Kevin Chin's large scale oil paintings at Martin Brown Contemporary,15 Hampden St, Paddington, will have you pondering as you are confined to home, unable to travel - how do you know if this is really where you belong? That's exactly what Melbourne artist Chin is asking you at his Never Closer art exhibition which opens in Sydney on 14 October 2021. Atmospheric in scale, you may feel a little lost as you wander amidst homely familiar scenes that are unworldly at the same time, and sometimes even upside down.
Blending domestic and wild landscapes seamlessly to create disorienting but comforting new realms that both feel like fond memories and imagined lands, Chin explains, "With borders intensified locally and globally, there's so much attention on who's allowed somewhere, and who isn't. These paintings mix up cultural references to test whether home can be grounded in just a single place - when so many of us connect on all different levels to various parts of the world."
There are clothes drying outside shanties, Zen rock gardens, deserted tropical marketplaces, and iconic suburban houses, set against sweeping landscapes of forests and lakes. These are testaments to the cultural traces we each inhabit in our bodies, through our memories, our experiences, our ancestry, or even just our interests: both individually and through our collective consciousness. Gallery Director Martin Browne adds, "Kevin's new paintings are a contemplative take on the current state of things, perfectly capturing the sense of separation unique to this time. They carry the wistful longing for faraway lands and imagined journeys, that we all feel at times, and especially right now. They embody a dream space that comes with this moment of meditative solitude."
Kevin Chin is the winner of the Bayside Prize (VIC) and the Albany Prize (WA), having been shortlisted in over 20 painting prizes nationally. He has exhibited widely around Australia, with solo exhibitions also in USA, Japan, and Singapore. He was awarded an Australia Council grant to produce this new exhibition which runs from 14 Oct to 7 Nov 2021.