Recent Works
23 Sep - 23 Oct, 2004 | 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

Recent Works by Simon Birch 

September 23-October 25, 2004 Hong Kong-- 10 Chancery Lane Gallery is proud to present new works by Hong Kong’s most talked about and sought after painter, Simon Birch in his show of recent works.

A full time artist, Simon, winner of this year’s Schoeni Asian Art Award, is proving to be a driving force in the Hong Kong art world, with numerous high profile commissions, critically acclaimed exhibitions, and remarkable exposure in local and international media.

Most recently Birch has returned from a huge solo show in Singapore at the Old Parliament House Arts Centre, the only international a painter to have been allowed to exhibit there.  He was also recently invited to join a prestigious UK group show alongside some of the hottest contemporary British artists, including Banksy, Jamie Hewlett, James Cauty and legendary New York collective; Faile.

As if this wasn’t enough, he also curated and produced a collaborative project with artists from different fields such as graphic designer Stanley Wong, photographer Wing Shya and, Hong Kong icon, the King of Kowloon, which was displayed in Taikoo Shing, earlier in the year.

Birch paints like everything else he does in life, with passion and intensity. In his large-scale figurative work, the subjects are reduced to an austere minimum, with the removal of context, giving an ambiguous intimacy and tension to the work. Birch paints with confident strokes, betraying a restless energy, from which emerge richness and an obvious dedication and labour. The careful evolution of the space is unmistakable: flat surfaces are covered with paint and thought, informed and intense. He enjoys his figures. They are subjects. Once placed on the canvas, they negotiate tensions of being, becoming and annihilation. These tensions reveal themselves in Simon’s ability to command expressive tendencies in paintwork, mathematical perspectives in representation and the orchestration of an empty theatre, if you will. What takes place is less of a human drama, than clashes of thought, action, emotion, physicality. Those ethereal elements that make painting a little more than the act itself, as most practitioners and scholars would like to believe.

This current series of works represents a series of departures and experiments in figurative painting, as he breaks from realism into a more expressive perception. His talent lies in his energized brushstrokes and hard-edged portraits.  He is insatiable in his drive to discover the depth of figurative painting in a new, yet painterly, way.

Born in Brighton in 1969, Birch began painting at a very early age under the guidance of his parents (his mother is an accomplished painter and art teacher). He has pursued a versatile career, which has included design, entertainment, music and sport, but he has continued to paint throughout his life. He has been resident in Hong Kong since 1997.