Art exhibition: Ben Quilty at Pearl Lam Galleries

I’ve been lucky that I managed to see so many exhibitions in the Pedder Building last week… but I’ve been unlucky that I’ve not had enough time to write about them. Again, an interesting exhibition at the Pearl Lam Galleries that I really enjoyed but it already closed its doors (on March 1) so you can’t experience it in the same way I did.

Straight White Male exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong 2015-1

Straight White Male exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong 2015-2

Ben Quilty is an Australian, who is well known for his painting technique that creates a geometric monoprint of thick oil paint by pressing a painted canvas onto a clean one. The technique was inspired by the inkblot tests created by the 19th century psychologist and pioneer of mental health research, Hermann Rorschach.

Straight White Male exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong 2015-3

Straight White Male exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong 2015-4

In Ben’s work, the viewers can discover different figures and images in the inkblots. Some are easier to spot and see, others are more hidden… but quite a few of them have a strong masculine look and feel.

The closer you get to the paintings, the more complex and confusing they become – the paint is layered thickly and forms wave-like patterns, and it is hard to see what Ben was trying to accomplish… but the further away you get, that does not mean the picture becomes any clearer – the colours merge and transform…

Straight White Male exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong 2015-5

Straight White Male exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong 2015-6

Ultimately every person looking at the images will discovery something else – and that’s the humour and brilliance of Ben’s work.

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