The mountains of Kūnlún, in ancient Chinese mythology, are the dwelling place of gods and fantastic beasts. They are also, of course, an actually existing mountain range. This mystical locale, situated somewhere between reality and myth, provides a particularly apt window into the practice of Michael and Chiyan Ho. The duo studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London before developing an idiosyncratic painting practice that involves pushing specks of acrylic paint from the back of the canvas to the front to form the backdrop, then switching to oil to paint the figures on top. In this laborious process, marked by both formal ingenuity and symbolic fecundity, an enigmatic space—one in which ambiguous protagonists lie afloat in nocturnal fields of lush foliage—is called into existence.
V.O Curations is pleased to announce Kūnlún, the first solo exhibition by artist duo, Michael and Chiyan Ho. Comprising seven new oil and acrylic paintings, this new body of work developed during their residency, employs myth, metaphor and magical realist narratives as a form of worlding and to explore Chinese diasporic identity.
Michael & Chiyan Ho, Press Release.pdf