Makoto Fujimura, Bruce Herman, Dr. Florian Knothe (HKU), Prof. Douglas Kerr (HKU)
10 September 2014 (Wed) - 26 October 2014 (Sun)
University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
The QU4RTETS presents four sets of paintings by Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman, as part of an ongoing artistic collaboration in word, image and music, with composer Christopher Theofanidis and theologian Jeremy Begbie inspired by T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets.
As a rare instance of painting and poetry productively informing one another, the QU4RTETS paintings are created in a form parallel to the spirit and method of Eliot's Four Quartets - sometimes referred to as the "poem for exiles". They resulted from the artists' search for a living voice, through Eliot's poetry, to guide them through experiences of devastation, namely a house fire and tragedies of 9/11 and 3/11. Conceived in the ravages of WWII, Four Quartets demonstrated an artistic, emotional, intellectual and spiritual journey of mediating dark journeys leading to a "still point", which led to the artists' substantive response in painting based on the deep affinities they felt for the realities evoked in Eliot's words. Far from making direct allusion to passages in Eliot's poem, the paintings attempt to find (in Eliot's words) the "objective correlative" between the poet's themes and their own works.
To emphasise the kinship between poetry, painting and music of the QU4RTETS, the gallery includes the recording of Christopher Theofanidis's At the Still Point which echoes the form and spirit of Fujimura's and Herman's paintings. By navigating the borders between the ethereal aspects of abstraction, and theologies of transcendence, the works of the QU4RTETS offer a visual and audial space to contemplate on the Four Quartets - in particular, the search for recalibration and comfort in the midst of tragedies, through the embrace of Christian literary and theological tradition.
Watch the exhibition opening: