Good Morning, Sweet Dreams. Midnight Sun

© Courtesy of Kwong Wing Kwan and cadet capela
© Credits photo: Thomas Marroni

Kwong Wing Kwan

September 2 — October 7, 2023

13 rue Béranger, 75003 Paris

When painting captures the complexity of light. For her first solo show in Europe, the Hong Kong painter Kwong Wing Kwan sets off in search of the infinite variations of light rays. And their effects in her everyday life and intimate spaces.

Kwong Wing Kwan looks through the window of her home and studio, she observes the rain on the city, she sees a flash of light multiply on a screen. All these seemingly harmless moments are essential for the artist, for her pursuit of light. After observing, Kwong Wing Kwan reproduces what she sees on the canvas with a unique dexterity. Using many layers, composing her palettes with great precision and mixing colors to be as faithful as possible to reality or to reproduce her intimate mood, she recreates her vision on the canvas. Each painting requires total devotion and long hours of work — like a nod to the long, almost infinite, time of contemplation.

Beyond photography — a process that appeals to Kwong Wing Kwan because it restores the image without the slightest alteration — the works not only show the mental images of the artist but also her emotions. The extreme realism of Kwong Wing Kwan is crossed by a sensation of loneliness, unease and sometimes sadness.

A form of melancholy becomes the secret force of the paintings. Her fascination for light sources is manifold. It is projected both on the lamp with its circular design seen in “Voyage to Remember II” and on the stars taken directly from the sky, caught and applied on the canvas, as in “Midnight Sun” which reveals the perpetual sun of arctic summers. This obsession is the activity of a wandering mind, between real journeys and dreamed destinations.

In these landscapes of light, the artist tells us her story. With a form of reserve. She describes the effects of fatigue, loneliness, nostalgia, anxiety, or even jet lag. Kwong Wing Kwan loves to travel, with her mind. In her visions of lights, which connect her to nature. And in the act of painting, which becomes her sole means of communication. With a world that she keeps at a distance, where she lives out of time — Kwong Wing Kwan told us that she had a rhythm of her own: she can’t sleep at night and wait for the sunrise to paint, then she spent the rest of the day sleeping. Alone. At her own pace.

Thus, the realism of Kwong Wing Kwan overflows. From great technical dexterity – mastery of colors, layers of the canvas, measure of gesture — we experience a liberation of feelings. And stories from the past. “In the melancholy of my paintings”, confides the artist, “I accommodated my difficulty in addressing others as well as the absence of my brother, who died tragically when I was ten years old. »

But her visions are not deprived of desires, joy and ambitions. As in the work “Good morning, Sweat dreams”, the iron tower reproduced on the canvas and which Kwong Wing Kwan observed every day from the window of her studio strangely looks like an Eiffel Tower. A perfect symbol for her first show in Paris, at cadet capela. Because the artist already knows that she will find in the City of Light an infinite source of future inspiration…

Boris Bergmann