#STOPGAP2020: A celebration of creativity from Central Europe and Hong Kong amidst the global pandemic

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The opening of this art and design exhibition lends insight into several artists’ experiences with their lives and creative processes during COVID-19.

Images courtesy of Kyna Lee.

Artists respond to the ‘new normal’ in KLIP ART and Arta’s group exhibition, which opened to the public on Friday. Co-presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Hong Kong, #STOPGAP2020 spotlights the talents of 11 artists from Central Europe and Hong Kong. 

The show is as diverse as its featured creators; local culture and reactions to solitude are translated through various mediums, including ink and pencil drawings, collages, oil and acrylic paintings, and innovative technological collaborations. 

Curator Natalia Mota asserts that #STOPGAP2020 offers a glimpse into how artists have adjusted to COVID circumstances: “You can see, through the exhibition, how artists created completely new bodies of work, completely different from their creations in 2019.” 

Polish artists Mateusz Piestrak and Michał Tatarkiewicz express perceptions of their quarantine surroundings in contemporary styles. Specialising in large installation pieces, Piestrak echoes seclusion and travel limitations in smaller canvases; painting, stencils, and photograph development methods are combined to explore artistic intersections between fantasy and reality. 

By contrast, Tatarkiewicz’s realism imitates the quietude of daily life in isolation. Exhibition Director Karolina King compares the dynamic nature of Tatarkiewicz’s earlier work to the stillness of his recent ones. 

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“It reflects really well [what we are trying to show] with this exhibition”, King explained. “I think it’s interesting how very deeply the pandemic affected him and his paintings”. 

Agnieszka Mori, also one of the exhibition’s curators, works in collages to convey her fascination with Hong Kong’s diverse cityscape. Mori found a period of creative inspiration and self-reflection in quarantine, reusing her own graphic design materials to depict isolation in lockdown as well as Hong Kong’s vibrancy: “Being at home [in Poland], I missed it so much, working around here … I found it interesting to play with paper and mosaic techniques to reflect the city.” 

Artwork images and greater insights into the artists’ personal lockdown experiences can be found on the organisers’ website. The exhibition is hosted at PMQ in Central and available for public viewing until 16 December.

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