Friday, March 30, 2012


The time is nigh.

For the first time ever I'll be flying solo, Angell Gallery is presenting my first solo exhibition this Saturday, March 31st.  The exhibition is a collection of three years of my investigation into atmospheres which first started with Nocturne (2009 - 2010), followed by The Barking Wall (2010 - 2012) (which makes up the bulk of the exhibition), and most recently, We Soon Be Nigh! (2011- ).  There will be a total of eight pieces with one being an installation piece that will be particularly special for the opening...

The exhibition is entitled, Atmospheres, which sounds unoriginal but all too fitting because that is what it is allllll about.  The opening reception is March 31st 1-4pm at Angell Gallery (12 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON) and the exhibition runs until April 28th.  For more info, click here.

I'd like to thank Qian Ma for his insight statement for the exhibition (below).

Dreams, imaginations and memories from long ago. What they have in common is that, while they are all so very visual in their presentation, we can't actually see them with our eyes. They are merely formless mental sensations, synapses firing in our brains. However, that's not to say we can't actually "see" them. In fact, sometimes we probably see them better than anything that's in front of our eyes. What we "see" without our eyes is consciousness in its rawest state, stripped of layers of distractions and no longer needing interpretations. Fear, joy, anger, hope and love—emotions are often not seen by eyes. 

Sometimes, the lines become blurry—you see something so clearly and vividly, for so long, that you no longer know if it was once real, if you've actually seen it or if you just wished it were real. You never quite know what will trigger something to appear in your head—a gleaming ray of light that catches your eye, a sudden scent that surrounds you, the feel of the air at a certain temperature and density on your skin, tunes that pour out of a car that sits idle at an intersection... In his series Atmospheres, which consists of three bodies of work (Nocturne, The Barking Wall and We Soon Be Nigh), Brendan George Ko sets out to document and research in the realm of consciousness, memories and imagery.

From The Barking Wall's possessed eeriness, to the mystery of Nocturne, to the doom that looms in We Soon Be Nigh, the notion of fear, of being afraid and haunted, is present throughout Atmospheres. When you are a little kid, your biggest fear is the bogeyman. As you get older, you are afraid of more real things, something that can actually hurt you. When you grow up and turn into an adult, your worst fear becomes less immediate, it becomes a deep, profound concern or worry of some sort. This progression of fear is reflected in Atmospheres, which, though not a trilogy, mirrors the progression of Brendan's own consciousness. Brendan's fascination, and to some extent, obsession with dreams and memories has more to do with being connected to his emotions than nostalgia. His desire to dig into and then reproduce the imagery in his head is an admirable attempt to turn the intangible into tangible, and beyond that, to examination and analyze his own unrealized spiritual and intellectual capacities.

Within the images of Atmospheres lies a unified visual quality: there's nothing dreamy—sharp, in focus and unclouded. The images are as clear as they can be, some of them glamorous even, but without being loud and shouting. In the background there's always a whisper that lingers, just enough to give you goosebumps. Parallels can be drawn between the cinematic Atmospheres and the late master Akira Kurosawa's last film, Dreams, in that not only both artists based their works (eight short films in Dreams) on real life experiences (actual dreams in Kurosawa's case), but they both also feature bold colors and gorgeous pictures to illustrate something that is gloomy in theory. 

Hope to see you at "The Gathering" this Saturday.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure your solo exhibition is amazing. I would like to see your work in person. On another note, I was thinking...Would you like to meet sometime..maybe for a coffee?

BrendanGeorge said...

it's up for a month and the dry ice smoke didn't work all so well yesterday so it will pretty much be the same any other day as the opening. but with less humans so it might even be better. and sure, shoot me an email.