“REFLECTION” A collaboration of sculpture & photography by Hong Kong based artists by POLO & WILLIAM FURNISS at IO+ space
Alison Pickett Corporate Art & Visual Arts Projects Present:
A collaboration of sculpture & photography by Hong Kong based artists:
POLO & WILLIAM FURNISS
3/F East Town Building, 41 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Opening Reception Friday 16th May 6-10pm
Exhibition continues until Friday 30th May by appointment only
Friday 16th May 4-5pm or by appointment
For this unique exhibition at 10+ Space, the sculptor Polo has created a mirrored human silhouette sculpture of a man holding his head in his hand in a moment of reflection. The sculpture has then been placed into the Hong Kong landscape and these moments captured by the fine art photographer William Furniss. The results are a series of intriguing photographic works that question and celebrate our place in Hong Kong's urban environment.
For further information, and to arrange a media interview please contact:
Sarah Pringle, Visual Arts Projects T: (852) 9757 9869 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Chan, 10 Design T: (852) 3975 2007 E: email@example.com
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection." (Leonardo da Vinci)
There is nothing more intoxicating for a curator than to sew the seeds in collaboration with two artists and then watch the results cumulating into an exhibition. Especially when the two artists are both renowned for their completely disparate and individual art, and yet are united instead of separated by their diversity of medium. A sculptor and a photographer couldn't be more different.
Polo is a French sculptor, whose work is defined by his investigation into the re-kindling of the natural relationship between sculpture and architecture. His site-specific sculptures in stone and metal tell us stories, of the presence of the past, and the prediction of future collective memories.
William is an English photographer, whose work invites us to look more closely and re-explore surroundings that we may usually take for granted. Showing us what he sees and captures, unadulterated, through his lens: such as the textured rippled surfaces of harbour waters, to the mirrored layers of architecture.
Despite their different medium, different origins, these two artists have met through their craft and imagination, and, moreover, in their shared love of the architecture, landscape and people of the city they call home: Hong Kong.
Polo's sculpture of mirror-polished stainless steel, is conceived in his signature language of layers. The layers make up the form of a man, life-size, holding his hand to his chin in a pose of contemplation. He is reflective in both attitude, material and in his invitation for others to reflect in dialogue about perception.
Together, Polo and William, like urban guerrillas, have taken the sculpture out into the familiar depths of Hong Kong, placing him in the path of pedestrian strangers in vastly different locations. There they invite the viewer to engage with this sculpture, with the reflection, moving perspective and trompe d'oeil quality it implies - stasis in motion. Reflecting on the form and image united in the urban landscape. The layers of the sculpture act as a mirror on life, and also, according to the angle it is viewed from, it can almost disappear and be absorbed into the background. This brings to mind images of Stan Winston's creation in the cult movie "Predator"……. it's there, it's not there. Tears in the rain. What if we reflect, and don't like what we see?
From wet markets to Legco, from temples and Peking opera to tramlines, William has captured these moments of fleeting engagement and confrontation in his photographs. In these he challenges us to consider what we are really looking at: the sculpture Ourselves The surrounding environments reflected in his mirror surface Or just the surroundings themselves The sculpture sometimes prevails, only to then morph, almost disappear, into the background. Regardless, the sculpture is the steadfast protagonist. Or is he?
So here we have it: the collaboration staged in its final and natural arena in an architect's offices. In celebration of their anniversary, 10 Design become the fourth protagonist and the destination in this journey, where we are invited to gather and expand upon the presence of art amidst the architectural urban fabric of our city.
It is amongst these architects, that Polo and William, sculptor and photographer, will showcase their art to capture and challenge our imagination, and to encourage us to consider the reflection of our own identity. Not least, to consider our own presence within our beautiful, majestic, ability-to-constantly-reinvent-itself city, that both nurtures and destroys, taking no prisoners, and yet offering a haven where art and commerce continue to reside and flourish in uncomfortable harmony, each aspect constantly reflected in one and others surface.
Hong Kong, April 2014
Artists Statement - Polo
"…why should we not calmly and patiently review our own thoughts, and thoroughly examine and see what these appearances in us really are "
In this perception/reflection exercise, Plato invite us to learn more about our fundamental nature, purpose and essence.
After all, the world might be just what we make of it. The way it's built and the way it works (or not) just reflects upon us.
I am however no philosopher, I am just a sculptor. And I usually create for site specific commissions. Just like an architect, my work has therefore always a very defined destination as an integrated part of the architecture and usually inspired by or from it.
The "Reflection" project presented here at 10, was therefore a new and interesting exercise for me.
Interested in the relationship of sculpture in its environment, I did develop this concept to another level.
I've designed a series of very basic human silhouettes to be assembled together defining the figure of a man holding his head in his hand in a moment of reflection.
These life size shapes are made out of mirror polished stainless steel and stand on a white marble base.
The mirror effect bounces back the light on its surface and the sculpture becomes like this, part of the landscape, re-design it and disappear within. The landscape defines each time another reflection, another figure and another sculpture all together.
This is the concept. This is the sculpture.
But in this context of reflection, of duality, the discussion needed to engage an other perception.
It was important the eye of a great photographer.
I've always liked William Furniss's work and how he's able to abstract the landscapes of the city reflected to itself, or in the water of the harbor, or simply through a multitude of rain drops.
Our respective visions became natural in this collaborative effort.
This exhibition represent our contemplative reflection in a contemporary Hong Kong promenade.
Hong Kong, April 2014
Born in 1968 in Nantes, France, Paul-Alexandre Michel Albert Bourieau, a.k.a. POLO, studied Art at the Accademie of Nantes before joining the legendary French stone masons guild, the "Compagnons du Tour de France".
It is from working on prestigious projects such as the Musee du Louvres, the American Center in Paris and Notre Dame du Haut of Le Corbusier, that he studied and explored the duality between sculpture and architecture.
Based in Hong Kong since 2003, POLO' creates monumental and iconic works collaborating with the best architects and landscapers, for some of the most influential corporate clients and private collectors all over the world. (discover more @ www.urbanrocksculpture.com).
Artists Statement - William Furniss
"Born in London in 1970, William Furniss has been working in photography for his entire career. His fascination with urban environments has led Furniss to projects around the world. His creative process starts with a unique vision of urban life reflecting the positive, frenetic energy that defines both the people and the place.
With a clear vision of what he aims to capture in mind, Furniss exhaustively works his concept backward from the final vision through unrelenting technical trials until he achieves mastery of both the concept and how to achieve it photographicaly (without computer manipulation). His strict, almost fanatical adherence to the art of photography continually challenges the realm of possibility within the art form.
The opportunity to collaborate with POLO' and his 'reflecting man' has created an alternative perspective for Furniss, that of the literal "individual view" on the urban environs of Hong Kong.
Reflective surfaces in landscapes such as bodies of water and architectural surfaces are well documented, however POLO's new artwork pushes Furniss to reconsider reflection. The reflecting man is a medium for appreciation, isolation, and revision; ultimately a catalyst for re-imagining the city and its future.
Furniss major series; 114˚E/74˚W, Fire in the Eye of Empedocles, Rain and other work with cityscapes can be viewed online at williamfurniss.com