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Art Basel in Basel 2023 | Booth L21

[13.06.23 – 18.06.23]


Cho Yong-Ik, Chou Yu-Cheng, Tiffany Chung, Brook Hsu, Liu Xiaohui, Nabuqi, Wang Zhibo, Hiroka Yamashita, Yang Chi-Chuan, Yeung Hok Tak, Samson Young, Yuan Yuan, Homer Shew


Messeplatz 10, 4058, Basel, Switzerland

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Kiang Malingue is pleased to present at Art Basel in Basel 2023 recent paintings and sculptures by Cho Yong Ik, Chou Yu-Cheng, Tiffany Chung, Brook Hsu, Liu Xiaohui, Nabuqi, Homer Shew, Wang Zhibo, Hiroka Yamashita, Yang Chi-Chuan, Yeung Hok Tak, Samson Young and Yuan Yuan.

Cho Yong Ik’s 19-414 (2019) in a fleshy, plum hue returns to the themes that fascinated the artist in the 1970s and 1980s: Jumhwa (dot paintings) and wave paintings that are exemplary of the trends that preoccupied Dansaekhwa, or Korean monochrome painting movement, during the early period of Korean modern art. The marks on canvas, at once identical and individual, are motivated by the artist’s interest in meditative acts. New works from Chou Yu-Cheng’s Origami series demonstrate the sophistication of the artist’s new painting method, carefully morphing two-dimensional entities into delicate sculpted objects.

Tiffany Chung’s two recent paintings — Guatemala – UFCo, Operation PBSUCCESS, and CEH Report of Massacre Cases by Department During the Civil War (2020) and Guatemala HRC – Cases of Violence in Relations to Current Mega Projects (2020) originate from the artist’s urge to understand migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America to the U.S., with Guatemala as a case study. Chung unpacks in the sharp, carefully charted map paintings the country’s recent history intertwined with the U.S. economic interests and political influences.

Brook Hsu’s large scale ink-on-canvas Girl with Unicorn (2023) tackles in the artist’s singular style the long-standing myth of the unicorn. Another layer of the painting depicts a group of skeletons, complicating the ambiguous narrative concerning the innocent, the magical and the erotic. The smaller, delicate Landscape with Reflection (2023) emphasises the rupture in the middle, and is reminiscent of high modern compositions that treat nature as a bodily metaphor. Isolated and left alone is the female figure in Liu Xiaohui’s three recent Untitled paintings, all made in 2021; resting by the sea, the plain yet elegant woman turns away from the viewer and faces instead the division between the sky and the water.

In direct contrast to Liu Xiaohui’s depiction, Homer Shew’s 2021 portrait of Alice Kiwako Ashiwa shows the artist’s friend and ex-flatmate in a stern, contemplative gesture. Shew pays extra attention to his sitter’s face, capturing the young intellectual — scholar of traditional and modern Japanese art — in a private, intimate setting. Hiroka Yamashita’s Doline (2021-2023) stages against a collapsed background an ambiguous gathering, in which human figures cultivate bonsais. Halved in the dreamlike environment by a large table, the faceless characters endeavour to graft natural branches and leaves on to an artificial reality.

Wang Zhibo in Winter tale (Storyteller) (2022) arranges a scene that resembles either a window display, or a passively performative scenario, revealing the messiness of the backstage and the stillness of the intermission. For the artist, this recent painting pertains to a situation in which stories, props, and narrators are all presented as objectified beings, against drapes and curtains that “crystallise time itself.” Yeung Hok Tak’s The Milky Way Express (2019) once again deals with the artist’s favourite theme — eruptive speed, picturing a fairytale scene in which the adorably mundane and the awe-inspiring celestial are in communication. Yuan Yuan’s Eight immortals table (2023) depicts a dining scene, a still life that focuses on the space under the tablecloth as much as on the food. Lowering and unbalancing the view, the painted scene in Yuan Yuan’s signature style nurtures an uncanny intimacy, rendering airtight stillness paradoxically permeable.

A pair of the sculptural works on view — Nabuqi’s Thread (2022) and Samson Young’s The messengers (2022) — are literary in essence. Commissioned by Beijing Biennial, Nabuqi’s Thread is inspired by Chen Si’an’s eponymous novella, in which a white thread grows infinitely out of a woman’s birthmark. The tumourous development of the story is transformed into a colourful, multi-faceted Kafkaesque thing. Samson Young’s The messengers (2022) series of sculptures are modelled after bird-like mythical creatures from Japanese, Chinese, and Egyptian cultures: the Tengu, the Sanxingdui bronze birds, and the Horus. The generative videos embedded within these sculptures display modified versions of three ancient legal texts: K’ang Hsi’s Sacred Edicts, Prince Shotoku’s jūshichijō kenpō, and the Precepts of Ptahhotep. With the written words re-spelt and interrupted by bird-chirping onomatopoeic sounds, The messengers reconsiders authoritative voices and the symbolic power of avian beings. Yang Chi-Chuan’s new suspended pottery piece A Winding Mountain Road (2023) maintains the narrative quality of Yang’s practice, transforming daily experience into handmade pottery objects. Taken as a whole, the artwork is a stage on which a series of stories unfold, suspended from above as a wind chime. As the objects gently oscillate and stroke each other, the dynamic relationship between the various components provides the arc of the story.