Massimo De Carlo Hong Kong presents Day by Night, the first solo exhibition in China by Chinese artist Matthew Wong.
Wong’s practice encompasses both oil paintings and gouaches, unfolding daily as a sustained and open-ended meditation on the act of painting. The highly personal visual language he has developed is a synthesis of diverse traditions in painting, ranging from Chinese ink art to post-impressionism and symbolism, as well as high modernist notions of structure and process. The works’ evocation of specific sensations of light and anthropomorphic masses of notational mark making define atmospherically charged and physically palpable landscapes, culminating in a vision of nature which defies categorisation while expanding upon the Eastern and Western canons.
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Day by Night is comprised of a series of large-scale oil paintings of imagined landscapes. Consisting of eight works titled according to the day or night view, Wong proceeded with this body of work by first intuitively painting a day scene, followed by its night counterpart through a recalibration of the chromatic elements. The improvisatory call-and response nature of the painting process for these works brings to attention formal similarities and differences between the images, in addition to highlighting an organic evolution of building a painting from memory and feeling rather than strict mimesis. Wong’s emotive grasp of colour is able to summon the perceptual sensation of watching the light change as a day wears on, as seen in Day 1 and consequently Night 1. The monochromatic pieces Day 4 and Night 4 extract a view of the landscape to the motif’s most abstract embodiment, enabling an introspective contemplation on the symbolic weight of a single colour.
The spaces in time created by Wong’s practice allow a fictional yet uncannily familiar world to emerge. The landscapes, presences, and lived environments that he depicts are tinged with a sense of longing and humanity. Each of these immersive works on canvas reflects a further elaboration on themes and forms established in his earlier works, revealing yet another engrossing dimension of his continuously expanding oeuvre.
Matthew Wong was born in 1984 in Toronto, Canada. He currently lives and works in Edmonton, Canada. Wong holds degree in cultural anthropology. Recent solo exhibitions include Matthew Wong, Karma, New York (2018), whereas recent group exhibitions include “Trance” curated by Albert Oehlen at Aishti Foundation, Lebanon (2018), The Horizontal, Cheim & Read, New York (2017). Recent publications include: Matthew Wong, Karma, New York (2018).Photo Credits iMAGE28. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong