Square Street Gallery欣然呈獻廖諱衡的個展「無厘頭觀看之道」（Nonsenseical Ways of Seeing）。展覽標題挪⽤了約翰伯格《觀看之道》（1972）的中⽂標題，然後為其冠上「無厘頭」（可⼤約翻譯成英⽂中的"nonsensical"）。「無厘頭」源⾃20世紀⾹港流⾏的滑稽幽默，透過把玩廣東話的精妙，從⽽無中⽣有出笑話。在這批新作中，廖⽒摒棄了他固有的創作實踐，追求⼀種脫離當下的形式。
廖諱衡的作品系列是其對主觀記憶的深刻審視，並朝兩個⽅向發展。透過挖掘了他⽇常⽣活中各⽅⾯看似無關痛癢的事物，他反思了他童年回憶的構成。其中⼀組畫作散發夢幻般的家庭氣息。⼀隻貓在裝飾過的地毯上發⽩⽇夢，橙安靜地躺在廚房中、餅乾碎裂於沙發上。《關於⼤貓的夢境，⽇常和來歷》（2022），置於展覽中央，以上述的貓為主⾓。它是⿊⾊的、⼩束狀的，在畫⾯中央安逸休憩，在它⽑茸茸的⾝體中帶著對世界的否定，是此物種特有的⼀種否定。這好⽐嘗試繪畫⼀張異想天開的⾃畫像，這隻貓徘徊在夢境和甦醒之間。它被藝術家近作中使⽤的⼀系列符號包圍 ⸻ ⼀條玩具⿂、⼀幅像⼩孩畫的蜜蜂畫、朝⼀束草打開的框架。它們像時鐘上的數字般排序，這些偶然事物的組成，暗⽰時間上的斷裂和分割，以隨意的⽅式開展及經營。在這系列作品另外⼀個⽅向中，作品從多元主題轉為放⼤單⼀物件：⽜奶盒。它不僅讓藝術家想起了家庭⽣活中的晝夜規律，也令他想起母親傳授給他的⼀句格⾔「睡前喝熱⽜奶有助睡眠」 ⸻ 在《只有⽜奶，沒有
《⼀⽇⼀⽜奶》 (2022) 由31幅⼩型繪畫組成，⾒證了平淡與奇幻的結合。每幅作品都繪畫了⼀個⽜奶盒。每幅作品都象徵著⼀天。每幅作品都紀錄了⼀次特定的分離。每幅作品都為⼀個新的世界鋪路。每幅作品都印證了⼀次摒棄的嘗試。
Square Street Gallery is pleased to present Ticko Liu’s first solo exhibition 無厘頭觀看之道 | Nonsensical Ways of Seeing with the gallery. The title plays with the Chinese title of 觀看之道 [Ways of Seeing] (1972) by John Berger. By prefixing to it the word “無厘頭,” roughly translated to English as “nonsensical,” Liu references a popular form of slapstick humor from 20th Century Hong Kong, which plays on the subtleties of the Cantonese language such that the jokes seem to emerge from nothing. In this new body of work, Liu discards his rigid studio practice and instead pursues disengagement.
Set your sights,” or more formally “to set one’s sights on,” is a troublesome idiom, but it is appropriate to grasp the desire for disengagement that has set its roots in Liu’s practice over the last two years. It suggests that we can project a certain future and, with the necessary discipline, achieve it. This conception underlies the very logic of Hong Kong, which favors fast-paced, structured, and measurable development over anything else.
Liu finds ambivalent solace, in letting his mind, and most importantly his gaze, wander. This strategy allows him to lose himself in the subjects that surround him, all the while prompting a reflection on the values that seem at first glance “natural.” Half in jest, he refers to the wandering as a “necessary evil,” recognizing both the ingrained need for structure to feel productive and the desire to let go of it to produce. Read this way, Liu’s new body of work emerges as a poetic and seemingly playful critique of Hong Kong’s fraught relationship with modernity.
A poignant examination of his subjectivity, Liu’s new series develops in two directions. Excavating seemingly insignificant aspects of his every day, he ruminates on the structures which map his childhood recollections. One set of paintings effuses fantastical domesticity. A cat daydreams on a decorated rug, oranges repose in the kitchen, and cookies crumble on a couch. The napping cat and his daily and his history / 關於⼤貓的夢境，⽇常和來歷 (2022), the centerpiece of the show, features the aforementioned cat. Wispy and black, it luxuriates on the center of the canvas. A whimsical attempt at self-portraiture, the feline rests in limbo between dreaming and waking. It is surrounded by a series of signs the artist has deployed in recent work — a toy fish, a child-like drawing of a bee, and frames opening unto tufts of grass. Sequenced like numbers on a clock, the composition of chanced-upon objects suggests a chronographic disruption and dissociation, initiated and sustained by the unplanned eye.
Taking a second direction in the same series, the works move away from the plurality of the theme into the amplification of a single object: the milk carton. It not only reminds the artist of the circadian rhythm of family life but also of an aphorism left to him by his mother — “to have good dreams, drink a warm glass of milk” — captured poetically in the lush blues and yellows of There is milk only but no honey / 只有⽜奶， 沒有蜜 (2022). The cartons, flattened and, in a sense, recycled, give way to fantastical landscapes, bridging his painterly practice with his mother’s maxim. Conjuring the terror and beauty of the sublime, The great wave is all painter’s Dream / ⼤海浪是所有畫家的夢 (2022) depicts the junk boats of Victoria Harbour battling the ocean. Caught in a moment foreboding their inevitable wreck, the scene is rendered within the mundane mass-market container, merging a distant seafaring anxiety with a contemporary neurosis.
Comprised of 31 small paintings, A Milk a day / ⼀⽇⼀⽜奶 (2022) exemplifies the marriage of the quotidian and dream state. Each features a milk carton. Each represents a calendar day. Each archives a specific disengagement. Each gives way to a new world. Each piece of evidence is an attempt to discard.
The gaze is no accessory nor apparatus.
It is vital.