A line could be described as the tiniest visible row of particles.
These particles can be anything, they may even be words.
As such a line is both an abstract idea and an abstract visualisation of that idea.
Seven artists from Hong Kong (Tsang Chui Mei, Jamsen Law, Julvian Ho, Lee Suet Ying, Vee Leong, Li Tzimei and Tap Chan) have made a show at Quartair in which different philosophies about the line come together in one installation.
The works – some of which are being developed on the spot – can be seen individually, but the curator Jamsen Law and the other artists clearly stress the idea of one multidimensional installation with drawing, painting, light and sound.
It is an interesting show but a very short running one, tomorrow (Saturday) will be its last day.
The exhibition was first staged last year in Hong Kong, and will later this year be on show in Berlin.
According to the exhibition text the cardinal question is “How can we analyze mechanisms of power and abuse both from the past and the present, towards the future?”
As usual the way to find an answer is more interesting than the answer itself.
It results in an interesting exhibition with works varying from very expressive to very hermetic.
The works by the Koreans reflect, as far as it is manifest, on the victim role of Korean women during the Japanese occupation and the Korean War.
With such a heavy and still open historic trauma it is probably difficult not to reflect on.
As such the danger is that too little attention is given to the present position of women in war, or even at war, and to a diversion from the victimhood that is too narrow a focus to assess the role of women (or others) in war.
Most works are interesting, but some need more explanation.
For instance, the untitled video work by Min Cheol-hong looks quite wonderful but what is the connection with the issue?
Even one of the most beautiful works in the show, Bouquet of Memories by Kim Su-hyang, surely has more to say than just itself.
Indeed the way paint is used by the other artists is very personal and is very well presented in this spacious exhibition.
Quartair, with its columns, is not always an easy space to create effective exhibitions but this one makes very good use of all sightlines and there is a very good dialogue between sculpture and painting, or rather between the spacial and the flat.
As for its composition, arrangement, variety and quality this is certainly one of the best exhibitions in Quartair.