Unit London is pleased to announce Stephen Wong’s selection for the inaugural edition of esea contemporary’s showcase.
esea Showcase, a new initiative by esea contemporary, champions the visibility of contemporary art practices within the ESEA communities and their diasporas. This initiative aims to highlight their distinctive perspectives within the diverse UK art scene.
For its inaugural edition, esea contemporary has commissioned Hong Kong-based artist Stephen Wong Chun Hei. Wong’s uniquely expressive paintings delve into the intricate relationship between humanity and nature, with landscapes consistently forming the focal point of his works. Initially drawing inspiration from landscape scenes in video games, Wong sought to underscore the visual impact of the virtual world. In recent years, he has embarked on regular hikes to Hong Kong’s natural areas, painting en plein air. These canvas works, based on sketches, memories, and infused with his imagination, convey a sense of travel and illuminate the connection between humanity and nature.
Titled The Mountain Carrier in a Storm (2023, Acrylic on canvas), this commissioned painting for esea Showcase features Wong’s distinctive vivid palette and dreamlike landscapes. The boat, carrying an island and a city under construction, beating on against the currents. Explaining the inspiration behind this work, Wong states, ‘whenever I come across with the sand carriers at sea, I imagine the form of the sand as mountains. Facing a lot of challenges and difficulties in recent years in Hong Kong, I conceived an image of a Mountain Carrier bearing the city under the famous and spiritual mountain in Hong Kong, The Lion Rock, sailing through a formidable storm, as a metaphor’.
The work will be on view from 7 November 2023 until 30 November 2023, 10:00 – 17:00
ABOUT THE CENTRE
esea contemporary is the UK’s only non-profit art centre specialising in presenting and platforming artists and art practices that identify with and are informed by East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) cultural backgrounds.
esea contemporary aims to increase the visibility of contemporary art practices from the East and Southeast Asian communities and their diasporas. It is a site for forward-thinking art programmes that beyond exhibitions also include commissions, research, residencies, publishing, and a wide range of vibrant public events. esea contemporary values creativity, compassion, interconnectedness, and collectivity in implementing its mission.
Born in 1986, Stephen Wong Chun Hei is a Hong Kong based artist. He graduated from the Fine Art Department (CUHK) in 2008. He has since exhibited internationally, with work that explores the relationship between mankind and nature.
Recent solo exhibitions include Stephen Wong Chun Hei: Maclehose Trail, Bonhams, Hong Kong (2022); Indoor Hundred Islands, Touch Gallery, Hong Kong (2021) and A Grand Tour in Google Earth, Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong (2021), as well as the duo show Beside the City alongside artist Yeung Hok Tak, with Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong (2019). In 2021, Wong showcased his work on Unit London’s online viewing room, Platform, the success of which resulted in his first solo exhibition in our Mayfair space in 2022, titled Dream Travel.
Some group exhibitions include Art Basel Hong Kong with Gallery Exit (2021); The Breath of Landscape at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, in 2019 and These Painters’ Painters at ROH Projects, Jakarta, in 2018. Wong’s paintings are collected by private collectors and institutions, such as Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Land and Swire. He currently lives and works in Hong Kong.