Tag Archives: gallery box

Thoughts behind ‘Two Worlds One Mind’ by Norm Yip & Alexis Reynaud

The opportunity to exhibit artwork in Zurich once again was a delight to see and experience. In a joint effort between myself and fellow artist Alexis Reynaud, we both brought visual variety to Gallery Box, a new gallery space in Zurich that opened last year by Thomas Sarbach, a painter and artist as well. It was Thomas, the one who made the introduction of Alexis to me and suggested that we group together for this show. Initially, I had concerns that my work alone was not enough to do a show successfully at his gallery, given the large space of the venue.

The original idea was to have an exhibition of my Pulsation painting only and some of my more intellectually stimulating graphite drawings to accompany the show. I would leave my Asian male photography out of the show. As things transpired over the months, Thomas was keen to see my Asian male images included as part of the exhibition, seeing as how Alexis was keen to show some of his nude photography work too. Thus, in the last weeks prior to the opening, there was a rush to get photographs printed and framed.

Alexis Reynaud included male and female nudes painted in black and covered with a high gloss finish/sheen, resulting in a high contrast black to white erotic images. Shot using sharp lighting (most likely a strobe), it was a foil to my images, where softness and slightly blurred images appear. The feelings from each of our works are similar, but one thing remained clear: the desire to create beauty using the human body as the vehicle for expression.

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Norm Yip, Barry, 2016, Pigment ink on paper, 50 x 75 cm. 

As for our paintings, my work is abstract, taking influence from Jackson Pollock’s action paintings, but at a much smaller scale and with a more stylised control of brushwork. Alexis however took the Samurai as his subject matter, creating a highly energised set of paintings using only a selective colour palette of red, blue, yellow, and the neutral colours of black and white for his works. Sweeping expansive strokes compared to my smaller controlled ones. The common thread to our work was clear: the desire for self-expression through the use of the brush, and not so much about attempting to create something real. Yes, Alexis’s work is more figurative, but to me, the essence is in the expressive brushworks, and if viewed more closely, abstraction.

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Alexis Reynaud, Musashi 00017, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 46 cm.
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Norm Yip, Pulsation, No. 2, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 210 x 140 cm.

What is fascinating for me is the desire for both myself and Alexis to take on the medium of painting and photography as a modes of expression, to which Thomas, the curator, found intriguing. The title Two Worlds One Mind is entirely appropriate. Speaking for myself, I took to painting as far back as 1999, when my first studio collaboration/partnership began with Meli-Melo Artist Alliance. Painting spoke to me in ways that was different than photography. It was in fact more tactile and real than photography. With painting, there was a purposeful engagement with the brush, canvas, the mixing of colours, and the application of medium to surface, a process that is entirely unique and special.

Just before the Pulsation series began, I had reached a mini plateau, and I was ready to move my work in a different direction. And then it happened: the Orlando shooting where over 50 people were shot dead in a gay bar. That incident brought forth feelings, which I then translated into the artwork.

The exhibition for me is important, as it is the first time for me showing my paintings abroad/overseas. I owe a huge THANK YOU to all that came to the exhibition opening, and of course to Thomas Sarbach and Alexis for their support and generosity during my time there.

By appointment only:
Tel +41(0)763446060
Mail: gallerybox@gmx.ch
http://www.gallery-box.net/

The Asian Male exhibition in Zurich

A few short weeks have passed since the exhibition opening of The Asian Male show in Zurich and I thought I would post several shots of the night, along with the exhibition images.

I will never forget the fiasco when trying to get out of Hong Kong while the second day of the protests were on. I had difficulty getting to the airport while struggling to carry my luggage, prints and camera bag. I missed my flight as a result and had to quickly call the airline for the next available flight. Luckily, I managed to take the next flight out and arrive in Zurich on the same day, but late at night, versus the day.

You cannot imagine the stress of carting along 14 pieces of matted art to an overseas exhibition. Anything could happen, such as the artwork could get sent to another city, the box could be damaged (seeing how people throw luggage around is not exactly comforting) or get soiled if the weather got foul. Then I was thinking, what if the framers in Zurich got the dimensions wrong? Or what if the glass that was custom cut broke during the installation of the artwork (we had to go the actual framing ourselves since it wouldn’t be enough time for the framer to do it).

In addition, the gallery where I was showing didn’t have a hanging system installed, but I told Thomas that I would help out with that, so long as I didn’t have to do the drilling (seeing as I have had vertigo the past several months that won’t go away). We framed the artwork the night before the exhibition and installed the hanging system on the day of the exhibition. It was rather insane. We got the artwork up in time for exhibition, but the food and drinks were a bit of a mess. We had no ice for the wine we bought and at 6:30, well into the opening with a few guests, Thomas ran out to pick up the ice. Warm white wine would not do.

The exhibition managed to bring in about a modest but very enthusiastic group of what I would call academics and hard core enthusiasts of photography. They really seemed to understand what I was trying to do with the photography, and were very knowledgable about the formal aspects of the medium. It was refreshing to hear.


Special thank to Michael Harald Dellefant, who kindly agreed to let me post a few of his images taking during the opening night.

The selection of the photographs that appeared in exhibition are shown below.

The exhibition continues until November 1, 2014.
GALLERY BOX Birmensdorferstrasse 187 Zürich, Switzerland
T. +41 76 344 60 60

Please contact me or the gallery owner Thomas Sarbach for more information if you are interested in more details of the artwork.

Preparations for my first photography exhibition in Europe

Firstly, the book that everyone has been waiting for is still in the midst of being printed, apparently. After receiving the email that they would redo the entire set of books, I am waiting for them to give me a set date on when I can see them. They didn’t ask me in for the press check (not that it would necessarily be needed, as it was done previously). And now, I wait patiently to receiving the first review books. I just sent a gentle reminder to them to see if I would get them this week. No reply yet. I want to have a few to take with me Zurich.

For the many friend and supporters, I will announce the date of the book launch in Hong Kong once I have seen the reprint of the books, but it will be certainly after my return from Europe in mid-October.

So yes, I have an exhibition in Switzerland. If you’re around in Zurich on 3 October, drop Gallery Box for the reception. I would love to see you there.

GALLERY BOX, Birmensdorferstrasse 187, Zürich, Switzerland, T. +41 76 344 60 60, E. info@thomassarbach.com

The Asian Male, Photography Exhibition in Zurich
The Asian Male, Photography Exhibition in Zurich

It will be my first time showing my work outside of Asia, so yes, I am nervous about the response I will be getting. I’ve printed the artwork on Matt Art photo paper by Hahnemühle and the results look , I admit, superb. I still haven’t mastered the art of digital printing and wasted a lot of paper and ink, but it’s really worth it. I felt it was a bit like darkroom days, waiting for the print to appear, but with a less ‘magical’ feeling to the experience.

The prints were churned out over the weekend after falling slightly ill Friday night and all of Saturday, so in the wee hours of Sunday morning 6am, I was content to leave the studio. Today I signed them and delivered them to my framer in Central. It was rather a smooth day. My intern Philippa, a lovely young and aspiring student, was here to help me put together the price list.  So while I was proudly signing the prints, I talked about  ICC profiles, paper and printers. Shop talk that we both could relate to, as we both loved 2-D materials such as paper and  textures.