The Portuguese artist Joćo Penalva is best known for producing both large-scale, atmospheric installations and intimate, often obscure artworks. Through the use of photography, film, sculpture, projection, painting, sound and found material, Penalva persistently plays with ideas of memory, clichés, and the everyday.
For his first solo exhibition at Simon Lee Gallery Hong Kong, the artist will present a selection of new works from Looking Up in Osaka, a series comprising of over 300 photographs of utility poles and cables taken in the Japanese city between 2005 and 2006:
The photographic series entitled Looking up in Osaka (2005-2006) consists an infinite variation of dynamic drawing-like images of lines that race energetically across changing backdrops. These lines at times resemble supple whips, but then in the middle of the intricate interweavings suddenly turn into pathetic, sagging strings. At other times, they look like the clinging vines of parasitic plants that have grown out of control. Others have the appearance of robotic appendages discharging energy.
Joćo Penalva was born in Lisbon in 1949 and has lived and worked in London since 1976. He represented Portugal in the XXIII Bienal Internacional de Sćo Paulo in 1996 and in the XLIX Biennale di Venezia in 2001, and was awarded the DAAD Berlin Artists Residency in 2003-2004. He exhibited also in the Berlin Biennale 2 (2001) and the Biennale of Sydney (2002).
Simon Lee Gallery Website