In late 2017,
Chan Sai-lok won the UOB Ink Art of the Year Award and was entitled to a
residency programme in the Flux Factory art space in New York for two
months in autumn 2018 as part of the prize. Featuring his new
paintings, “Land of Longing and Exile” summarises the artist's response
to his New York experience.
flew by. Everything the artist saw was in fragments as he took up
temporary residence among alleys of a mixed neighbourhood. He tried to
understand this foreign land in terms of the colours red, white and blue
as they appear in the flag of the United States, when he found himself
inside a melting pot of ethnic cultures, religious beliefs, gender
representation and customs. The Stars and Stripes often give a feeling
of being "too American". The artist associates red with Asian ethnicity
and blue with reality of life in America-if only this land of dreams is
really as diverse as it seems. While no more can be explained about
white as it has already been the centre of the world for centuries.
Longing and Exile” is the beginning of the artist's "Red" series. We are
in New York even though our souls are drifting out to somewhere else.
It's time to regain our own vision of narrative, though this "we" are
not our old selves any more.