Karma is pleased to present Matthew Wong’s first one-person exhibition. Working with equal curiosity and confidence in oils and watercolors, Wong deploys a wide-ranging color, tonal, and mark-making vocabulary to delineate psychological and metaphysical spaces at once familiar and uncannily strange. The use of planar space, contrast between wet and dry, as well as the application of dots and rudimentary marks in Chinese ink painting have influenced Wong’s conception of painting as an activity for mark-making and color application.
The artist often employs seemingly contradictory modes side by side or one on top of the other. He allows for the simultaneity of a thick daub of orange with willowy strips of green, and the spaces they appear to delineate invite exploration over time. In that sense, these works on paper and canvas use the framework of landscape and narrative composition to think through and with time. This is the time spent walking, living, looking, thinking, drawing, and painting. The horizontal bands of color in Pink Sunset, 2018, evoke the perceptual sensation of watching the light change as a day wears on, while the flames in Somewhere, 2017 bring to mind an intense and fleeting perceptual sensation. The spaces in time created by Wong’s activity allow a world to emerge that has never existed but that seem familiar: landscapes, presences, lived environments, human existences are traversed and collectively form a map without boundaries.
Karma has published a catalog of Wong’s recent paintings and works on paper, with a poem by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, to accompany the exhibition.