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Mur Nomade
2015.10.10 Sat - 2015.12.24 Thu
Opening Exhibition
Unit 1606, 16/F, Hing Wai Centre, 7 Tin Wan Praya Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong (香港香港仔田灣海傍道7號興偉中心16樓1606室)
+852 2580 5923
Opening Hours
Tue-Sat, 12:00-18:00 (Closing on public holidays)——周二至周六:中午12點到下午六點,公眾假期不設開放
Amandine Hervey

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Mur Nomade presents ‘Recollections’
[Press Release]

an exhibition by female artists Ana González, Ivy Ma and Nastaran Shahbazi and a short story by Cally Yu.

Hong Kong-based curatorial office and gallery Mur Nomade presents ‘Recollections’, a group exhibition by three female artists – Ana González (Colombia), Ivy Ma (Hong Kong) and Nastaran Shahbazi (Iran) – opening on October 10th, and on view until December 24th. A newly created short story by writer Cally Yu complements the exhibition. In literary form and through the media of etching, porcelain, embroidery, painting and video, the exhibition deals with the subject of memory in post-trauma contexts.

The three visual artists are concerned with life after tragedy, and express personal reflections on history and remembering: Ana González and Nastaran Shahbazi present works in Hong Kong for the first time, accompanied by selected pieces by local artist Ivy Ma, well-known for her exploration of the relationship between reality and memory.

Feminine and delicate in form, the works are infused with strength and commitment. The first part of the exhibition, intentionally dense and stifling, is a silent conversation of art pieces dealing with death, oppression and intolerance. It opens on a wider second section that considers memory and existence after displacement, war and loss, with an imagery of children’s dresses, solitary figures, empty spaces and reborn nature. The circulation in the exhibition space invites the visitor to roam back and forth between both rooms, in a movement resembling the cycles of destruction and rebirth through history: we are reminded to remember.

Behind Nastaran Shahbazi’s unfathomable etchings is the influence of the Surrealists and the idea that all things change and pass. Born and raised in a country home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, hurt by decades of armed conflicts and political repression, the Iranian artist lets despair and solitude float over her images, like the traces of tarlatan cloth she left on the pair of enigmatic etchings that attracts the eye as one enters the exhibition space. The thin cloth symbolizes fragility, but it is also a reference to censorship. Shahbazi’s controlled technique contains her boiling resentment for intolerance: her indignation is in the details.

The exhibition gathers works from Ana González’s ‘Pass I Flora’ series, exemplifying her versatile use of both fine art media and crafts. Talking about life after tragedy and displacement, the series take nature as a symbol of mending and healing. Shaped in porcelain, embroidered or painted, a girl’s dress appears again and again in the works on display, inspired by the Sunday mass dresses of child victims of the drug war in the artist’s home country, Colombia, and other Latin American countries. The passiflora flowers covering the dresses represent for Gonzalez the ‘cycle of pain and death that gives way to new ways of life and transformation.’ Similar flowers grow rhythmically in the audio-video work Mutatio II, created collaboratively with composer Miguel Carrillo Samper, and based on 340 drawings on paper and a developing drawing made along the crack of a wall.

In their creative methods, all three artists use processes of (re)collection and repetition. The acts of collecting or recollecting take the form of people’s recollections of the past through interviews, digital photographs turned into photogravure, re-photographs of documentary material at war museums, appropriation of stills from films. Repetition happens through etching and the gesture of printmaking, layering and re-printing of found images, and the obstinate recurrence of a pattern. Along this line, the exhibition invites the viewer to reflect on the endless repetition of acts of oppression through history, the marks added layer after layer to the unconscious collective memory, and the seemingly inability of human kind to learn from its mistakes.

‘Half-winged Dragonfly’ by Cally Yu is a creative and personal response to the underlying themes of the artworks on display in ‘Recollections’. The short piece of magical realism is sweepingly universal yet deeply anchored to Hong Kong social and political context. The multiple layers of meanings of the text echo the strata of images of the art pieces. With a touching tribute to women, Yu juxtaposes the sublime and the trivial, in a pictorial short story about transformation after trauma.
Mur Nomade would like to thank art writer Stephanie Bailey for her perceptive and insightful introduction on ‘Recollections. The text can be found in the brochure available at the exhibition.

About Ana González
Born in 1974, Ana González lives and works in Colombia. She received her B.A. in Architecture at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá in 1997 and a Master in Editing at E.S.C.P / E.A.P. (Grande Ecole) in Paris in 2001. She also participated in the exchange program Pôle Impression-Multiples of the Paris Academy of Fine Arts (ENSBA). She received the Award for Best Bi-dimensional Work at Salón de Agosto, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogotá, Colombia in 2006, and was a finalist of the Prize for Best Pictorial Work, Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy in 2007. Her work has been exhibited in more than forty collective and solo exhibitions since 1995 in Latin America, Europe and the U.S.A. Ana González’s works are collected by museums in South America and in the U.S.A. and they are in private collections all around the world.
Ana González makes artworks in the media of drawing, painting, photography, video, installation, embroidery and porcelain. Looking into inherited culture, collective memory and narrations of displacement, her art practice is based on her experience of listening carefully to people and artisans who have been displaced by armed conflicts and migrated to cities. Her interest in handicrafts and family traditions, and her passion for investigating women’s life and perspective from an artistic and scientific point of view have been her recurrent inspirations.

About Ivy Ma
Born in 1973, Ivy Ma is a Hong Kong visual artist specializing in mixed-media works and a lecturer at the Hong Kong Art School. She obtained her B.A. in Fine Arts at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia in 2001 and a M.A. in Feminist Theory and Practice in Visual Art at University of Leeds in the UK in 2002. She was the recipient of the Young Artist Award, Hong Kong Contemporary Art Award, Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2012. She has had eight solo exhibitions in Hong Kong and Japan since 2001, including ‘Last Year’ (2015), ‘Numbers Standing Still’ (2012) and ‘Gazes’ (2011) at Gallery EXIT (Hong Kong), and ‘Someone’ (2014) at Goethe Gallery (Hong Kong).
Cultivating an aesthetic characterized by quietness and stillness, Ivy Ma’s work becomes, ultimately, a philosophical reflection on nature and history. She works her way through history by looking, collecting, drawing and thinking. The objects she collects, the images she selects, and the occasional photographs and videos she produces all strike a similar chord, one that is at uncanny, disturbing and beautiful. Through her early sculptures and installations, she developed a sensibility towards scale, texture and light that now informs her two dimensional work. Starting in 2010, she began focusing on images – both stills taken from specific films and photographs found in history museums – for an ongoing series of what she calls ‘drawing-interventions’, where she actively erases and draws into and over the existing image.

About Nastaran Shahbazi
Born in 1982, Nastaran Shahbazi is an Iranian artist, living between Paris and Hong Kong. She produces etchings, drawings and paintings. She first trained in graphics in Tehran, then studied in France, where she graduated in Motion and Graphic Design at Gobelins l’Ecole de I’Image in Paris in 2009 and received her Master in Visual Arts at Paris 8 University in 2010. She was a member of the Etching studio at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris between 2009 and 2014. She started exhibiting in 2004, and has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Iran and in Europe.
Imbued with mystery, Nastaran Shahbazi’s works range from delicate yet unsettling monochromatic etchings, to bold and vividly-coloured expressionist paintings. They deal with war, oppression and displacement, and at the same time, they are personal expressions of loss and despair.

About Cally Yu
Born in 1968, Cally Yu (Yeuk Mui, Yu) is a Chinese writer with a strong concern on Hong Kong cultural and social development. She published four novels and one book collecting interviews on the topic of ‘freedom’ and ‘independence’ with 12 women. She has also produced poems, theatre texts, art critics, interviews and feature stories for newspapers and magazines since 1997.
Starting in 2009, she has been experimenting with different visual art elements, body movements and text, in theatre production and social happenings. Cally Yu was one of the writers-in-residence of the Hong Kong section in Liverpool Biennial 2012 and critic-in-residence of Macau City Fringe Festival 2012.

About Mur Nomade
Mur Nomade is an art space in Hong Kong, operating as both a curatorial office and a gallery. Our name is the French translation of ‘nomadic wall’. We present site-specific projects in selected venues all around Hong Kong, in addition to regular exhibitions at our gallery space in the up-and- coming South Island Cultural District. We work closely with local and international artists, curators, art writers and teachers to imagine and conceive exhibitions and programmes such as collaborative art projects, performances, workshops and residencies.
Mur Nomade focuses on projects encouraging cultural exchanges and creative encounters. We like bold ideas and we are convinced that cultural exchanges support creativity, stimulate emulation and encourage experimentation.