Arts, Exhibitions & Performances, HK Island, Hong Kong

Art exhibition: Melanie Comber at The Cat Street Gallery

I’m actually still going through my pictures and notes from my trip to Japan – but I just wanted to do a little break and write about a few, current things that are happening in Hong Kong right now. The first one is a really interesting exhibition in The Cat Street Gallery in Sheung Wan.

Cat Street Gallery Hong Kong

Unfortunately I missed this year’s ArtWalk, so I decided to visit a few galleries on my own, on a Saturday after the art walk. First on my list was an exhibition by a British artist called Melanie Comber. It is her first solo show in Hong Kong.

Melanie Comber Tourist Hong Kong 1

She is a very talented artist, who already exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Show in 2011. Her current exhibition is called ‘Tourist’ and it features 12 abstract paintings. The gallery leaflet says ‘Tourist draws on its title’s literal meaning: (…) a person who travels for pleasure (…) searching for uncharted land’. At first glance, the paintings look like macro photographies of some textures, like wood or sand.

Melanie Comber Tourist Hong Kong 2

However, when I looked again, I could make out that Melanie’s works are all paintings with lots of texture. Pigment was layered onto the canvas. She created some very interesting two-dimensional surfaces. The pictures below are called Downtown (left), Southside (middle) and Uptown (right).

Melanie Comber Tourist Hong Kong 3

In some way her paintings look familiar – like a place that I could have been to. But somehow also unfamiliar, like a landscape on the moon with all the small holes.

Melanie Comber Tourist Hong Kong 4

And there are the colours, which are often only visible when you stand very close to the painting and can see the different textures. What might have looked as gray from a distance turned out to be gray, green, red and blue.

Melanie Comber Tourist Hong Kong 5

Melanie says about her own artwork: “My paintings seem to have been about journeys and distance for some time (…) I am aiming in the creation of a painting to pervert the traditional picture plane. By using the recessive space within the composition; building upon the actual canvas surface, and creating protrusions that invade the viewing space; a three plane event. This allows the painting to resemble a photographic image that exists in two dimensions, but its physical actuality forces it to exist in three dimensions”.

Melanie Comber Tourist Hong Kong 6

The exhibition called ‘Tourist’ is until May 12, 2013 at The Cat Street Gallery, on 222 Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan. That’s opposite Heirloom Eatery (see my blog post about this here). The Gallery is open from 11am to 7pm during the week and from 11am to 5pm on weekends.


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