To Set Fire and Stir Wind Carol Lee Mei Kuen
11 Mar - 17 Apr, 2004 | 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

March 2004, Hong Kong--Highly awarded Carol Lee is a Hong Kong artist that does not cease to have new ideas nor cease in creating them.  Walking through her studio is like walking into a realm of imagination.  Her themes vary on, sometimes, political topics such as globalization or the tragic events of 9/11 or the SARS epidemic to her childhood games.  Her styles and mediums are in a constant search and influx of experimentation of materials and applied usage.  Her current mania is burnt paper and she has created a series of works that play on this obsession to be shown at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery March 11-April 17th, 2004.

The Chinese idiom “To set fire and stir wind” has the meaning of to arouse or to instigate a person’s emotional state so that it undergoes drastic changes.  As Carol Lee states, “To use this idiom as the title my exhibition, I hope to stir up the emotions of the viewers in much the same way as the medium that I have chose in my paintings. “To set fire and stir wind” can be construed in a literal sense where burnt papers are manipulated and collaged to bring about the contents of the paintings in a visual way. On a sublime level, the paintings try to stir up both artist’s and viewers’ inner state of mind concerning the struggles and conflicts that vary between individuals.”

Carol’s canvasses are an array of mystical and beautiful collage.  They seem to float as burnt paper does from a fire and then softly fall to make her compositions.  The works are incongruent in theme alternating from figurative to abstract however, each has a well thought our theme that deals with her thoughts on the world and man’s place within it.

Carol explains, “I have always been fascinated by the mystic power of fire. When watching paper burn, I often find myself caught in a psychological state of emotional arousal that excites my inner struggle and conflict. The desire to allow the paper to burn freely or suppressing before it looses control is almost as paradoxical as it is comparable to the many relationships that I have faced in life, which I still struggle in taming, my sometime, stirred emotion. It is this momentary decision between control and frenzy that I try to address in my paintings.”