Contemporary by Angela Li is proud to present Stone Stealer, solo exhibition of Hong Kong artist Wong Sze Wai. Wong proposes an investigation of the relationship between memory and consciousness, extending beyond the canvas to an intertwined space of the imaginary and the forgotten. Inspired by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s literature La Poétique de l’Espace, Wong guides the audience into a mysterious yet poetical habitat of our inner self.
Corners within a home and abandoned huts in Wong’s paintings are refuges for viewers to return for the exploration of their own inner self. Resonating with Bachelard’s theory that sensory stimulation often invokes people’s fantasies on their surroundings, Wong uses her canvases as the medium for viewers to tap into their dormant consciousness where memories and imagination intertwine. Inspired by ancient mural art and Western painting masters, Wong uses mineral pigments, clay and other materials, adding onto the canvases layer by layer. The textures spawned from the dried clay magnify the paintings’ relationships to space and time, and lead the viewers to a further dimension.
To Wong, the stone statues and sculptures, being protagonists of the exhibition, act as witnesses to our history. These items symbolise the stories and transformations of a civilization, carrying the memories of a city. Through the sculptures and statues, we unlock the doorway connecting to our distant memories and travel to another realm. The fences and window frames also become passageways, allowing the viewers to explore the external world that leads onto vast imaginary spaces.