Sky Rains GrainKurt Chan Solo Exhibition
10 March – 26 Apr 2022
“Painting words is an act of amending, re-writing a word within the same space repeatedly.” Kurt Chan Yuk Keung
Derived from the Chinese classical allusion of Cangjie’s invention of Chinese characters, Sky Rains Grain is a tale that tells how the gods blessed human by raining grain on the earth, as they feared that people would fall into idleness after indulging in the smartness of wordplay. Fascinated by the Chinese language, Chan sought to use his paintings to explore how words could both be an art form and a tool for communication. By restructuring Chinese characters and experimenting the use of forms and colours, Chan manages to break through the classical notions of Yin and Yang, light and shadow, in both Eastern and Western painting practices. Simultaneously, he brings forth the spontaneity that lies in traditional Chinese calligraphy and modern art to a sublime in his process of “painting words”. As his act of word-painting weaves a complex, multilayered web of aesthetic and literary ideology, he endows his works with a metaphysical spirit of traversing between the visual and the metaphorical.
“When creating art installations, I focus more on the cultural significance and the weight of the object. Much like the scaffolding of a building, I tend to use lighter structures to support their heavy counterparts. As in my calligraphy, it is a combination of dots and lines – so when I draw a word, I am also dealing with structural issues.” Kurt Chan Yuk Keung
To Chan, words and calligraphy are an edifice of structures and meanings. Through reconstructing the deconstructed characters, he leads his viewers on a captivating visual journey that banishes the boundaries set by words. Along with the floating, vividly coloured lines and strokes, he transcends his painted words beyond semiotic meaning.