Ben Brown Fine Arts is thrilled to present our summer exhibition, Darkroom, at the Hong Kong gallery from 28 July to 15 September 2018. The show will bring together the photographic work of four renowned artists who have exhibited at the gallery throughout the years: Kitty Chou, Candida Höfer, Vik Muniz and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Iconic works by each artist have been thoughtfully selected, resulting in a harmonious and engaging grouping that demonstrates the range of technical, conceptual and visual achievements by these four artists.

Kitty Chou (b. 1961) Hong Kong-based artist Kitty Chou finds photographic opportunities in chance encounters of everyday life: the interplay of light, shadows, water, sidewalks, street signs, interiors and architectural structures serendipitously comes together behind her lens and results in strikingly profound compositions, entirely removed from their original context. L’Arbre d’Or, 2016, is part of her Reflections series, an ongoing body of work in which the artist captures the spontaneous interaction of varying objects with elements such as water and metal, resulting in wildly abstract and seemingly kaleidoscopic imagery. White on White #1, 2016, comes from her Colour & Space series, a group of more austere, geometric works in which the artist experiments with light and composition to compress the interior structures she photographs into two-dimensional, abstract arrangements.

Candida Höfer (b. 1944) Candida Höfer is celebrated for her technical precision and steadfast dedication to documenting grand and historically significant public spaces. Höfer has travelled the world finding inspiration in libraries, churches, museums, theatres, universities and palaces, where she composes her iconic and awe-inspiring photographs that celebrate the architecture, design, workmanship and cultural richness of each of her subjects. Her large-scale photographs are notably devoid of people, focusing instead on the elaborate details of these grandiose spaces, yet they all undeniably suggest a richness of human activity as contemporary or historic centres of cultural activity. Her photographs are composed in either a fully frontal, symmetrical fashion or at a deliberate angle, typically flooded with light and dazzling colour. It is this objective, disengaged manner of tireless documentation that was clearly informed by Bernd and Hilla Becher. Höfer trained under Bernd Becher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in the 1970s and along with Thomas Ruff was the first of their students to show photographs in colour. Included in the exhibition are two majestic library works, Benediktinerstift Altenburg III, 2014, and Zisterzienserstift Schlierbach II, 2014.

Vik Muniz (b. 1961) Vik Muniz is celebrated for his ingenious employment of a wide range of materials, including dust, sugar, chocolate, diamonds, caviar, toys, paper hole-punches, junk, dry pigment and magazine shreds, to reconstruct images that tap into the viewer’s subconscious visual repository. His material constructions are photographed and then magnified in scale, the final work of art a documentation of his conceptual and artistic processes. The works chosen for this exhibition all come from Muniz’s Pictures of Pigments series, in which the artist delicately arranges raw pigment powders to re-imagine famous paintings by artists such as Piero Manzoni, Kaszimir Malevich and Henri Matisse, forcing the viewer to move beyond the instantaneous recognition of such masterpieces and explore the materiality, chromatic range and painterly process of these works. The use of pure, unmixed and often toxic pigment powders in this series epitomizes the artist’s preoccupation with the ephemerality of material and composition, and also achieves a remarkably textural effect in the resultant photograph.

Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948) Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto is revered for his iconic black and white photographs of subject matter including museum dioramas, drive-in theatres, seascapes and architecture. In his seminal work, Sugimoto addresses notions of temporality, the transience of life, and the fundamental elements that make up the natural world, namely water and light. In 1980, Sugimoto embarked on his Seascapes series, in which he fastidiously captures the convergence of sea and sky at different times of day, under varying atmospheric conditions, around the world. While the composition of the photographs is starkly consistent: sea, horizon line and air, the elements of time and light create endless pictorial arrangements in this meditatively sublime series. The exhibition includes four exceptional seascapes, each highly unique in their atmospheric arrangement.

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