Henry Hu

The Hive Itself a Teacup
June 7th – 24th, 2023

HENRY HU Catalogue

The Hive Itself a Teacup, an exhibition of new paintings and photographs by Henry Hu. This focused presentation spotlights the artist’s continued interest in abstraction as a force that might signify life without directly defining it. Engaged with notions of mysticism, central to his practice is an enquiry into the spiritual end.

Prominently featured in this presentation is Light Jelly Sweet (begun in 2022), an ongoing series in which the artist furthers his exploration into the language and material process of abstract painting, investigating the physicality of the medium. What arises from Light Jelly Sweet, whether on canvas, board, or paper, are testaments of existence as imagined, invented, remembered, and observed.

The initial impression is one of self-generative creation, with vignettes of growth and decay symbolising biological life cycles. The buried fears, the old grudges, the wounded feelings are fused together in these artworks that reach for an understanding of vulnerability, turning inward and examining the subconscious landscape. It is the concept of perception—the perception of a past or a memory, and how we frown upon it—that is at the forefront of what unifies this series.

Henry Hu’s approach is both spontaneous and exact. Limiting his range of tonal palette within each work, the paintings combine a multi-layered technique of paint pours with an ecosystem of raw, earthly materials—mixing sand, gravel, twig, leaf, grass and wood. The process is fluid, but ever precise and assertive. Each element tunnels into, intertwines with the other, constructing an architecture of forms, colours and texture. A delicate manipulation of material that traces the ambiguity of nostalgia. The end result materialises as an account of time, consciousness made visible. At heart, the works are an embodiment of the natural world, to preserve what is fleeting, a piece of reflection, a quiet wonder.