Hong Kong's Gallery Exit presents local artist, Stephen Wong Chun-hei and his solo exhibition, “A Grand Tour in Google Earth”. Using Google Earth, Wong brings viewers on a virtual journey through his paintings. He picked various destinations from around the world to create a variety of breath-taking landscapes, from natural environment to historical sites.
The artist uses 360-degree panoramic images to present a plethora of angles and perspectives, rarely seen in painting. As one enters Gallery Exit, more than 100 postcard-size paintings are featured. These artworks capture scenes, such as Paris’ Moulin Rouge, that Wong encountered whilst wandering around Google Earth.
Stephen Wong Chun-hei / Painting in Hong Kong's nature
Stephen Wong Chun-hei / A Grand Tour in Google Earth: 04 孤高的旅程: 04 (Moulin Rouge)
Wong is deeply inspired by the famous British artist, David Hockney. Throughout the artworks, viewers can see how the Hong Kong artist is influenced by Hockney's bright colour palette, and taking picturesque countryside sceneries as a main source of artistic inspiration. Wong also enjoys exploring Hong Kong's natural beauty found in forests and mountains, such as Shing Mun Reservoir and Pat Sin Leng - then capturing these scenes in his sketchbook. This is a very important theme Wong wants to continue portraying.
“Big Tree Trail” illustrates towering redwoods in a national park in California. Wong combines sections of a panoramic image into a single frame to present an unusual vertical forest landscape.
Stephen Wong Chun-hei / A Grand Tour in Google Earth: Big Trees Trail
“Mount Fuji” is a large five-panel artwork, blending the local artist’s travel experiences to the famous Japanese mountain and new elements in Google Earth. Each panel depicts the iconic scenery at a different time of the day, recreating the experience of going up and down the mountain.
Stephen Wong Chun-hei / A Grand Tour in Google Earth: Mount Fuji in Summer
Another key painting is called “Étretat”. This oeuvre d’art shows the famous white chalk cliffs on France’s northern coastline. These natural wonders were featured extensively by famous 19th century French artists, namely Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Gustave Courbet. Wong always wanted to follow these Masters’ footsteps on a “pilgrimage” of his own. He used Google Earth’s bird’s-eye view to put three of Étretat’s most breath-taking cliffs in the same picture, creating a new perspective of the coastal terrain other artists could not depict in their artworks.
Stephen Wong Chun-hei / A Grand Tour in Google Earth: Étretat
“Mount Akina” is based on Wong’s exploration of scenery through a melange of fiction and reality. The work presents the famous circuit in the Japanese street racing manga, “Initial D”. The location in the manga is based on the actual five consecutive hairpin turns of Mount Haruna in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. With this unique artistic perspective, viewers feel like racing through narrow and meandering mountain roads at night.
Stephen Wong Chun-hei / A Grand Tour in Google Earth: Mount Akira
If interested, Gallery Exit can be visited in person, or by Virtual Tour on Gallery's website. See details below.
"A Grand Tour in Google Earth"
Venue: Gallery Exit. 3/F, 25 Hing Wo Street, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Dates: Now - August 7, 2021
Time: 11am-6pm, Tuesday to Saturday (except public holidays, or by appointment)
Virtual Tour: https://bit.ly/3rC6d7A