Paint it black

20 : 12 : 2016 Empty Gallery : Stephen Cheng : Focus

Hong Kong – The focus is exclusively on the artworks at a new entirely black gallery space shrouded in darkness.

  • Empty Gallery was designed by gallery owner Stephen Cheng
  • It was inspired by Cheng’s study of qigong, a breathing technique that centres around mental focus
Empty Gallery, Hong Kong Empty Gallery, Hong Kong
Empty Gallery, Hong Kong Empty Gallery, Hong Kong
Empty Gallery, Hong Kong Empty Gallery, Hong Kong
Empty Gallery, Hong Kong Empty Gallery, Hong Kong

The immersive blackness of the gallery environment provides respite from the busyness of the city outside. ‘Hong Kong is so fast. The language of advertising is so strong and loud and intense. We’re amped up all the time,’ Cheng told The Art Newspaper.

The only light sources in the space are concentrated on the artworks and offer only a faint glow, invoking a contemplative mood. Cheng explains that this approach ‘helps you give art a chance to communicate’.

The artworks reflect this focus-led approach, with experimental film-maker Takashi Makino’s 3D film Cinéma Concret transforming as the viewer concentrates. The work was made by layering multiple photos on top of each other, creating an initial impression of abstraction, but the more the viewer focuses, the more the images’ components assume a form.

The Big Picture

Artists are making use of darkness as a medium to create introspective spaces where viewers can recalibrate their senses. For more, see our Intro-spectrum design direction.

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