Wu Xing: Five Elements, Jyoti Duwadi’s first exhibition in Hong Kong, is a site-specific multimedia installation where nature and culture merge. It interweaves drawings and paintings using earth pigments, turmeric and gum Arabic with sculptures made from copper and brass vessels, and beeswax. The exhibition is inspired by the advent of the Year of the Dragon, the dynamism of Hong Kong, and the architecture of the gallery space.
This installation offers a multi-sensory experience of smell, sound, and touch using natural materials and found objects such as bamboo baskets and vessels from Hong Kong and Nepal. A singing bowl displayed on a bed of sand invites visitors to compose soothing tones using a wooden mallet, welcoming the New Year and heightening the meditative atmosphere of the space.
Wu Xing: Five Elements interprets the traditional Chinese elements—earth, water, fire, metal, and wood—which represent the fundamental forms of energy. The variety of techniques and media in this installation reflects ideas of balance and transformation embodied in this ancient concept. Improvisational forms, primal colors, and an array of textures foster an environment for contemplating peace and the harmony of body and mind.
A sculpture titled Year of the Dragon 2012 is one of the installation’s centerpieces. Thick, marine mooring line snaking around a column evokes the spirit of the dragon. Sections of the rope are covered with beeswax and earth. Sprigs of juniper add scent. The rope references Hong Kong’s importance as a trading post and harbor, which has led to the exchange of ideas between cultures.
Jyoti Duwadi, born into a family of poets and writers, was exposed art and literature while growing up in Darjeeling, Varanasi, and Kathmandu. He moved to the United States in 1971 and lived in Southern California where he began making and exhibiting multi-media work that synthesized his South Asian roots with modern and contemporary Western art. The artist has since traveled extensively, incorporating ideas, images and materials that contribute to a vibrant and diverse body of work. Moving freely among different media—sculpture, painting, video, installation, and digital art—Duwadi maintains an intimate relationship with nature and the cultures of both North America and Nepal. The artist currently divides his time between his studio in Bellingham, Washington, in the United States and Kathmandu, Nepal, where he pioneered public art installations that address political and environmental issues.
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