esea Showcase, a new initiative by esea contemporary, champions the visibility of contemporary art practices within the ESEA communities and their diasporas. This initiative aims to highlight their distinctive perspectives within the diverse UK art scene. The display marks the artist's debut presentation in Manchester, featured in esea contemporary's Communal Project Space located in the lively Northern Quarter of the city.
For its inaugural edition, esea contemporary has commissioned Hong Kong-based artist Stephen Wong Chun Hei. Wong's uniquely expressive paintings delve into the intricate relationship between humanity and nature, with landscapes consistently forming the focal point of his works. Initially drawing inspiration from landscape scenes in video games, Wong sought to underscore the visual impact of the virtual world. In recent years, he has embarked on regular hikes to Hong Kong's natural areas, painting en plein air. These canvas works, based on sketches, memories, and infused with his imagination, convey a sense of travel and illuminate the connection between humanity and nature.
Titled ‘The Mountain Carrier in a Storm’ (2023, Acrylic on canvas), this commissioned painting for esea Showcase features Wong’s distinctive vivid palette and dreamlike landscapes. The boat, carrying an island and a city under construction, beating on against the currents. Explaining the inspiration behind this work, Wong states, ‘whenever I come across with the sand carriers at sea, I imagine the form of the sand as mountains. Facing a lot of challenges and difficulties in recent years in Hong Kong, I conceived an image of a Mountain Carrier bearing the city under the famous and spiritual mountain in Hong Kong, The Lion Rock, sailing through a formidable storm, as a metaphor’.
'The Mountain Carrier in a Storm' will be on display at our Communal Project Space until 30 November, 2023.
Stephen Wong Chun Hei (b. 1986) is a Hong Kong based artist. He graduated from the Fine Art Department (CUHK) in 2008 and has since exhibited internationally, with work that explores the relationship between mankind and nature.
Recent exhibitions include Dream Travel, Unit London, London (2022), Stephen Wong Chun Hei: Maclehose Trail, Bonhams, Hong Kong (2022); Indoor Hundred Islands, Touch Gallery, Hong Kong (2021), A Grand Tour in Google Earth, Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong (2021), Beside the CityGallery EXIT, Hong Kong (2019). Selected group exhibitions include Art Basel Hong Kong with Gallery Exit (2021); The Breath of Landscape at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, in 2019 and These Painters’ Painters at ROH Projects, Jakarta, in 2018. Wong’s works are collected by major collections including the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
esea Showcase is a curated Display of East and Southeast (ESEA) contemporary artworks at esea contemporary’s Communal Project Space. It champions the visibility of contemporary art practices within the ESEA communities and their diasporas. By launching the artist's debut presentation in Manchester's lively Northern Quarter, esea Showcase aims to highlight ESEA artists' distinctive perspectives within the diverse UK art scene.
esea Showcase is rooted in our commitment to promote underrepresented ESEA talent and provide exciting opportunities for artists to connect with audiences, peers, and communities. As a forward-thinking art centre that offers exhibitions, commissions, research, and residencies, esea contemporary's Showcase fosters new synergies to platform and nurture meaningful artistic exchanges in Manchester and beyond.