Colours of the Andes

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 May, 2008, 12:00am

Asia Fine Art Gallery

Ends June 15

A Chilean contemporary art exhibition - something of a rarity in Hong Kong - shows us how far Chile has progressed in the past 30 years. Bold canvas paintings by four artists represent the cultural revival that has resulted from Chile's tremendous economic achievements. Works by Ruben Hernandez, Silvia Gleisner, Vilma Penrroz and Pilar Rios demonstrate strong European influences infused with South American culture.

In Summertime Stroll (above) by Rios, for instance, the simply dressed women are framed by foliage rendered in blocks of pure pigment. Naive in subject matter, the colour and composition are reminiscent of fauvist works, which featured bright-coloured paintings conveying intense mood.

In Penrroz's Peanut Seller, a nondescript figure faces a distant cosmopolitan landscape. Bold demarcation of colour, strong shapes and forms feature prominently in this abstract composition. The atmosphere, hauntingly quiet and still, evokes the feeling of alienation and disconnect - a common complaint of urban living.

The contrast between these two works highlights the diversity of Chilean contemporary arts. Sidney Cowell of Asia Fine Art says the country's art is unique and refreshing. 'It is an amazing place with lots of natural sunlight. The air is clear and very bright. The artworks' bold and brightly coloured pieces reflect this,' he says.

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