which was originally photographed against a New York skyline in 2004. The prolific Bradley translates her experiences of life, relationships and womanhood into representational sculptures that depict and celebrate love, honesty, vulnerability, home, family, femininity, individuality and freedom. Despite her human forms’ dramatic poses, they exude a comfortable intimacy that embraces rather than excludes the viewer, reinforcing her belief that art is “you and me”.