Untitled, 2022 Ceramic Ca. 25 cm
11.6.2023 - 30.7.2023
Curated by Sathit Sattarasart
Re-surfacing invites viewers to focus on the intricate negotiation between the material and immaterial aspects of the world of images and how they are reproduced and represented. The concept encourages contemplation on how images transition between physical surface and intangible forms and how their meaning can shift during the process. The processes through which we perceive and interpret what visually materialises and reappears exhibit a rhythmic and moving nature. The dynamic relationships between image and text, language and body, texture and three-dimensional structure, User Interface and computer code are complex and continually evolving. Within this ever-changing landscape, the focus extends beyond the creation of unique images alone but also encompasses a reflection upon the endless existence of objects, images, and spaces.
Initially, the exhibition focuses on exploring the relationship between surface and structure, examining them as essential concepts. Surface refers to the outer appearance of an object, while structure pertains to the underlying framework that provides support. The surface of an object often serves as an expression of its underlying structure, providing visual and tactile cues about its composition. Conversely, the structure of an object or artwork can have a significant impact on its surface characteristics. For example, the arrangement of bones in humans determines their shape, which in turn influences the contours and appearance of the skin covering it. The relationship between surface and structure is complex and multidimensional, as they mutually influence and shape one another in our perception and understanding of objects and images that appear and reappear.
Karl Holmqvist's Untitled (TIME4U2BEGIN) (2023) is made especially for the STORAGE's vitrine, providing passersby with a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and an affirmative and positive message rather than the mostly self-critical feeling when we see our own reflection. Holmqvist's writing immerses readers in a labyrinthine experience, akin to wandering through a maze, entering at one end and exiting at another while experiencing déjà vu. His textual work unveils a rhythmic structure that exposes its sensual dimensions when spoken aloud. Holmqvist's words possess a sculptural quality, occupying space and extending beyond mere materiality, for they embody lives, memories, and stimuli that shape our experiences. Language, in his work, serves as both the skin that envelops meaning and the skeleton that provides structure.
Guo-Liang Tan's paintings Untitled (2022) and Steps From (2023) evoke the presence and absence of ghostly surfaces, revealing traces of painterly process and material affect. Using the inherent memory of fabric, Tan explores its potential as a material for mark and image making. The invisible gestures of folding and creasing the fabric is brought to the surface through the sedimentation of colour pigments, creating residual images of the process while attuning our attention to slow viewing. The resulting works remain true to their materiality while also embracing an uncanny sense of illusionism.
For the exhibition Re-surfacing, Hanna-Maria Hammari is showing a newly conceived body of work. The series, titled 'Witch's Teat', consists of wall based ceramic sculptures resembling growths on the skin, like moles, warts or pimples. Emerging from some of the waxed surfaces are steel "hairs" varying in length. The sculptures exude a curious blend of humor and unease, as if adorning the exhibition space with an oversized mole on its metaphorical nose. Hammari's sculptural practice frequently delves into the realms of female corporeality and its subjectification. In this particular series, the title alludes to the historical association of these bodily marks in the infamous witch hunts of the early modern period. During that time, moles, warts and blemishes were believed to signify the corruption of maternal powers by accused witches. These marks were suspected of serving as sources for feeding their imps, familiars, and even Satan himself, functioning as extra "nipples" for their demonic companions to suckle.
Xiaopeng Zhou's artwork, Working with Stone 2.0 (2014/2018) features a series of drawings depicting palaeontologists scanning fossil and archaeological discoveries. One striking aspect is that the scientists appear to focus more on the digitally produced computer images than the actual stone. Zhou's exploration delves deeper into the intriguing interplay between virtual and natural materials. Zhou portrays scientists from a fictive research world using permanent markers on blue foils. This depiction accentuates their increasing detachment from their study objects as they seek a deeper understanding. Zhou's artwork prompts reflection on the evolving relationship between scientists and the materials they study. It raises questions about the influence of digital technology on our perception and interaction with natural materials, as well as the potential consequences of detachment from tangible objects.
Karin Phisolyabut's ceramic sculptures Untitled (2022) initially appear as abandoned trash bags, a familiar sight in the local culture. Phisolyabut's creative process involves firing structural paper slips in a kiln, incinerating the shell structure and leaving behind only the ceramic skin. This remaining ceramic skin represents an empty sack containing nothing but ghostly objects. The artwork delves into the concept of how the exterior shell of an object reflects its surroundings, as the artist consistently emphasises that his work revolves around the notion of the surrounding environment and its perceptual experience.
About the artists:
Hanna-Maria Hammari (b.1986, Tornio, Finland) is an artist whose sculptural practice incorporates a diverse vocabulary of materials -ranging from found objects, fake fur, latex, helium balloons and wood to steel and ceramics - to construct resonant and imaginative combinations of disparate images, forms and narrative styles that explore the tensions between presence and absence, nature and artifice, threat and safety, surface and interior, as well as loneliness and hurt, while levering the heaviness of these topics with wit and pathos.
Hanna-Maria Hammari currently lives in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She studied at the Städelschule, in Frankfurt am Main (2011 to 2017), and in Cooper Union, New York (2016). Her works have been shown in solo and two person presentations at Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2022), Deborah Schamoni, Munich, Germany (2020), LC Queisser, Tbilisi, Georgia (2019), Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (2018) and Berthold Pott, Cologne, Germany (2018), as well as numerous group exhibitions in venues like Dortmunder Kunstverein, Frankfurter Kunstverein, and Museum for Moderne Kunst MMK, to name a few.
Karl Holmqvist (b. 1964, Västerâs, Sweden) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Holmqvist utilizes various media - textual, painting, sculpture, performance, film, video and audio. His textual work constructs a rhythmic structure that reveals its sensual dimensions and reflects meanings beyond material as they are lives, memories, and stimuli to experiences. His writing resembles being lost in a maze while experiencing déjà vu.
Karl Holmqvist has presented exhibitions at the Fridericianum, Kassel (2021), Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva (2017), Kunstverein Braunschweig (2016), Kunstverein München, Munich (2016), Power Station, Dallas (2016), Camden Art Centre, London (2016), the Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2014), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2013), among others. He has participated in group exhibitions at Mumok -Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna (2018), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2018), Tai Kwun Art Centre, Hong Kong (2020), and Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2018).
Karin Phisolyabut (b.1980, Bangkok, Thailand) lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand. Phisolyabut is an artist who expresses stories from his perception of the world through the forms of his ceramics and the spaces between them. Phisolyabut is interested in the relationship between nature and artificial entities. His works often explore and imitate how nature interacts with spaces as he creates strong yet fragile life-like entities to inhabit the spaces as a reflection of our society.
Karin Phisolyabut graduated from University College for the Creative Arts in the UK; he has exhibited in many exhibitions and festivals, among them the Carrara XIII Biennale internationale Italy (2008), Paradise Lost, Bangkok Art & Cultural Center, Bangkok (2022), Resort at Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Bangkok (2013). His solo exhibitions were at Empty Barricade, Pongnoi Community Art Space, Chiangmai (2013), Stranger in Our Own Land, and Speedy Grandma Gallery (2012). Phisolyabut is the founder of Yarnnakarn, a ceramics studio with products based on classic European earthenware combined with natural living forms. He currently lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand.
Guo-Liang Tan (b. 1980, Singapore) is a visual artist working primarily in painting and text. In his work, the painterly and the textual act as surfaces for performing affect that can conjure a haunting or a promise. He is interested in how this sense of absence, located in the past and/or the future, frames our present-ness and of our subjectivities. The tension between the phenomenological and the psychological are played out in the process of painting and writing, staging congruencies and slippages that occurs within material and language. Tan's practice revolves around these moments of overlaps and gaps where projections and disruptions may be used to map out territories of desire.
Guo-Liang Tan completed his BA in Fine Art & Critical Studies at Goldsmiths College, London and his MFA at Glasgow School of Art. He was also a guest student at The Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Tan was awarded the National Arts Council Scholarship for visual art, the Mackendrick Scholarship, and the Antje und Jürgen Conzelmann Preis for painting. His solo exhibitions include "Soft Turnings* Ota Fine Arts, Singapore (2021), "Ghost Screen" Ota Fine Arts, Singapore (2017) and "Play Dead" Space Cottonseed, Singapore (2012). He recently presented a large-scale installation piece, "Arrive, Arrive" (2021), at the Padang Atrium of the National Gallery Singapore.
Xiaopeng Zhou (b. 1985, Guangzhou, China) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Xiaopeng Zhou's works deal with observations of visual representations of everyday life in different contexts. He is interested in aspects such as caring and accompaniment, learning processes and the relationship between professionally learned and amateur activities.
Xiaopeng Zhou graduated from the Berlin Weissensee School of Art in 2014. He was recently participating in Berlin Program for Artists and the exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2021). Xiaopeng Zhou has been exhibiting in several solo and duo exhibitions, among them, Good Copy – Bad Copy, After the Butcher, Berlin (2021), Monochromatic Lottery Balls, Xining Contemporary, Xining (2019), Tang Han & Xiaopeng Zhou: Shape of Appetite, Galerie Empfangshalle, Munchen (2018). And he has been in many group exhibitions, for instance: Listening to Stones, Kunsthaus Dresden, Dresden (2021), Interrupted Meals, HOW Art Museum, Shanghai (2020), Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials, Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg (2018).
Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
Graphic designer: Pam Virada
Photograph: Atelier 247