Kurt Chan — The Botanical Breaths
To celebrate the founding of Touch Gallery, we are honored to present Kurt Chan as our first highlight of the month, showcasing his Western paintings and ink works “Fa-mular”.
Prof. Kurt, Chan Yuk Keung was graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He then obtained his M.F.A. from the Cranbrook Academy of Art (鶴溪藝術學院), Michigan, U.S.A. Professor Chan joined The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1989, teaching studio courses and supervising M.F.A. students. He has retired since 2016. He is now working as the deputy director of Hong Kong Art School.
In this exhibition, he explores the energies and momentums of flowers, likening nature to human life. Just as the cycle of human life, flowers grow, bloom and wither. The beauty of flowers falls somewhere within the liminal state of imagination and reality. Though flower formula is just a standardized construct for flowers, our imagination upon flowers still blooms wild. Kurt Chan’s “Fa-Mular” presents the polymorphous essence of flowers with his signature blend of Chinese and Western art. The outlines and patches of flowers are portrayed between abstract and concrete expressions. Points, lines and surfaces combines, infiltrates and interacts, allowing viewers to feel not only the interconnection of lines and surfaces, but also of the action of painting and strokes. Leveraging his paintbrushes, Chan touches, writes and molds flowers otherwise.
Chan’s earlier works explore the possibilities of using different materials and media. Recently, he returns back into paintings as a media. Extending his experience in experimenting different materials to the canvas, Chan discovers the process of painting is akin to a recurring action of mistake correction — an artwork is emerged from countless mistakes, reflection and refinements.
With Chan’s rich experience across multiple media, he combines Chinese and Western art. While we see the strokes of Chinese art in a Western painting, the avant-garde approach is also manifested in his ink works. The momentum of the paintings varies from vigour to gentleness, entwining reality and imagination, visualizing the vivid breath of lives. No matter in macro and micro visions, Chan’s work unfurls the heartbeats of flowers.