“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” — Leonardo da Vinci Following the theme of a past group exhibition inspired by another one of da Vinci’s quotes “saper vedere” (“knowing how to see”) which demonstrated artists’ understanding of ‘seeing’, the group exhibition Sense6 is a further attempt to explore the subject of basic human senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, as well as the sixth sense. The exhibition features artworks by six contemporary artists Edu Carrillo, Gab More, Maxwell McMaster, Natan Heber, Paul Hunter Speagle and Qin Tan, all newly created for this exhibition.
Aristotle is credited with first numbering the senses in his work De Anima. It is him who noted the ‘big five’ among the senses—sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Modern science suggests that there are far more senses than Aristotle thought, nevertheless his philosophy of the five senses had become the gateway to reality.According to his followers, they disclose reality in a reliable way and the portion of reality they disclose is considered to be quite generous. Sense6 presents a way of experiencing reality through five basic senses as well as the magical sixth sense which Aristotle forgot to include. Vision, audition, olfaction, gustation and tactition are practical faculties that help us navigate and stay well-informed about the complex world we live in. The sixth sense on the other hand can be described as a keen intuitive power, an ability to know something without using the ordinary five senses, or as a perception of reality. Sense6 offers us an extrasensory perception of reality presented by six artists through their works and practices.
Edu Carrillo creates flirtatious works as a reflection of friendship and love as opposed to break-up in an almost magical fashion that mirrors the aesthetics and experiences associated with his generation. In Gab More’s paintings, a figurative structure of layered geometric shapes is used to convey inner thoughts and feelings in a semi-fantastical manner. Maxwell McMaster creates works that can be described as dreamy tranquillity with reality being perceived through his version of a crystal ball. Natan Heber transcends the strictly aesthetical by examining the ambiguity and origination of ideas via multi-layered and dissected images of his forever-child characters.Through a new series of paintings, Paul Hunter Speagle offers a new perspective of awareness towards some of the most pressing issues of our societies. Lastly, Qin Tan presents us with a ‘universal man’ in virtual-like landscape, mirroring a fundamental form of human being in a world filled with vibrant landscapes and earthly delights.
Aristotle was wrong about one thing, we experience reality and perceive the world through more than five senses, but he was right about one thing for sure—“All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses”.
*Quote from Aristotle, Metaphysics.
In Edu Carrillo’s work, themes such as love, break-up, magic and fantasy, music, friendship, dance and nature envelop his canvases and drawings.Through primitive gestures and vivid colour palettes, the artist generates a universe where the characters are carefully dressed in the most trendy contemporary fashions, such as the skater style influenced by the 90s.The sense of energy that the works instil in the viewer reveals the artist’s intention to represent light-hearted and naïve scenes that encourage us to experience the fluidity of forms and flee from the premeditated.
Gab More is a multidisciplinary painter and artist interested in investigating the aesthetically, iconographical and sociological influences contemporary post-internet culture holds on his perception of the human condition. Through his creative process, More crosses the line between digital and tangible, back and forth, until the resulting works sit in purgatory between the two as non longer belonging to either.
Californian native Maxwell McMaster synthesises the atmosphere of Los Angeles sunset with his minimalistic canvases. His works often feature a pastel palette and simplified shapes, capturing the Californian golden hour in a dreamy tranquillity. McMaster’s canvases create an atmosphere that is free from congested traffic and pollution of Los Angeles. Instead, he emphasises the city’s beauty of nature by often making it his inspiration.Through his airbrush technique, he creates highly rendered images with a soft texture that reflect his perspective of the city, transforming the conventional cityscapes into a soothing utopia. In his recent works, McMaster also explores the possibilities of other visual languages through ceramics. His handmade ceramics are a reaction to his surroundings and past experiences whilst retaining his signature atmospheric and dreamlike ambience.
Natan Heber’s paintings are poetic and often metaphorical, instigating the imagination between the audience and artist by objectifying emotions and exploring the duality that develops through different interpretations. His paintings directly respond to the surrounding environment and he uses everyday experiences as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. With a conceptual approach, he wants to amplify the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate conceptual images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation. His works never show the complete structure, resulting in the artist’s freedom to easily imagine his own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality.
Paul Hunter Speagle
Taking inspirations from life, love and religion, Paul Hunter Speagle creates expressive and colourful works that reflect his passions and beliefs. Speagle’s canvases are filled with intense colouration that heightens a pervasion tension—evoking urban and rural environments of the US while experimenting with internal painterly dynamics around light, brushwork and compositions. Much of his works are inspired by symbolic motifs, Native American totems, outsider folk art, ancient mythologies, and biblical narratives, commenting on the transcendence of time and the issue of human mortality with his unique and painterly style.
Qin Tan is a painter and video artist based in New Jersey, USA. Tan’s pieces explore the symbiotic nature of science and mythology- the intersection of natural and virtual phenomena.Though she is trained as a traditional painter, her explorations have bloomed into different methods of expression, including experimental video narratives, sculptures and installations. These works reflect her introspective and contemplative ideas regarding the human condition since modernity, like notes left from an observer that has witnessed the development of scientific tools and the creation of virtual landscapes.
Edu Carrillo, Gab More, Maxwell McMaster, Natan Heber, Paul Hunter Speagle, Qin Tan
23rd September – 22nd October, 2022
Opening Reception:Thursday, 22nd September 2022, 5 – 8 pm
Shops 218-219, 2/F, LANDMARK ATRIUM, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong