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KO Art & Antiques presents From Appearance to Exposure featuring four emerging contemporary artists. - FAD Magazine

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KO Art & Antiques presents From Appearance to Exposure featuring four emerging contemporary artists.

KO Art & Antiques recently opened the group exhibition From Appearance to Exposure featuring emerging contemporary artists Sina Sophia Schmidt, Louise Reynolds, Yaya Yajie Liang, and Kirin Crooks.

FAD managed to talk to three of the artists about the show, their art practice and their plans for the future.

Portrait Yaya Yajie Liang



FAD: Can you tell us about your art practice?

Yaya Yajie Liang: I think that the beautiful thing for me as a painter is that the painting is constantly repeating the ‘becoming’. It is a movement rather than a stable image. Basically, my work explores the metamorphosis of the body and the potential of becoming animal. Through interrogating how humans’ analogic mapping to and from animals (within imagined, lived, or taxonomic intimacies) casts a trans light back on the human, my practice questions the full subjectivity of the ‘human’, reimagines what it means to be ‘human’ in an age of human-induced ecological catastrophe.

There is an urgency for me to build queer kin with ‘more-than-human’ others. These others are not only the information I choose to paint but also the inanimate material process during painting, like the brushwork as an object. I feel that I could touch reality with the entanglement between brush and my own body.

Yaya Yajie Liang Dale Kooper, 2022 Acrylic on canvas 19 7/10 × 15 7/10 in 50 × 40 cm

Can you tell us about the work you are showing in the exhibition?
These two paintings, ‘Jack Torrance’ and ‘Dale Kooper’, are inspired by films. They are protagonists
separately in the movie ‘The Shining’ and the TV series ‘Twin Peaks’. The reason why I am so obsessed with these characters is that they are influenced or even controlled by some supernatural force from space, after changing their physical location. Both of them show how the inside body loses its boundaries under the lure of space.

Following different systems of representations simultaneously, I am very interested in the absorption and
interpenetration of space and body. I believe that there is an intimacy that is undivided and not dependent on a heartbeat existing between our bodies and the outside. By perceiving the diffraction effect that arises when the human body entangles with the outside, I intensively invest in the metamorphosis of the body itself.

Yaya Yajie Liang Jack Torrance, 2021 Acrylic on canvas 23 3/5 × 37 2/5 in 60 × 95 cm

What plans do you have for the rest of 2022?
2022 is a very exciting year for me until now. Thanks for Kensu curating such an interesting show! I feel very glad to join this. After that, I will exhibit my new painting ‘Kiss my Ass’ in another exhibition called ‘Eat, Drink, Man, Woman’ at 180 The Strand, London late this month. It is about food and desire, and how we deal with them as a part of our life. I am looking forward to taking other adventures in the rest of 2022

Portrait Sina Sophia Schmidt

Can you tell us about your art practice?

Sina Sophia Schmidt: My practice is largely painting and drawing, though it is not restricted to that.
A lot of writing I do is part of it, as well as photographs and also a few bits of sculpture. I love to create and express whatever is going on for me at the moment, so my art practice makes space for that. It is a space where I can be free and without restrictions. It really helps me understand myself and it is
also in a way a meditative practice.

My process is fairly spontaneous and ever-changing. Sometimes I paint from pictures, sometimes from imagination and dreams. Sometimes half through a painting, I will choose a completely different route. I love how the process of creating is like a microcosm of life, in terms of the decisions and the build-up of an image. In this way it makes me contemplate the complexities of life a lot. Creating also feels like play in a lot of ways.

In the past year I have done a lot more smaller work on paper because I had finished uni and didn’t have a studio for a while. Making smaller works also felt a lot safer so that was really nice too.

Sina Sophia Schmidt Future Waves
Sina Sophia Schmidt Future Waves, 2022 Pencil, soft pastels and watercolour on paper 6 9/10 × 9 2/5 in 17.5 × 24 cm

Can you tell us about the work you are showing in the exhibition?
I am showing three pieces on paper (Future Waves, A Room Of Myself, Complete Matter). All of them were made in response to something I was feeling at the time, like a lot of my work. In both Future Waves and A Room Of Myself I was responding to feelings about the space I was in. They are about feeling confined and this longing for a big open space. Future Waves is about the idea of nature and the industrialisation of human lives. How we are animals coming from the wild and now living in crazy cities that are very unlike our earlier environments. Being in the city for a long time, I build up this longing to be in nature. It then can feel like it’s just this idea of nature sitting over my head while I am somewhere else, distancing me from the present. It is this glorification of something in your head, which is a thing
the mind likes to do. Complete matter is a work about the cosmos of life. It is about life and death and the connection between everything that exists. I have been very interested in spirals, I find them a fascinating shape that holds a lot of power and meaning.

Sina Sophia Schmidt A Room of Myself, 2022 Soft pastel on paper 16 1/2 × 11 7/10 in 42 × 29.7 cm

What plans do you have for the rest of 2022?
For the rest of 2022, I want to create loads and also try many new mediums. I would like to travel and see a lot of different places. I really want to spend a lot of time in nature because that is where I feel in tune and inspired. I would love to do a residency or something too.

Portrait Louise Reynolds

Can you tell us about your art practice?

Louise Reynolds: Working from the current news as a point of departure for generating imagery, my work aims to skim the surface of the recognisable, with titles providing clues to my inspiration. I’m relating to the masculinist tropes in history painting, but without an actual commissioner, this is substituted with the news items which proliferate my online existence. By immortalising a fleeting story or dogma I hope to confront the viewer in their own place in time. I enjoy playing on this aspect of oversaturation in a literal sense through colour, unfamiliar symbolism, distorted bodies, and intensity of detail. In my practice just now I’m largely making oil paintings, coloured pencil drawings and etchings.

Louise Reynols Consoling the Influenced, 2022 Oil on canvas
Louise Reynolds Consoling the Influenced, 2022 Oil on canvas 47 1/5 × 59 1/10 in 120 × 150 cm

Can you tell us about the work you are showing in the exhibition?
My two paintings in the exhibition Narcissus and Consoling the Influenced both come from some new thinking about the idea of “influencers” as a character in my work. In Narcissus they’re edging the woman
towards her toxic yellow Narcissus pool. In Consoling the Influenced I see the figure on the right as a victim of the Influencers; an embodiment of the moment that self-awareness and criticism wash over you, being comforted by her distorted friends.

What plans do you have for the rest of 2022?
Until December I’ll be finishing the Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School, which ends with three final
exhibitions with the year group, at Christie’s, The Royal Drawing School, and a studio show at SPACE
studios in Hackney.

Louise Reynolds Narcissus, 2022 Oil on canvas 47 1/5 × 35 2/5 in 120 × 90 cm

Visit the viewing room : HERE

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