On View: Parents’ Parents and Kristal Raelene Melson at Above Second Gallery

by Ysabelle CheungPosted on

It’s all too easy to walk through life in a robotic daze, ignoring pressing issues right in front of our eyes. However, the current show at Above Second Gallery in Hong Kong, “Somedays Somedaze,” intends to snap you out of the dreamy and sometimes destructive somnambulism of daily life. In this show, Hong Kong based artist collective Parents’ Parents (see our earlier profile of them here) and Singapore native Kristal Raelene Melson pair up to discuss a host of contemporary issues and reflections as a response to society and mass consumption, and the ever-present question of what it means, or takes, to be human in today’s world.

Melson is best known for her detailed portrait “invasions,” faces in various media (pencil, ink, paint) sprawling with elements such as birds, flowers and abstract designs, showcasing her fun and quirky colour palette. She continues in that vein for “Somedays Somedaze,” with a series of celebrity portrait paintings – Bruce Lee and Bjork are but two of the chosen faces – woven with graphic strips of collaged images: look closer and you’ll see references to vintage comic strips, a subtle nod to our obsessive culture of duplicating and recreating.

Parents’ Parents, on the other hand, present six three-dimensional shadow boxes featuring hand-cut wood pieces. Each of the boxes explore a different theme, from religion to death to mass media, presenting images and symbols artfully assembled together. “Recently in Hong Kong and the world we have faced and asked a lot of questions about war and politics,” says Ling Ysoo, one of the four members of Parents’ Parents. “People repeat mistakes! These events and actions are our inspiration.” As with most of their illustrative, design and mural work, Parents’ Parents also incorporate text, such as song lyrics and film quotes, into the imagery. “We think words can reveal our map but not exactly the direction to our viewers,” explains Ling. Both Parents’ Parents and Melson went beyond the borders of their pieces and also painted the walls of the gallery.

The show is open until October 4 at Above Second Gallery, 9 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.

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