27 September, 2019–3 January, 2020
Halaayt: Passages of Transcendence
Hoon Kwak solo exhibition
Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to present Korean artist Hoon Kwak’s first Hong Kong solo exhibition Halaayt: Passages of Transcendence across its two galleries in Hong Kong. On display at H Queen’s are a selection of paintings from the Tea Bowls series (1980) and Incantation series (1980), as well as two site-specific installations Kalpa/Sound: What Marco Polo Left Behind (1995), Poem (2012). A recent series of paintings titled Halaayt is featured at the Pedder Building.
Halaayt is an open term used by First Nations in the west coast of Canada to describe all things spiritual. In Tsimshian terminology, halaayt is a ceremony for connecting with ancestors through spiritual means in order to achieve a better understanding of the meaning of our existence in the universe.
Halaayt: Passages of Transcendence sheds light on the different trajectories of Kwak’s energetic and provocative art practice that covers a period of over 40 years. Fascinated by the ways in which we relate with nature through earthly and physical means, he breaks down the cultural boundaries by celebrating the universal values that make us human in the first place. Like a contemporary archaeologist of Korean antiquity, Kwak incorporates visual symbols from his past into his paintings to transcend notions of temporality and represent perseverance and survival in an increasingly fragmented world. The artist’s distinctive expressionist language deviates from the emphasis on flatness and monochromatic qualities of Dansaekhwa painting, a post war movement that originated in the 1970’s.