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11 May, 2024 — 23 June, 2024

THE SHOPHOUSE is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong by British Painter Louis Appleby. Featuring a new body of work in reflection of perception and transcendence, the nocturnal scenery reminds one of the ephemerality in life.

Gestalt refers to the theory of perception that places emphasis on viewing the entire picture holistically rather than as the sum of individual components. The artist extends an invitation to view this new body of work through this lens.

Appleby plunges these new compositions into nightfall; a time when forms can appear to dissolve, merge, or reassemble to suggest new meanings. His keen observation of light is central to these pieces, which are less still lives and more worlds or theatrical stages that teem with atomic life. 

A teapot is not separate from the moon above it. Its pitch-black porcelain is illuminated by it, its steam dissipating into the starry sky. Cast in silhouette, penetrated by darkness, or reflecting sparse moonlight, the objects within these works threaten to dissolve into the ether before they can be fully distinguished. 

Transcendence of physical form is suggested, perhaps most candidly, by silhouetted statues of angels and stacks of destroyed cars that form a strange graveyard. In the foreground we are presented with ceremonial candles that seem to salute the moon with their kindred glow. Above them, a shiny black landline telephone dangles in our field of vision. Viewed in tandem with the angels and totalled cars it is hard not to view this relic as a messenger; as if the call we await might deliver news of our impending obsolescence, or of our bodies destined return to celestial dust.

Appleby’s fascination with the finite utility of objects feels tethered to human mortality and it is the creation and dissolution of matter that sets these paintings quietly ablaze. A candle must sacrifice its matter in order to live out its function. It is the ritual we are here to observe.

THE SHOPHOUSE欣然呈獻英國畫家 Louis Appleby 在香港的首次個展「格式塔」(Gestalt)。展出的新作反映了感知和超然存在,當中的夜景讓人聯想到生命的短暫和易逝。






Text by Steve Mallon