Thursday, May 08, 2014

Workplace Gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong - Hugo Canoilas

Hugo Canoilas, Rudolf Steiner in a Cage 2014 Ink and Acrylic on Canvas, 380 x 300cm (studio view)

Hugo Canoilas  

Mirror Sea

Art Basel Hong Kong
Hall 1 BOOTH 34
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center

May 15 - 18, 2014


For the Discoveries section of Art Basel Hong Kong, Workplace Gallery present Mirror Sea a curated project of new and unseen work by Portuguese artist Hugo Canoilas. Focusing on a convergence of interests Mirror Sea draws together notions of autobiography, national identity, geo-political and human relationships.


Macau, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong, its twin city. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong to the east. The territory's economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism. A former Portuguese colony, Macau was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in Asia. Before the Portuguese settlement in the mid-16th century, Macau was known as Jinghai (literally "Mirror Sea").


Canoilas' epic scale paintings on unframed, unprepared canvas use a process of dipping, staining, and drawing in ink and paint. They present images from historical, political, and contemporary contexts to create a layered painting that draws upon a hybridized Postcolonial aesthetic of variance and combined cultural nuance. Central to Canoilas' new work for Art Basel Hong Kong is an exploration of his own historical national identity and origin, and of sibling rivalry and familial distance through the subtly provocative transposition of one cultural context onto another.


At Art Basel Hong Kong Canoilas presents a series of new paintings on semi transparent fabric drawn from stereotypical images of Macau that function as a visual structure for the painting with a gestural painting overlaid. The paintings will be hung vertically in the booth as floating partitions, building a new architectonic notion of the given space that overlap to act simultaneously as image, architecture, and translucent drapery. Alongside these works is a new series of smaller paintings.


Hugo Canoilas' work is strongly linked to the art historical evolution of early Modernism. Drawing upon the philosophy, poetry and foundational ideologies of this period his work employs a wide variety of media (informed predominantly by Painting) to represent a political and aesthetic convergence that moves towards a sensitisation of the viewer to the sociopolitical undercurrents that influence historical and contemporary culture.


Hugo Canoilas was born in 1977 in Lisbon, Portugal and studied at Caldasda Rainha, Portugal and the Royal College of Art, UK. Recent Exhibitions include: Spirit of the Air, Wiener Art Foundation, hosted by Kunstbuero, Vienna; Magma, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK; Paradise Birds - 30th São Paulo Biennial - A iminência das poéticas, curated by Luiz Perez Oramas, Tobi Maier, André Severo and Isabela Villanueva, Museum Casa do Bandeirante, São Paulo; The isle of the dead, Quadrado Azul Gallery, Porto; Untitled (we can be altogether), curated by José Quaresma, MNAC - Chiado Museum, Lisbon; A painting is getting its kicks, 1M3, Lausanne; Endless Killing, curated by Chus Martinez. Huarte Contemporary Art Center; Vota Octávio Pato - Ten reasons to be a member, curated by Tobi Maier, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Are you still awake?, curated by Emília Tavares, MNAC - Chiado Museum, Lisbon; Strata, curated by Francesco Stocchi, Sammlung Lenikus, Vienna; Infinite Tasks, curated by Paulo Pires do Vale, Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon; Dear painter paint me - with heart and reason, curated by Kaszás Tamás. Trafó Contemporary Art Center, Budapest. Hugo Canoilas lives and works in Vienna, Austria.


For more information on these works please contact: