Bermuda Modern society of Arts [BSoA] stated they experienced “the enjoyment of a renowned artist, Dr. Edwin Smith, critique one particular of their recent exhibits by Kok Wan Lee. This will be Lee’s ultimate solo exhibition on until eventually August 24, 2021.”
There are traces almost everywhere. And with them, Kok Wan Lee has succeeded in his intention to stir feelings.
His perform, in what is billed as his very last exhibition in Bermuda, held at the Bermuda Culture of Arts in August 2021, is composed of compositions with linear elements that are drawn, scraped, and dripped. Typically intentional gestures, at situations happy incidents. Showing up thick, slender, and undulating, they both of those claw at and aid every single other, showing as surprisingly inviting barriers.
Lee’s use of line has been refined because his Tree Sequence. The same can be claimed of how he has picked to use his colour. Although there are no significant locations of remarkable color as in his Deserted City exhibition, color presents pleasing accents in functions this kind of as the Klinesque sketches entitled Astwood in the Darkish. In the Astwood Park Sequence 1 & 2, the predominant turquoise colour is built additional captivating by the textured, layered surfaces and the refined inclusion of orange, blue, and inexperienced.
Along with the two‐dimensional work on display, there are miniature wooden sculptures. The preparations of the painted cedar branches fittingly echo the paintings. They are also reminiscent of Lee’s massive set up that includes painted branches viewed some decades ago at an exhibition of conceptual artwork at the BSoA. That installation is a get the job done that I fondly bear in mind as a grand magical generation that I would like to see Lee build extra of, but I digress.
Curiously, there seems to be less pleasure right here than in Lee’s initially exhibition of the similar identify. Interconnectedness Series 4, 5, & 6, are playful, happy will work, but a lot more present in the home are tones of hesitancy, discovery, anticipation, and aggression. More moody but no a lot less impactful.
The strongest work on exhibit is a sequence of three vertical compositions on unframed plastic paper entitled Interconnectedness Collection I, 2, & 3. Appearing vivid and spontaneous with light-weight lines on a dim area, this series can be extensively interpreted as fantastical, or abstract expressionist or even as a representational illustration of dense foliage. Accentuated with leaves actually strewn on the ground, this sequence is potent more than enough to have been highlighted on the back wall on their possess, substantially delivering an anchor for the exhibition.
Naming an exhibition is a problem, as one particular desires to encapsulate the working experience or encourage viewers curiosity. In some cases the choice is clear. Lee has made use of the title Astwood Park by now, in 2018. Why a Chapter 2? Artists usually stay with a topic or commitment and derive what they can, in an try to exhaust it, before relocating on.
Certainly, Astwood Park is a common area and a spot of inspiration and contrasts. Together with its cove and grassy cliffside park giving coastal views of the Atlantic is the considerably less frequented hilltop woodland. Lee prefers the later on and has spent extra time there. Formerly he has demonstrated that he is impressed by the all-natural environment and landscapes. Now he mentions that the park has improved a large amount, perhaps deteriorated. I simply cannot aid but surprise if Astwood Park is a metaphor for broader modifications and restlessness in Bermuda and outside of.
Undoubtedly Lee recognizes his possess evolution. More and more he wishes to express “strong inner thoughts of pleasure, anxiety, sorrow, and power”. He is additional subjective and his motivation to share feelings surpasses the allure of all-natural attractiveness. His journey is a intriguing one to observe. I try to remember getting him as a pupil, an eager learner, with 1st steps adventuring from the culinary to the painterly. I applaud his reliable desire to investigate prospects.
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