Clem So, whose work featured on the cover of our ArtsCulture magazine, is having a solo show at the Centrespace Gallery, Bristol. The exhibition, Tracing the Intangible, is a one-man show on the artist’s identity, and opens on Wednesday, February 2 – Chinese New Year.
Through digital work of unique portraiture and moving image, Clem explores his past, roots and heritage through the viewpoint of Buddhist ideology and the relationship that is evoked.
Comprising of prints, drawings, paintings, table installation, sound and video you are drawn into the exhibition environment and the artist’s inner world. Sound, movement and visuals interlace, and visitors to earlier shows have found his work to be combination of enchantment and catharsis. And there is a mixture of loss and a deep desire for connection.
“My parents travelled from the South of China, laying down roots in Liverpool in the late 1950s, the city where I was born. My work touches on the Diaspora and this cultural conundrum. This connection feels intangible, but it is there nevertheless and I want to convey that,” he said.
“In my illustrations from the series Portrait From The Afterlife, you will see me burrow deeper into the underbelly of my own identity and the link between past, present and future.
“This is reflected in ancestral portraiture which begin with the flow of Chinese ink, bleeding, layering and merging with photographic elements such as oriental food and ghost money (traditionally burnt at funerals as an offering), suggesting, connection, memory, culture and the afterlife.
“Through a combination of the traditional and digital process, I am able to peel back and reveal hidden layers of abstracted texture and portraiture, as you have never seen before.”
Part of Clem’s work is the film Tracing the Intangible.
• Clem So’s Tracing The Intangible is at the Centrespace Gallery,, Bristol, from Wednesday, February 2 to Wednesday, February 9 from 11am to 5pm (Sunday, February 6, from 11am to 4pm). Admission free
(image: Artist Clem So. Portrait by Simon Keitch)
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