☰ Jonathan Thomson Art

2021 KARIN WEBER GALLERY HONG KONG
SECOND SKIN PART ONE

Second Skin is a group show by six Hong Kong based artists which turns a spotlight on fashion and explores issues of consumerism, values and taboos.

For the first part of the exhibition I show an installation that comprises a large group of my underwear sculptures.

Women's underwear is a powerful signifier of female bodies and women's lives. When underwear is transformed into sculpture using latex, heat and acrylic it acquires a metonymic structure. The sculpture of the underwear becomes contiguous with the naked female body.

Women's panties are powerfully erotic fetish objects that resonate with all sexes. The finest lingerie promises glamour at the nexus of gender, perfection, celebrity, sensuality and imagination.

When we encounter these objects outside their "normal" context of say a bedroom or a bathroom, we are instantly enmeshed in their narrative potential. How do they come to be there? Are they lost, seduced, abandoned?

Discarded underwear may be framed as subversive and transgressive and fetishised as naughty things representative of illicit sex. It may also have darker connotations or suggest a playful frisson of excitement. As sculpture it also embraces the outrageous theatricality and subversive fun of camp.

For more details about these sculptures please click here.

2021 KARIN WEBER GALLERY HONG KONG
SECOND SKIN PART TWO

For the second part of the show that will coincide with Art Basel Hong Kong I will show a new sculpture that explores whether Is it possible for a monument to be socially inclusive and awake to all forms of racial or social discrimination and injustice, and be free of political associations, yet still be meaningful?

Abstract sculptures may have visual polysemy, but their meanings are necessarily diffuse, and they lack humanity.

This sculpture is based on the Taoist teaching which says that emptiness is potential. A drape that appears to take the form of a human figure but without any figure inside may thus be seen to represent the infinite potential of anybody and everybody. For further information about these sculptures please click here.

2020 ARTSY / KARIN WEBER
OUT OF DARKNESS

Art in the time of COVID. Karin Weber Gallery Hong Kong have partnered with the Artsy online platform to present a selection of my work in an online exhibition called "Out of Darkness".

2019 SLOT GALLERY SYDNEY
GILDED YOUTH

Slot is an independent window gallery space in inner-city Redfern dedicated to bringing art to the street. My exhibition comprising a single small golden statue of a woman set high on a pedestal and a large wall painting of the same image that could be seen by drivers on the busy street, is a rueful reflection on the transience of youth.

2019 KARIN WEBER HONG KONG
SCULPTURE

This exhibition includes work from my "Neon" and "Shadow Sculpture" series, and introduces my "Gilded Youth" series of 1:6 lifesize figurative air-dry clay sculptures that celebrate the casual sensuality of sun, sand, sea and skin that are enjoyed the world over.

2018 HILLSMITH ADELAIDE
SUMMER EXHIBITION

Work from my "Neon Ceramic" series headlined this group show at Hillsmith Gallery in exceptional company with some of South Australia's finest visual artists.

2017 HILLSMITH ADELAIDE
STUDY FOR SCULPTURE

My first exhibition in my home town at Hillsmith Gallery showcasing the acrylic paintings that I make in order to demonstrate the viability of my "Neon Ceramic" series of sculptures.

2017 RARITY MYKONOS GREECE
SUMMER EXHIBITION

Many of my shadow sculptures are inspired by the classical traditions of ancient Greece. It is fitting then that a group of them are now featured at Rarity Gallery in Mykonos. Just like archaic Greek sculpture, these contemorary works celebrate the body as a vehicle for an expression of universal and eternal values, and the principles of harmony, restraint, purity and beauty.

2017 THE FIRM HONG KONG
NEON FLOWERS

Free-form sculptures in neon have been made before but these have all required many points of suspension. My neon flowers are the first free-standing, self-supporting neon sculptures that use the glass tubes as both a structural and a decorative element. These flowers in light that can be turned off at the flick of a switch are "momento mori" and a metaphor for life and love.

2015 KARIN WEBER HONG KONG
THE SUBSTANCE OF SHADOWS

"The Substance of Shadows" takes as its starting point the shadows that are cast by a figure onto itself. This is a new way of image-making. Other artists have used silhouette, outline, or areas of high contrast, but these are the first works that focus entirely on the shadows that a human body casts onto itself.

2015 GALLERIA VINCI HK
THE SILENCE OF SHADOWS

Shadows embody darkness and are often associated with secretive or mysterious things. Shadows are themselves abstract, insubstantial and ephemeral, but their presence adds truth to forms. Shadows give a body substance.

2014 MANDARIN ORIENTAL HK
OPERATION SMILE

This group show raised funds for Operation Smile China Medical Mission, a medical charity that provides free surgery to underprivileged children in China with cleft lips or cleft palates.

2013 CAT STREET HONG KONG
WONDERWORKS

This groundbreaking group show was the first presentation of my work "BETTER THAN SEX" examining notions of value and how we know if anything is any good.

2012 THAVIBU BANGKOK
ATBAB

"All things bright and beautiful" is a celebration of light. All of the works in this solo exhibition employ electroluminescent wire (EL) which is a wire that glows continually along its length when a current is applied to it. It is not as bright as neon but is more flexible which delivers more detail on a smaller scale. In these works the wire is "embroidered" onto sheets of white aluminium composite.

2011 KORKOS HONG KONG
WHITE LINES

The centrepiece of my second solo show in Hong Kong is an installation in traditional glass neon and EL wire called Saint Sebastian: Requiem Lux Aeterna that references the laser guided targeting systems used in modern warfare. Dozens of EL wires are strung from the figure to stainless steel springs attached to the gallery's plate glass front window so that every passer-by is placed in the line of sight position of a shooter aiming at their target. But at the same time these lines of light may also be read as a spirit emanating from the figure.

2011 KOBE BIENNALE
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS

My Kobe Biennale prize-winning work comprises a pair of cloudscapes, each ten metres wide, fabricated in electroluminescent wire hand-embroidered onto aluminium panels.One set of panels comprises a cloudscape in a Western vernacular while the other is inspired by the repeat pattern of clouds found in the visual and decorative arts of China and Japan. The light from the East is reflected in the West and vice versa symbolising the fact that we all live under the same sky.

2011 THAVIBU BANGKOK
WHITE GIRLS

The "White Girls" in Bangkok is the inaugural solo exhibition of the Thavibu Gallery Project Space at Silom Galleria, Bangkok.

2010 KORKOS HONG KONG
WHITE GIRLS

The solo exhibition of the "White Girls" in Hong Kong caused a sensation and prompted extensive public debate about art and censorship in Hong Kong. The South China Morning Post called the exhibition "The Talk of the Town".