Clement Chan and I met each other in the early 1980s. We share similar experiences and journeys in educational career and art making. Holding a solo exhibition in his 60s, will it be a conclusion? Or another beginning?
I have already taken many years to view Clement's painting. I have been seeing his exhibitions since he completed his studies in the United States and returned to Hong Kong. I always find that he is very different from local artists. He is expressive and fond of creating massive works. At the time, both temperament and volume of art creation in Hong Kong seemed to be subject to an invisible constraint, possibly related to the educational issue and limited space of Hong Kong. In the 1990s, Clement's works were very eye-catching.
Clement's paintings are natural and straightforward. They have proficient art language, bold and stupendous color usage, and unrestrained brushstrokes. He is not afraid to reveal everything about him nor embellish on his creations. To him, making art is both natural and self-cultivation. Natural refers to his emotions that is hardly filtered or translated; while self-cultivation refers to his inherence of modernism, which is paying great attention to visual language, structure and logic, especially the penmanship and spatial organization suggested by Cubism and Abstract Expressionism.
Despite his western educational background, he is also rooted in Chinese culture, including philosophy, poetry, calligraphy, and kung fu. After years of refinement, it has become the core of his creation. "The Chinese knowledge as the body, the western learning for application" can be considered to fully summarize his art.
We can see that Clement resumes his enjoyment of creating huge works. Looking at the seven-foot-by-seven-foot painting, I cannot help but think of the huge work, which is 9-foot tall, he brought back from the United States. It seems that only a large canvas can unreservedly let out the emotions so that the body and energy are fully invested. The image becomes the trace of the painter's performance, which records his actions and thoughts. Looking at his works is an immersive experience of initiative, compared to new media art.
《狀態之十八》，213 x 213 cm，布面塑膠彩， 2022
Part of the title of this exhibition is "Jazz Improvisation", obviously related to jazz music. As a painter and a jazz lover, I resonate a lot. The jazz musicians constantly improvise and change the tone within a particular form, following their hearts. This stroke (phrase) is the reaction of the previous stroke (phrase), and the latter stroke (phrase) is the confrontation of this stroke (phrase). It is the weaving, confrontation and blending-in of different techniques and elements. The artist's eyes follow the pressing, twisting and extending of his arm and wrist, in front of the canvas. The brushstrokes of distinct color intensities and widths are the contests and movements of the musical notes and the textures of different musical instruments. I did see the collision of the timbres and melody of different instruments, which may not sound soft and pleasing, but the blades and swords are everywhere. Clement's use of jazz as a metaphor for his new series of work has provided a vital entry point for the audience.
Clement confesses that he is a modernist. As his contemporary, I think even we are influenced by contemporary art, it is difficult to forget the pursuit of ideas such as purity, ideal, and abstract world. As the generation living in the crack between eras, we are lucky enough to seek order in contradictions and forge our own judgment in the chaos of values.
I am delighted that Clement is enjoying and exerting his talent and abilities at the right age and right time. I think this exhibition can be seen as a summary of his art practice of the past years. Meanwhile, it is an en route point to welcome the subtler insights in the future. I look forward to seeing his development shortly, which is also a great inspiration and encouragement to our generation.
Clement Chan: Jazz Improvisation through Abstract Shanshui
2022 / 04 / 07 - 2022 / 05 / 06
參展藝術家 | Participating artists
開放時間 | Opening Times
星期一至五10AM – 7PM；星期六12－6PM；星期日及公眾假期敬請預約
展覽地點 | Veune
Art of Nature Contemporary Gallery
21/F, Mega Trade Center, 1 Mei Wan St., Tsuen Wan, NT, Hong Kong
如有查詢，請聯絡Yuriy Lee (2493 7236, email@example.com)
For enquiry, please contact Yuriy Lee (2493 7236, firstname.lastname@example.org).