Husband-and-wife artists Darren Inouye and Trisha Inouye – collectively known as Giorgiko – delve into the nature of peace and the price people are willing to pay to seize it in a startling new exhibition at Hong Kong's WOAW Gallery.
The struggle for peace, sadly, continues to be an issue that the world is still wrestling with. To explore this pursuit of harmony, Giorgiko has tackled the topic in a unique way with their new exhibition titled The Seed of Peace. Running until 25 May 2023, the exhibition features dramatic, one-of-a-kind artworks that rework Biblical imagery into cartoonish yet poignant images.
Organised in partnership with Thinkspace Projects, The Seed of Peace is the pair's first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, featuring 25 brand-new oil paintings and ink drawings. These pieces see child-like characters make their way through scorched lands, tumultuous storms and even wild dogs searching for shelter.
Underpinning this new series of works, though, is the titular seed itself. Taking its inspiration from the story of Christ's self-sacrifice and resurrection, this divine seed acts as a centrepiece that grows into a pure, white olive tree as the exhibition progresses. Standing in stark contrast to the war-torn landscapes and surrounding chaos, this image is a peace offering to the desperate children.
"This exhibition reflects the many small turning points we continually make in our artistic and personal journeys over time," the pair tell the WOAW Gallery. "We drew inspiration from the biblical narrative of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, a story about peace attained through sacrifice.
"We personally have found peace through believing in this story, but we also often succumb to anxiety and the need for control. The Seed of Peace reflects the everyday struggle to allow the story of Christ to give us peace."
It's a sad quirk of logic that peace is often accompanied by death, a theme which once again is represented by the image of the seed. This parallel story runs through the exhibition as the death and rebirth of the seed symbolise the gradual journey towards peace that all generations need to work towards.
"Giorgiko's unique interpretation of this story offers viewers a fresh perspective on the search for peace," the WOAW Gallery explains. "Viewers are invited to contemplate their own sources of peace in temporal and lasting forms. Giorgiko's work reminds us that peace cannot be forcefully taken or manufactured but rather needs to be planted gently."
Darren and Trisha are no strangers to negotiating peace themselves, as their setup encourages them to put aside their egos and work on a solution to their artistic output. Their work often operates with the "affective dimension" of the human experience, and the recurring images of child-like characters and mysterious dogs represent the inherent innocence and calamity of the human spirit and soul.
"Our artwork has always been introspective, like personal prayers exploring the various difficulties within our own lives, or the lives of others around us, or throughout history," the pair conclude. "Oftentimes, we find common threads connecting our artwork as each one is produced, leading to an overall theme that encompasses them for each exhibition.
"For The Seed of Peace, we decided on the theme first and let each subsequent drawing and painting build upon that theme, leading to more cohesive storytelling, repeated motifs, and deeper personal reflection."
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