Victor Lim Seaward and Louis Appleby’s Exhibitions Are Currently on View at THE SHOPHOUSE

Presenting ‘The Last Days of Spring’ and ‘Gestalt.’

Art
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Earlier in the month, THE SHOPHOUSE opened two new exhibitions at its Hong Kong location. Nestled in Tai Hang, a neighborhood known for its unique blend of charming quaintness and contemporary living, the latest showcase marks both featured artists’ first solo exhibitions in the city.

Spread across the ground and first floors of the building, Victor Lim Seaward’s The Last Days of Spring comprises a variety of wall-based works and sculptures. The show’s title derives from a melancholic poem by Song Dynasty poet, Li Qingzhao, which sets the mood for the artist’s experimental displays that blend and reimagine fragments of art history through modern technological manufacturing techniques.

Tucked away on the top floor is an intimate presentation of British painter, Louis Appleby’s Gestalt. Including the piece in THE SHOPHOUSE office on the mezzanine floor, Appleby’s exhibition comprises eight new paintings that reflect on the transcendence of physical form, perception as well as ephemerality in life.

Get to know more about the artists and their works by reading further below.

Victor Lim Seaward – The Last Days of Spring

From Josiah Wedgwood’s Jasperware, Syrian Massoud’s motifs, Brancusi’s “Sleeping Muse” to physical artworks that are reminiscent of Dora Maar’s photographs, a myriad of artistic references can be found all over Victor Lim Seaward’s The Last Days of Spring.

Given his art history background, Lim Seaward’s creations are almost like archaeological findings that he excavated from his mental art library. “I studied art history for my BA and not fine art, so art historical references always seem to naturally pop up in my work,” he explains. These references are drawn from various eras and all over the world, before being concocted into something anew.

For his wall-based Wedgewood “paintings,” Victor Lim Seaward tells Hypebeast that he spends significantly more time on the smaller-sized ones as opposed to the much larger pieces. “People think you click ‘print’ and you get a perfect printing. The real time-consuming element on one of these is tidying up the prints,” he notes, explaining that each has to be sanded individually by hand to get rid of the support material. Paradoxically, these are also way more difficult than the big ones since there’s not much area to glue. “As they’re resin, they have to be cured under UV. When you cure really thin prints in UV they tend to bone and warp. So it has to be stuck with super glue, which means you’ve got only one shot to get it right.”

With the unique nature of his work, creating art is always a journey of learning and experimenting with new techniques. “I only started electroplating prints and precious metals last year, and that’s just a technique that I brought with me,” he says, adding that this is also the first time he 3D printed quartz sand, a technique used for pieces such as the “Hand Shell (After Dora Maar)” and “Hand With Radiolaria.” “As an artist, you pick up new techniques and then it gets integrated into the next thing. This show is also giving me ideas for new works,” he says.

Louis Appleby – Gestalt

While some artists draw from their personal experiences and emotions for their creative work, Louis Appleby uses his art as a means to express his observations of the world. In most cases, a large canvas painting serves as a final version of an idea the artist has been working on, but to Appleby, it’s more of an ever-evolving mood board of ideas that he collected in his mind.

He scarcely sketched or drafted out his ideas. In fact, he’d dive head-on with experimentation, testing colors, techniques and pieces that have been occupying his mental space. Perhaps this is not the most practical, efficient, or orthodox way of painting, but it’s what feels the most natural to the artist.

Appleby notes that it takes a long time to complete his painting, as he often works on several pieces simultaneously. “I get bored halfway through, but sometimes ideas just take time to materialize. My pieces all inform each other and they work like snapshots of film, so there are always elements from each that you may find in another – they work like a story almost,” he explained.

“The Thrill of Routine” is the sole piece that’s displayed on the mezzanine floor and perhaps one of the more personal paintings in this exhibition. Despite being a coffee drinker himself, Appleby painted a colossal, pitch-black-glazed teapot against a mountainous scenery with a starry night sky. Upon closer look, a small infinity symbol can be spotted near the bottom of the painting. “I was drawn to a teapot my mom’s got,” he remarked, adding that the piece also nods to the slow-paced artist lifestyle he prefers as well as also the fixation on routines that runs in his family. “We’re all very much routine-based people and we’re very specific when it comes to the process of making tea,” he said.


Both exhibitions will remain on view until June 23, 2024, at THE SHOPHOUSE. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on an appointment basis.

THE SHOPHOUSE
4 Second Lane,
Tai Hang, Hong Kong

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