In its third year contributing to the George Town Festival, Penang gallery base2 is exploring the fragility of beauty inspired by conflict in the region. Fractured presents a mix of paintings and sculptures to exhibit the conflicting fragments of lives, people, countries and turmoil that inspire art.
Monaco-based artist Blake Ward, after a lifetime of art, has exhibited all over the world including Europe, South-East Asia, Canada, the USA, the UK and Hong Kong, and has galleries in Chicago, Montreal, Vancouver and Bergamo, Italy, with plans to expand this year. His work was described by the BBC as ‘strangely beautiful’, referencing an exhibition he held in London (Fragments, 2007), in which he aimed to draw attention to the terrible suffering of landmine victims in Vietnam. His haunting works in Fractured for the George Town Festival are equally illuminating. In his own words, Blake’s “obsession” with traditional figurative sculpture has developed a particular method of communication: “My language is the figure and I feel the need to comment on the human condition, sometimes distorted by demons, and other times enchanted by all that is pure within us.”
George Burchett , was born in Hanoi, Vietnam, one year after the epic Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which marked the end of French colonialism in Indochina. He has exhibited internationally and has completed numerous art commissions in Europe, Australia and South East Asia. Since 2011, he has lived and worked in Hanoi. The Resistence series depicts his fascination with the narratives of heroic resistance. In this he as strongly influenced by the work of his father, Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett, who reported from the jungles of South Vietnam, from the Viet Cong, that is “communist” side.
Phạm Văn Lực was born in the former imperial capital of Hue in 1943. A former Major in the Viet Nam People’s Army, Luc started painting 1960. He became a well known soldier-artist, travelling with his easel, brushes and paints to capture his experience. After war end, he graduated from Ha Noi Fine Arts College in 1977. This painting, The Battle of Quang Tri, painted in 1970, is an emotionally powerful rendition of the battle with wounded friends being cared for. The style is very reminiscent of German Expressionism, with the portrayal of raw emotions through strong brushwork and lines.
Phan Đinh Khanh , is a recent graduate of the Fine Arts program at Hue University/College of Art and winner of Tu Lap Young Talent 2017. His digital work comes from the vantage point of an artist who is creating art through conflict. The struggle has left scars and his digital art becomes the witness. “Looking through memory” is a direct analogy of the conflict expressed through multi-layered images, as in a dream. These memories conflict with each other and interact resulting in something new.
Although relatively new to the George Town Festival, base2 is an integral part of the city’s art development. The spacious, white-cube gallery sits in direct contrast to the less informal galleries that inhabit a number of George Town’s rustic shophouses, and brings a more academic level to George Town’s art scene. Curated by Witness Collection, base2 has quickly made a name for itself by exhibiting rare and, sometimes, controversial South-East Asian art in a space that prides itself in museum quality preservation and presentation, complete with its very own art conservator.
Date: 28 July – 3 September 2017
Time: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Venue: base2, 8 Gurney, Gurney Drive
Ticket: Free Admission
*Please note that this exhibition is by appointment only. Please contact Adrian Jones on 012-2757780 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.