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China Railway Online Magazine

NOVEMBER 2014, SHANGHAI

China Railway Online Magazine

Set within the expansive Shanghai M50, in a quiet corner of the art district is where you will find LWH Gallery. It is small and holds intimate exhibitions. We noted that Lee, the owner of the gallery is friendly and visitors within seem very quiet. The gallery has a unique charm that draws you to explore.

Lee comes from Singapore. He is not an art professional by training. His prior experiences include running wellness centres and a lecturer in a Singapore tertiary institution. He travels extensively in Southeast Asia and around the world, and has a profound interest in social, racial and religious studies. This gallery is his personal interest. Perhaps, it is his “out the loop” of vision and open-mindedness that led him to select and showcase works that have strong emotional appeal and artistic expression. During our visit, the gallery was showing works by two highly acclaimed contemporary Korean artists.

Born in 1975, Ho Yoon Shin expresses his concept of “There is No Essence” through the paper carved sculptures in the form of Buddhas and Guanyins. Each slice of the paper craft is coated and protected by polyurethane. Each slice of paper is painstakingly built together to create an exquisite artwork that possesses strength and stability.

“There is No Essence” series of works is inspired not just only from the Buddhism philosophy, but also contains the essence of the artist’s reflections on the state of the world. When you admired the Buddha sculpture from different angles, it looks solid at times and hollow at another. It seems to suggest that when one looks at any issue or matter, one could try to see it from different angles. This may lead to a deeper understanding of the issues at hand rather than to close one’s mind to a single opinion or perspective.

Born in 1980, the works of Wang Zi Won exudes science and technology. His works is a combination of contemporary sculptures and mechanical engineering. The expression of the human sculptures is serious, evoking a ‘contemplative’ beauty about it. The artist deliberates about the harmonious coexistence of humans and technology from his own experiences.

“Through science and cloning, we are now able to repair and even enhance the human body and prolong its longevity. But how far can we tolerate the inference of science on our body without losing our true self?”, the artist questions. As such the artwork created by Wang presents discomforting issues and questions to the audience. The artist thinks that a balance and harmony between man and science could be achieved through our understanding of religious doctrines.

Lee said that the many years of travelling and his life experience made him realize the inclusiveness of life. The gallery aims to promote compassion, the embrace of diversity. “I hope that through artistic works, we can spread the message and reach out to a wider audience.” As such it is no surprise that many of the works presented at the gallery appeals and resonate with many audience. The interview concluded with him saying with a smile, “My visitors are heaven-sent, it is fate that that we meet.”