Kristy M Chan: Binge

12 October - 12 November 2022
Simon Lee Gallery and The Artist Room are delighted to announce a collaborative solo exhibition of new paintings by Kristy M Chan (b. 1997, Hong Kong). On view from 12 October - 12 November 2022, Binge will take place across both galleries’ locations. 
Born in Hong Kong and now living in London, Kristy M Chan’s practice looks at the ways in which environments shape one’s identity. Previous series of work have seen the artist explore feelings of disorientation whilst existing between Eastern and Western cultures through kaleidoscopic colour fields and indistinct figures. Created this summer in London, the paintings in Binge mark a jump in Chan’s practice from the semi-figurative to total abstraction, taking as their point of departure the culture of superfluity and excess that characterises contemporary urban life and behaviour. 
Assertive and dynamic, the nine new paintings in this exhibition continue Chan’s investigation into the relationship between one’s surroundings and selfhood, with a particular focus on overindulgence. Several of the works on view, including Comedown from wind chimes, attempt to process the way boundaries can dissolve in intense relationships, often resulting in excessive amounts of time spent with one person. In this work, icy blue and pale pink colour fields open the painting up, yet a cluster of erratic brushstrokes at the top left of the picture plane disrupt this harmony, transforming it into a visceral, dizzying vista that works to visualise an emotional binge. Other works in the exhibition reference everyday excess more literally - Things left behind can burn so bright was inspired by and takes its title from a line in Undone, an animated comedy drama TV series that the artist binged over the summer.  
Whilst previous works saw the artist traverse figuration and abstraction, the works in Binge abandon figuration in favour of a raw and deep exploration of depth, light, space and colour. Working predominately with oil and oil stick Chan’s painting process, particularly her approach to colour, is deeply instinctive. She compares the process of juxtaposing tones and textures as similar to the Japanese flower-arranging process Ikebana; which promotes the concept of negative space as of equal importance as positive space. These new paintings have also been informed by German Expressionism which placed emphasis on finding inspiration through feelings or ideas over replicating reality, while taking fascination with the conflicted experiences of modern urban life. ‘I look at German painters a lot,’ Chan notes, with reference to Comedown from wind chimes and Everything is louder when you're looking for silence, both created in 2022 and featured in the exhibition. 
On view across both galleries’ locations in Mayfair and Soho, visitors to Chan’s exhibition will be presented with paintings that explore emotional extremes and the conceptual and formal dissolution of dividing lines. Whilst the notion of a binge ultimately holds negative connotations, the artist’s new works are commendably daring in their surrender to total feeling and fearless examination of overindulgence.