Kwok Tsui (b.1989, China) lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He graduated with a BA from Belfast School of Art in 2020. Kwok’s paintings are constructed from visual suggestions of belonging, home and borders. These paintings include recognisable but non-specific landscape elements, acting as echoes of remembered places, as well as collective expressions of loss and distance.
Recent exhibitions include ‘BA and MFA Fine Art Graduate Show’ at The MAC (2020), ‘Portrait of Northern Ireland: Neither an Elegy nor a Manifesto’ at Golden Thread Gallery (2021), ‘Emergence IV’ and ‘Future/Forward’ at QSS Gallery & Studios (2021/2022) – and MART Gallery & Studios, Dublin. His latest exhibition, ‘Lands In-between’ was a two-person exhibition with photographer Ben Malcolmson at QSS Gallery & Studios (2022), which includes an essay by acclaimed poet Padraig Regan.
In my painting practice, I explore the theme of displacement and the notion of home. My paintings are constructed from visual suggestions of belonging, locations and borders with recognisable but non-specific landscape elements, acting as echoes of remembered places, emotions and colour palettes. I work at scale, with the intention of representing a shared experience echoing memories through the act of seeing, rather than depicting literal representations through the language of abstraction. The muted and largely monochromatic surfaces of my paintings are composed of many thin layers of paint which reveal traces of each previous existing iteration and identity.
Silhouetted shapes represent a range of associative and representational elements of memory, with attention to detail that solicits time for reflection.
A unified linear visual direction created by brush strokes appears on the surface of my painting, representing the idea of unity and acceptance – everything flows together in one horizontal direction, all belonging and flowing together equally as a group. However, as a painter, in the process of making, my intuition and immediate concern often prevail. In that moment I am no longer able to dictate the painting or the memory, as unseen forces take over.