Cosmic Comix 宇宙漫畫 

Artists Ariana Kley (American, b. 1990), Bo Law (Hong Kong), Li Shan (Shanghai-New York, b. 1947), Xiao Lei (Shanghai, b. 1974), Wang Zhigang (b. 1960)

14-25 June 2016 at 5 Mee Lun Street, Sheung Wan

Artists reveal the mutations of our world and universe. The show takes its "Cosmic Comix" from Italo Calvino's linked stories about the origins of the world. It hints at the place scientific discovery has in art works by established contemporary artists and young innovators in Hong Kong, New York, and Shanghai.


Fifteen drawings and paintings selected for the exhibit show non-human creatures and scenes which blend fantasy and humour with scientific objectivity. 


 Bo Law draws an urban landscape in his paired images “Don't Yearn for a Hero.” Although the skyscrapers, characters from manga comics, and inanimate objects are alive and in love, they think they need heroes. Law's illustrations are original and insightful, showing the way in which real estate and consumer goods—the objects of our desire—want something more.


 Shanghai- and New York-based artist Li Shan (b. 1947) sketched mutant tigerflies with human faces on paper. The pieces in our show date to 1993., the starting point for what he calls Bio-Art. Li Shan combines elements of pop art and methodical research on DNA, to map out terrain for his Bio-Art, drawing on intensive reading, scientific collaboration in his Pumpkin Project, and studio time. Li Shan's explorations of cross-species hybrids are penetrating and beautiful----a cry for the dignity of all living creatures. "The tiger that has grown wings” is among the earliest sketches for the Bio-Art series and are an important addition to a contemporary art collection. 


 A 2-meter high dragonfly “Armed for Flight” by Wang Zhigang (b. 1960) has four hands formed in the mudra of a Buddhist seeker of enlightenment. The dragonfly is sculptural, and looks massive, with a surface sanded and layered to look like stone, though it uses thin layers of acrylic paint on canvas. 


Ariana Kley (American, b. 1990) lent us notebook sketches, where dragons, heroes, and bugs talk in thought bubbles and garbled sentences. The broken narrative is rescued by the visual echoes and cross chatter among figures on the pages--single and double spreads. Her sketch on cold-press paper formalizes the transformations between human and ghost, living and dead beings. She explore the boundaries between animals and humans (Sketch #1 “I was a talking dog the whole time”) and mutation in her work.  Ariana Kley is an alias, used for her personal works, which are strikingly original and distinct from gallery pieces in oil and gouache.

Typically, comics combine visual and verbal elements. The sonic element sets this medium apart from other art forms. Composed of “panels” of varying sizes that set the time, scene, sounds (Pow! Wham! Bam! Boof!), dialogue, and storytelling that often involves saving a world at the brink of destruction.

Li Shan 李山, "The Tiger That Has Grown Wings" 長了翅膀的老虎 (1993). HKD 250K/ USD 32,000 

Ariana Kley, "Don't Lose Your Head" (2016). Ink on D'Arches cold press paper, 15 x 18 cm. HKD 6900 /USD  900