Gaze a little too long at one of Peter Yuill’s geometric artworks, made up of painstakingly hand-drawn concentric circles, and your eyes will start to play tricks on you. The Hong Kong-based Canadian artist’s hypnotic, hypotrochoid shapes bisected with thick, black rectangles recall the spirograph art you might have once tried in maths lessons.
“The interconnectivity of the universe through mathematics is something that fascinates me,” says Yuill, 33, who until recently was known for his large mountain murals, paintings of skulls and birds inspired by the occult, and detailed illustrations of the city he has called home for eight years.
The former graffiti artist’s new series grew out of a period of “soul searching” and experimentation that found him researching ideas behind theoretical physics, astrophysics and philosophy.
“I realised they were trying to understand the same things,” he says. “I tried to get to the essence of the meaning of my life, what my purpose was, what I was trying to say. I wanted to move away from just representational illustration and make artwork that had meaning to me and carried some weight behind it.”
Seen from a distance, the pieces look computer-generated, but they are made by tracing large circular templates. Closer inspection reveals small imperfections that Yuill says are important to the work.
“You could do this in Photoshop in five minutes, but I wouldn’t get anything from that; it wouldn’t mean anything to me. I love the end results – how beautiful, soft, delicate and powerful they are. They aren’t perfect, but the universe isn’t perfect. There’s beauty but also an element of chaos and unpredictability.”
Peter Yuill’s “Geometric Abstraction” series will appear in a solo exhibition, also featuring videos inspired by the artist’s new technique, created by local filmmaking group TheCollective, at Kong Art Space, 3 Staunton Street, Central, from April 20 to May 10.