Women and Children Running (Syria) 2015
Gloss paint, varnish, spray paint and emulsion paint on Fabriano 100/100 cotton paper.
28.5 x 20.8 cm
Phill Hopkins has been invited to represent the UK in the exhibition
‘A Beautiful New World’ at the 2nd Nanjing International Art Festival, China.
The exhibition, curated by Zhu Tong, Yu Ke, Xia Kejun and Eleonora Battiston (Italy),
will feature paintings from Hopkins’ politically charged ‘Syria’ series, that references
the current civil war and the plight of its displaced people.
About the exhibition
A group of active contemporary artists of different nationalities have been invited,
aiming to provide the Chinese art community with a snapshot of the
most cutting-edge western art. As a concept, “contemporary art” is in a constant
state of flux, with a strong sense of time and close connection to society as its
most conspicuous features. “Contemporary art” is not only defined by “modernism”,
but by the feelings artists have for today’s society and life. When artists are
embedded in a certain cultural environment and facing a certain reality, their work
reflects time, spiritual background and social vision. This exhibition provokes
debate on the concept of art, art and public culture, art and philosophy and social images.
Exhibition Theme: A Beautiful New World. Currently, with imbalanced
resources and deteriorating environment, human civilization and technical
development have encountered major problems. These problems are widespread,
covering geopolitical conflicts, wars, racial violence, multi-cultural differences,
ideological conflicts, economic discrepancy, terrorist attacks, and financial
crisis to name but a few. Amidst this world of contradictions, Chinese art is
facing its own: contradictions between traditional and contemporary arts, East and West,
society and individuals. In this era of rapid globalization, the art community is also
confronted with problems such as social issues, resources and environment; how to solve
these problems is the central topic discussed below.
Phill Hopkins writes,
“I can’t think of a time when my work wasn’t influenced by news stories and world events
around me. The work that I’m making at this time reminds me of the work I made in my
late teens, when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were in power. I have a big appetite
for collecting images from the news. In the past I used physical scrapbooks, but now,
I collect digital images on my laptop. I am interested in how we process images, often
of war and conflict, in a domestic setting; trying to make sense of how we encounter,
question and then attempt to make some sort of response.
The works included in ‘A Beautiful New World’ have been made with reference to the
current conflict in Syria, drawing upon images that I have gathered from various
media sources, many in Syria itself. My response to these images and others like them,
is one of utter unbelievable horror. The destruction is completely beyond my understanding.
I am fascinated with unraveling images that come to me via the intermediary that is my
radio, TV and laptop.
The materials I use are, in general, very ordinary; my supplies come from hardware shops
and the things that I find as I'm going about. I am interested in how to depict a 'foreign'
image with every day materials and in my domestic setting. One of the things that grabs me
are the clear blue skies that we see in many of the images above the destruction in Syria;
this is the very same sky blue that I find in a holiday brochure; that's a good dichotomy for me”
A Beautiful New World
2nd Nanjing International Art Festival
16-26 September 2015
Opening Ceremony: 15:00 September 16, 2015 (Invited guests and VIP customers only)
Public Open Day: September 17-26 (accessible to all)
Nanjing International Exhibition Centre
88 Longpan Road, Xuanwu District
T: +86 25 8689 1058