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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Edmund de Waal: Cold Mountain Clay

Gagosian / Hong Kong / Art

“I read [the verses] out, wrote them, effaced them, worked on them,” explains the British artist Edmund de Waal, “trying to find the amount of white space around a poem so that the words emerge.” A world-famous ceramicist and author, de Waal combines porcelain, marble, and metals with objects and text to create his own minimalist artistic language. He draws from both Eastern and Western traditions, and in this exhibition pays homage to the Cold Mountain poems, a series of verses by Hanshan, a Tang Dynasty monk. Hanshan wrote his verse on outdoor surfaces—rocks, walls, tree trunks—where the elements took their toll on his poetry. It was a lesson in ephemerality. Likewise, de Waal works here with liquid kaolin (clay suspended in water), first inscribing his image, then effacing it. These “fugitive poems” are his own lessons in introspection and solitude. —E.C.

Gagosian 7/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St, Central, Hong Kong
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