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Art & Culture

“Swim and Stroll” by Hong Kong Contemporary Artist Corn Shuk Mei Ho @ Harbour City

10 Mar, 2022

Limited “Night Swims” paintings using Beeswax

First time to exhibit entire “Botanical Gardens” series

Enjoy the joy of nature alone  

Imagine that you are alone at night in nature, how would you enjoy yourself? Hong Kong Contemporary Artist, Corn Shuk Mei Ho created “The Night Swims” after swimming at night in Lantau Island in Hong Kong during the summer of 2016. Recently, she experimented with a new material Beeswax, and applied it to her existing “The Black Series: Night Swims” paintings. From 10 March to 2 May 2022, the latest artworks are exhibited at Gallery by the Harbour. Selected drawings of “The Black Series: Night Swims” and the entire “Botanical Gardens” series is showcased in public for the first time.

What’s more, Corn has collaborated with Wenxiangji to launch two fragrance mists inspired by artworks of “Botanical Gardens” exclusively at the exhibition, which you can create a “dream garden” yourself at home. Besides the artwork, a series of other limited-edition premiums are also available for sale in the exhibition, including postcard, folder, coaster and mirror. Visitor can sure experience the joy of nature anywhere alone.

Over 35 paintings and drawings   Listen to inner voices

Corn loves to explore the deepest levels of the human subconscious by observation. The atmospheric, melancholic tones of her drawings and paintings evoke sensations of dislocation. Her works include “The Night Swims” and “Botanical Gardens series” which document her interest in what is lost and found. The ambivalence between the fleeting and synthesized memory becomes a trace within the landscape.

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Featuring over 35 artworks including the latest paintings and drawings by artist Corn Shuk Mei Ho from her two major series, the exhibition aims to explore the deepest levels of the human subconscious by creating artworks. “The Black Series: Night Swims” was inspired by her first experience of swimming at night in Lantau Island, where she broke through obstacles and fear by feeling her own breath in the water. The latest Night Swims paintings she made not only depict the stories and people she met while travelling through artist residency last year or the scenes and stormy seacoasts in the UK, but also showcases her application with newly experimented mediums – “Beeswax”. The painting applied with Beeswax can show a more translucent texture of the oil paint and help her build richer layers on the canvases to depict the water splashes and ocean as well as her painting characters’ skin texture.  

Besides, the exhibition showcases for the first time some drawings of The Night Swims series. Since the series begins as drawings before being built up with oil paint, those drawings contain her first instinct and ideas of the Night Swims while all characters are formed by that time too.  Therefore, displaying some drawings in the exhibition completes the viewers’ imagination.

The entire “Botanical Gardens series” is showcased in public for the first time. The inspiration comes from the unique experience of plants coping with adverse and pleasant weather conditions alike, and daily walks with her dog in the nearby wood and parks. These seemingly mundane or common sightings such as changing of the leaves are full of life and often inform, change and coincide with our daily emotions.

“The Black Series: Night Swims” – Thunderstorm

During a typhoon warning in Hong Kong, the young man depicted chose to ignore the warnings to stay on land and instead swam in the ocean.

Corn said “My painting captures the moment when the young man wanted to climb from the rough sea to a safe zone in Hong Kong’s swimming area. From the viewer’s perspective, looking down at the young man in the artwork is to witness his insecurities and to observe him desperately looking for himself. This young man seemingly has an unruly personality, embodied by youth, defiant to all things. When I started to create this painting, I always think of what this young man felt.”

“Botanical Gardens series” – Wisteria in the Sexby Gardens

Corn said “The painting depicts a hundred-year-old Wisteria (originated in China) in an English Victorian Garden, London. Their blossom season is early summertime in May every year. The symbol of cultural migration (From east to west) is quite interesting here, and most importantly this tree thrives in a stunning way even in its old age. It’s my honour to paint it on a canvas.  

Limited-edition fragrance mists & premiums

Corn has collaborated with Wenxiangji to launch  two fragrance mists inspired by artworks of “Botanical Gardens” exclusively at the exhibition, which you can create a dream garden yourself at home. The “Grasslands Garden, Horniman Museum” painting depicts the flower blossoms of the grassland garden of Horniman Museum in mid-summer; while you can also smell the green, herbal scent of rosemary, sweet basil, mint. Soft, floral lavender and geranium join ruby red grapefruit through the “A walk in summer” fragrance mist to create an outdoorsy freshness. The “Wisteria in the Sexby Gardens” painting depicts the blooming season of the century-old wisteria in early summer in an English Victorian Garden in London; while the “Ethereal wisteria” fragrance mist uses powdery ylang-ylang and clary sage as the base formula to create a dreamy floral symphony, with ginger, all spice and green cardamom for subtle spiciness, whilst Siberian fir brings in a light airiness and complexity.

Besides the artwork, a series of other limited-edition premiums are also available for sale in the exhibition, including postcard, folder, coaster and mirror. Visitor can sure experience the joy of nature anywhere alone.  

“Swim and Stroll” by Hong Kong Contemporary Artist Corn Shuk Mei Ho exhibition

Date: 10 March to 2 May 2022

Time: 11am – 7pm

Venue: Gallery by the Harbour (Shop 207, Level 2, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui)