AHong Kong exhibition shows there’s more to Chiang Yomei than a famous family name, Lin Qi reports.
Jasmine Yan, director of Sotheby’s Hong Kong gallery, says Chiang Yomei’s works are rooted in Buddhism, and she applies contemporary techniques with traditional Chinese materials and crafts that are being forgotten or lost.
“The exhibition is curated around all these elements, focusing on works that are visually bold with unusual textures yet bring a certain calmness and contemplation,” says Yan.
Although living in Britain for decades, Chiang Yomei says she considers herself more of Chinese sensibilities than European.
The use of multiple perspectives in her output comes from Northern Song (960-1127) paintings and the use of line in her paintings is quite an Asian process of taking elements out, as well as an unconscious yingyang balance.
She believes her aesthetic and visual sense and working process exhibit Buddhist and Taoist ways of thinking.
“I use a lot of repetition in my work, a meditative process, also a bit like the process of chanting,” she says. “Underlying most of my work is the idea of impermanence that form is emptiness and emptiness is form.”
A poet herself, Chiang Yomei’s works show a poetic rhythm. She says her visual work and poetry are like “rivers flowing from the same source”.
“All of my works, whatever the mediums are, share a lot of imagery, which come from dreams, memories, imagination or from a collective subconscious.”
The installation Crossing is the centerpiece of Chiang Yomei’s show in Hong Kong. Shoes have a symbolic meaning in Chiang’s works.