Check Out This Cool Couple's Two-in-One Exhibit at Secret Fresh Gallery
Artist couple Brian Uhing and his wife S-Ann Ch’I’s show featuring their independent works at Bigboy Cheng’s Secret Fresh Gallery is arguably the hottest art show on the calendar this month. The two-in-one show is dubbed “Brian Uhing: The Creatures of Swag” and “S-Ann Ch’i: Ikigai Samurai” and will run from November 10 to 19.
Brian Uhing is a Surrealist painter and his work bears a strong Flemish classical influence with a surreal twist. For this particular exhibit, however, Uhing puts his interest of ‘70s gaudy horror culture superimposed with his observation of our society’s obsession with designer labels front and center.
“What can I say! I love these classic monsters of the silver-screen!” he says. “They represent qualities that modern society finds both repulsive and fascinating, pair that up with designer chic and you’ve got a character that not only belongs among us but is emulated.”
The theme is right up Secret Fresh Gallery owner’s alley. Cheng actually has a designer label and limited-edition collectors shoe boutique in the same building.
The exhibit is a playful departure from Uhing’s previous works that already has an international following. His “Girl in Red with Phone” painting took a hammer price of HK$1.375 million (P8.8million) in 2019, while his 2018 work “The Plight of Lady Vanity” was sold for a record-breaking HK$1.625 million (P10.4million). His earlier piece “In the Guerdoners Garden” was also sold for HK$1.5 million (P9.6million) in 2015.
Meanwhile, Uhing’s wife, S-Ann Ch’i is an Abstract Expressionist painter and a sumi-e artist. According to her, the inspiration for this collection “Ikigai samurai” stems from the principal Ikigai which roughly means one’s reason for being, or a convergence of one’s personal passions, beliefs, values, and vocation.
According to a Japanese proverb, “Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” In a country that is home to the world’s longest-living people, the Japanese believe that everyone has an ikigai—a reason for living. Finding one’s ikigai is the key to a happier and longer life, according to the Japanese and LA Times bestselling authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles, as they wrote in their book, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.
“I attempted to capture both a tranquil balance as well as a sense of violence in the work, for I feel that it is crucial to embody both Buddha and Shiva the destroyer in my approach to life,” Ch’i says. “I love manipulating paint, its viscosity, solubility, and flexibility. Every brush-touch movement and paint flow must be fully charged with meaning/purpose, in such a method you have to collect together all the points of the piece that you deem to belong. Each individual stroke, the quality of the line is what captures the form. The emphasis are simplicity, spontaneity, enjoyment and self-expression that stimulates the imagination.”
The exhibit is ongoing at Secret Fresh Gallery in San Juan City. Follow the artists on Instagram @sann-chi and @officialbrianuhing