宀畫廊將會在2019年3月6日星期三舉行Espen Cook的個人展覽「LESS MEDIA, MORE SOCIAL 」。Espen是來自挪威的視覺藝術家，同時亦是DJ和藝術音樂生活品味廠牌Club Kowloon 的始創人。他近年移居香港，於2015年舉辦他首個個人展覽「Unknown Quantum Connection」。
是次展覽宀畫廊將會首次展出原創作品，全數十張畫作，是為這次展覽特別創作的。這一系列畫 作分別是受到電子社交媒 Instagram的啟發，經消化心思熟慮後，以抽象手法於白色木板上繪畫創作而成。
宀畫廊樂於與Espen合作，Espen既是宀團隊的朋友，也是一位充滿熱情的年輕藝術家。他的作 品曾於亞洲多個地方展出，包括2017年藝術空間的年度籌款拍賣。Espen曾舉辦7次個人展覽。 現時他基地於HART Haus Studio，與一眾藝術家交流創作。
宀 Gallery opened LESS MEDIA, MORE SOCIAL, an exhibition by Espen Cook on March 6, 2019. Espen is a Norwegian visual Artist, DJ and founder of music and culture initiative Club Kowloon. He currently works and lives in Hong Kong where his debut major solo exhibition, Unknown Quantum Connection, was held in 2015.
For the first time 宀 Gallery is showing original works, consisting of ten paintings created specifically for the occasion. The series of works are inspired by the artist’s Instagram stories, refined and developed into compositions of text overlaying abstract white surfaces on wooden board.
宀 Gallery is proud to collaborate with Espen, who is a close friend to the team and a fiercely talented young artist. His work is already part of several collections in Asia and was featured in Para-Site’s annual fundraising auction in 2017. Furthermore, he has produced over seven impressive solo-exhibitions in only a few years. He is currently granted a space in the HART Haus Studio where he works alongside a community of artists.
Espen Cook: a reading from the Curator / Friend/ Nemesis
Writing about the work of Espen Cook seemsredundant. He doesn’t prescribe to over intellectualised aspects of theartworld and his pieces don’t need contextualising to be understood. Hispaintings are raw, stylistic and unapologetic; fully engaged with contemporarydilemmas.
The exhibition LESS MEDIA, MORE SOCIAL at 宀 Galleryfeatures a series of paintings inspired by Espen’s Instagram stories. Two yearsago, he began exploring social media as a medium. He experimented withoverlaying text on photography, some of the works addressing originality andartistic identity, others playing with club culture and vulgarity. Themes andstyles would vary; however, the sheer quantity of consistent content made abold statement in itself. If you followed him, the name ESPEN COOK would flashon your phone screen whenever a social media app opened. His non-sensicalFacebook updates became a form of advertising that was both satirical andeffective.
Espen transfers his ideas into paintings byselecting key slogans, then overlaying them on top of textured whitebackgrounds. His painting style is rough and lucid. His aesthetic is minimaland mature. The blank space he creates is never really blank. Energeticlayering and an occasional use of collage act as a backdrop to his thoughts. Muchlike the pages on our screens, emptiness is never really empty but instead aspace waiting to be filled.
Espen’s words have a tint of Basquiat’s tone.The style has been described as oracularor childlike. However, I prefer to think of it as deeply honest and true toinner thoughts, without editing or refinement. Words are sometimes crossed out,misspelled or written over. Hints of personal experience slip through.
“CAMEWITH A BROKEN TOOTH AND LEFT WITH A BROKEN HEART”
“ESPEN COOK IS A FRAUD”
“ESPEN COOK IS DEAD”
These statements almost feel like catchphrases.Short and to the point, they may be controversial but are also brutally self-awareof the artists ego. Espen is a mimic of the shock factor and utilizes persona inhis work, but he doesn’t fain an agenda and remains true to a hands-on creativeprocess. I haven’t met anyone who makes as much work as Espen Cook. He isrelentless, never stopping or over-thinking, always creating.
I can’t say I understood Espen’s work from themoment we met. We jokingly called each other “nemesis” in the early days asparty acquaintances, and we both know there was a hint of truth behind ourwords. We have opposite styles, opinions and approaches. It’s undeniable artistsalways have an underlying voice of jealousy when it comes to judging our peers,but over the years he has become a great source of inspiration. Espen doesn’twait for permission. He claims his own position and he never pretends to besomething he’s not. He has no extravagant hypothesis about art, the universeand everything else. There is no deeper meaning, only authentic expression.