Duo Solo Exhibition: Ho Sin Tung / Agi Chen Yi-Chieh
16 July - 13 August 2015
Hanart TZ Gallery
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Duo Solo Exhibition: Ho Sin Tung: “Icarus Shrugged”  / Agi Chen Yi-Chieh: “Encoded Islands”


Curatorial Statement


Codes and Fictions

Valerie C. Doran


Hanart TZ Gallery is proud to present this special duo solo exhibition event featuring the works of two exceptional young artists: HO Sin Tung (Hong Kong) and Agi CHEN Yi-Chieh (Taiwan).


Ho Sin Tung’s ‘Icarus Shrugged’ is a composite environment of seven conceptually complex, finely executed works across a variety of media, from drawing and painting to video installation, to create a narrative fluctuation between the fictional and the real.  Like echoes of Icarus, Ho encodes her works with fragmented, doomed tales of people’s attempts to escape the labyrinth of their own circumscribed lives and to reach an elevated plane of connection with an idealised ‘other’—their object of desire—only to end, inexorably, in failure.


何倩彤  《宋冬野四重奏:痛夫人》

Ho Sin Tung   Miss Dong Quartet: Mrs. Tung (Pain)


Colour pencil and ink on paper mounted on board

70 x 92 cm

Agi Chen Yi-Chieh’s ‘Encoded Islands’, makes for a sensory experience that is the polar opposite from that of Ho Sin Tung’s quietly chilling worlds. Chen creates an explosively colourful network of works from series of appropriated cartoon landscapes and machine-made ‘Rotatory Portrait’ installations, inhabited by circular beings formed of concentric rings of colour. These cheerfully colourful, almost cyclops-like forms (which are actually abstractions of cartoon heroes), are both amusing in their child-like simplicity and disturbingly familiar, jogging visual codes embedded in our memory.

United Islands-15 (Minion)

陳怡潔  《連合島-15 (小小兵)》

Agi Chen Yi-Chieh

United Islands-15



Acrylic on Wood

Diameter 40 cm

United Islands-41 (Elsa)

陳怡潔  《連合島-41 (艾莎)》

Agi Chen Yi-Chieh

United Islands-41



Acrylic on Wood

Diameter 40 cm

United Islands-34 (Michael Wazowski, Mike)

陳怡潔  《連合島-34 (大眼仔)》

Agi Chen Yi-Chieh

United Islands-34 

(Michael Wazowski, Mike)


Acrylic on Wood

Diameter 40 cm

The strong difference between Ho Sin Tung’s delicately rendered studies and Agi Chen’s Post-Pop whirlwinds would seem to disallow a connection between the two artists, but a deeper analysis of their work shows tendrils of ontological connection in their conceptual processes. Both artists are engaged in a kind of encoding and decoding of the phenomenal world, which in the 21st century is a hybrid landscape of the real and the hyper-real. As children, both Chen and Ho were fascinated by animated cartoons, which they both confess to watching religiously—but to which they related in very different ways. Agi Chen identified with the heroes—those characters whose power suits of iconic shining colours constitute a kind of embedded moral code for the masses. Ho Sin Tung, on the other hand, identified with the villains—those scheming, yearning souls who stopped at nothing to achieve adulation and power, but who were always doomed to failure.

In their methodologies, both artists are strongly cerebral, using research-led investigation to analyze what one might term the DNA of the fictional and the hyper-real, as a means of leading us back towards an understanding of deeper human truths. Agi Chen’s work is reductive: she abstracts and distils phenomena to their most primary colour sets and then plots complex maps of the way we resonate with this minimalist decoding.  Ho Sin Tung’s work is expansive: she is engaged in a kind of genetic splicing, spinning off infinities of possibility contained within the fictitious and the hyper-real, but then brings these flights of fancy crashing back down to earth. In the end, both Ho Sin Tung and Agi Chen reground us in the human world, reminding us that it is here where all connectivity begins.