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Composition No. 1

“Time and order of events control a man's life more than the nature of these events.”

– Marc Saporta


Composition No. 1 is a group exhibition featuring works by seven artists from Japan and South Korea. These include from Japan, glass sculptor Toshio Iezumi, painter Kan-Zan-Loc and pop and street artist Yoshi47. From South Korea, Composition No. 1 includes prominent contemporary artists Chae Sungpil, Lee Youngha, Oh Young as well as sculptor Hanchul Shin.

Composition No. 1, the ground-breaking experimental novel by Marc Saporta, first published in 1962, consists of 150 opening paragraphs printed on 150 separate sheets of paper that could be shuffled and read in any order. Like the novel, this exhibition is designed to be interactive. Aleatory in nature, there is no beginning, no end. Like the pages within the book, the viewer decides on the order in which the art is to be viewed. In other words, the viewer curates their own experience within the booth and in doing that, each viewer’s experience is completely unique.


There is a communal thread that interconnects these seven artists. It’s not their age, nor their artistic practices, nor in the lives they choose to live, but the very different journeys they chose to embark on and what they encountered along the way. All these things have dictated and shaped who they are as artists today, their unique artistic practices. The communality is in the art, all pieces in Composition No. 1 invite reflection and contemplation, in the depth of meaning that lie within.

A year and a half in the making, this work in 6 panels is the largest work yet by Japanese artist Kan-Zan-Loc. In a practice steeped in the traditions of Japanese art, the artist has devoted much of his practice to the research of pigments: indigo ganryo, lapis lazuli, malachite, azurite, as well as gold and silver used in traditional Japanese art. His goal is to make traditional materials relevant in the narrative of contemporary East Asian art.

About the "Omnias - Spirit of San-Sui"

Omnias - Spirit of San-Sui is a monumental work that took one and a half years to complete. It centers on the philosophies behind Sansui kyo, a classic Zen Buddhist text from the 13th century that stresses the significance of observing, appreciating and living in harmony with the natural world. And like the Japanese Zen gardens that are physical representations of Sansui kyo, where rocks, sand, and gravel are used to create minimalist and abstract landscapes that represent the movement and flow in nature, the artist strives to do the same in Omnias but in a pictoral form. The artwork features a color that appears black, called Koi Ai or Intense Pure Indigo Blue. This color is achieved by skillfully blending crushed natural gemstones like Azurite, Lapis-lazuli, and Mica powder with Sumi-ink, applied layer upon layer, to create the intense saturation seen on the piece. The background color, Azurite, is meticulously baked to deepen the dark-blue color, further adding to the artwork's attention to detail. The artist also uses gold and silver gradients in his latest works, inspired by ancient religious paintings from East Asia, to create a deeper connection with nature, people, beliefs, and Zen philosophy.

The Sansui philosophy is characterized by its asymmetry and the use of scalene triangle composition, which are believed to be forms created by faith and soul. Sansui which aims to create an ideal world by likening sand and stones to the sea and islands, goes beyond simply portraying nature as it exists in reality. Nevertheless, it still emphasizes the importance of observing and appreciating the natural world, and this is evident in Zen gardens, which are designed to replicate natural landscapes in rocks, sand, and gravel and encourage mindfulness and meditation.


Kan-Zan-Loc's motivation for painting is not for himself, but for those who seek healing. He creates art that serves as a pictorial representation of a Zen garden, as he believes that his work has a healing quality to it.

Medium: Gold and Silver coated in Titanium, Azurite, Lapis-lazuli, Mica, Sumi-ink, Resin on 100% Hemp Canvas mounted on Handmade Wood Frame | Dimension: 139.5 x 45.5 cm x 6 panels or 139.5 x 273 cm, 2023

Block Stripe & Form: A New Series

Toshio Iezumi's latest series, "Block Stripe & Form" - a visually stunning series of glass sculpture that undulates, shimmers and transforms under different lighting conditions. Toshio is a master of curves, using flat rectangular sheets of plate glass, fusing them into a block, and then grinding and sanding them to create his signature sculptures.


What is unique about this series is the stark contrast between the undulating surface and the angular sides to these glass sculptures. Gone are the rounded shapes from the “Form” series. Some sculptures stand proudly without the support of a foot or plinth, unsulating surface facing skywards. A second version stands with the aid of a steel base with the undulating surfacing facing forwards speaking directly with the viewer, and a third again with the undulating surface facing forwards is suspended from a wall. Toshio Iezumi finds stripes to be significant, as they create a mesmerizing visual effect that interacts with depth in a unique way. They act as a link between the tangible surface of his sculptures and the alluring illusion of depth seen in paintings, which rely on a vanishing point on the horizon line. As an artist, Toshio strives to create a seamless connection between the surfaces of different art forms such as paintings, photographs, and his glass sculptures.

Medium: Plate Glass, Mirror, Ultraviolet Adhesive

“How I Breathe”


I am waiting a set of waves and see the horizon miles ahead of me.

I take a deep breath and smell the ocean.


I drop myself into deep snow and what I see around is nothing but white.

Only I can hear is my breath out of my heartbeat.


I spin a pottery wheel and feel the texture of earth.

I keep my breath calmly not to be agitated.


I grow vegetables and fruits in the field.

What I hear is breath of plants and vermin hiding in the woods.


I paint one thing at a time slowly and gently.

I consciously breathe new life into it.


Now, would you share how you breathe with me?


Medium: Acrylics, Silicon, Urethane, on Hemp Canvas

Dimension & Year: 130.3 x 97 cm, 2023

3.18 Toshio Iezumi.gif

New to Art Central is Japanese pop and street artist Yoshi47 (b. 1981). For Yoshi47, it took a sojourn in California as an exchange student and bike messenger, a resulting existential crises to discover the conceptual basis for his art. Yoshi47 paints humorous monster characters inspired by the hit Japanese TV series ‘The Laughing Salesman’ by Fujiko A. Fujio. The monsters are mocking us by looking down at us human beings, but at the same time, these monsters are a reflection of who we really are. Yoshi47 is currently busy creating new monsters to be revealed at Art Central.

Yoshi47's latest creation, the 'Modern Twin Fish', marks the artist's debut in the world of surfboard art, and will be showcased exclusively at Art Central, Hong Kong. Departing from his usual canvas and paper mediums, Yoshi47 teamed up with Takumi Suzuki, an enthusiastic young surfboard shaper from the artist's neighborhood, to bring this project to life. According to Yoshi47, the board is a high-performance machine, providing an unparalleled speed and ease of take off that surpasses any other boards he has ridden.


The board underwent a meticulous preparation process before Yoshi47 began painting. First, unnecessary parts were removed, and then the board was shaped and coated with layers of fiberglass on top of foam. Next, it was covered with a black unsaturated polyester resin and then sanded down to create a smooth surface for painting. A second layer of clear-coated fiberglass was then applied, and twin fins were attached to the board. Before attaching the fins, they were coated with 35 layers of fiberglass and black resin. Finally, a clear resin coating was added, and the board was polished with compound to achieve a glossy finish.

Medium: Acrylics, Silicon, Fiberglass, Unsaturated Polyester Resin using US Blanks with Ghost Racks

Dimension & Year: H 182.9 x W 53 x D 5.72 cm, 2023

Chae Sungpil's approach to painting is unique. He does not use traditional methods such as a single large canvas or an easel, but instead employs several angled canvases to allow the painting to slowly and deliberately unfold. The artist's role is to guide and facilitate the process, but he does not dictate the outcome as nature ultimately completes the work. For Chae, the act of painting is a reflexive one, where he "paints himself" and the painting "paints itself".

The outcome of his work can be fluid, reminiscent of natural elements such as rippling water or floating leaves, or grounded, like the flow of dust in a storm. His recurring themes and patterns evoke vivid images of landscapes, ocean beds, forests, and deserts. The materials are allowed to flow freely, while the powerful strokes and conscious intent behind the art are palpable.

"Portrait D'Eau"
Medium: Pigments Naturels Sur Toile

Chae's work has garnered international recognition, his work collected by museums including National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea), Seoul Museum of Art (Korea), Youngeun Museum of Contemporary Art (Korea), Cernuschi Museum (France), and appear in the collections of Government Complex Sejong (Korea), Hôtel de Ville de Paris (France), Shinhan Bank (Korea), BNP Bank (France), Majestic Hotel (France), Citroen (France), KaKao Daum (Korea), and Fnac (France). His work was recently acquired by François Pinault, a renowned art collector and founder of the luxury group Kering.

Chae Sungpil was raised on a small, idyllic island in Korea where nature was abundant and childhood was carefree. He was introduced to the arts of poetry and calligraphy by his grandfather. Growing up as the youngest of eight siblings, he experienced a peaceful upbringing, thanks to his mother's prayers and offerings of water to invoke peace and harmony in their family. As a young adult, Chae pursued higher education in Fine Arts in Seoul. The bustling city provided a stark contrast to his rural roots and led him to develop a sense of solitude and introspection. He realized the importance of maintaining a connection with nature, which remains a guiding principle in his life to this day.

In his artistic vision, Chae Sungpil is guided by Taoist principles of nature and its five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. He views these elements as mutable and views their changes as transitional phases in a mutual creative process.

Chae Sungpil's approach to painting is unique. He does not use traditional methods such as a single large canvas or an easel, but instead employs several angled canvases to allow the painting to slowly and deliberately unfold. The artist's role is to guide and facilitate the process, but he does not dictate the outcome as nature ultimately completes the work. For Chae, the act of painting is a reflexive one, where he "paints himself" and the painting "paints itself".

"Terre Anonyme 210914"

Medium: Terre Et Encre de Chine Sur Toile

Dimension & Year: 100 x 100 cm, 2021

Korean sculptor Shin Hanchul (b. 1958) is known for his gravity-defying spherical polished steel sculptures, which are a beautiful combination of form, texture, and meaning. For the artist, “Spheres are organisms that contain both yin and yang. It's a perfect shape that doesn't have a top or bottom, nor left or right. You have to respect the other groups within society to earn respect for yourself."

These sculptures are constructed of interconnected spheres and appear to be floating or defying gravity. The sculptures are meticulously crafted, with the steel welded together seamlessly to create a smooth surface that adds to their stunning visual impact. They showcase the artist's remarkable skill and imagination, while also inviting the viewer to contemplate their place in the world and the interconnectedness of all things.

Shin will be present at Art Central to personally install two sculptures: one of three spheres of increasing sizes in red and blue suspended from the ceiling and one a collection of interconnected red spheres of various sizes balanced on its stand. Don't miss the opportunity to meet the artist behind these gravity-defying sculptures.

Shin’s works have been collected by a number of institutions in South Korea including: Seoul Museum of Art, Gyeonggi Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, and Incheon Grand Park Sculpture Park.

"Infinite Spheres"

Medium: Stainless Steel, Transparent Color Coating

Thoughts and personal feelings influence Korean artist Oh Young’s (b. 1969) artistic practice. These manifest themselves into shapes and motifs, culminating in pictorial narratives made of signs, noises and murmurs executed in oil on hanji canvas (Korean paper mounted on canvas), a collision between nature and the modern world that invite interpretation and introspection by the viewer. 

Oh Young is an artist who has been in a constant struggle between the inner "I" and the outer "other" for a long time. Through her paintings, Oh Young depicts the psychological anxieties and stress she has experienced, often represented by anonymous characters in unknown and anonymous spaces. The characters are often depicted with blank stares, aimless behaviour, or exchanging glances with the audience outside of the image.

Oh Young uses automatic drawing, a method developed by the surrealists to record characters that instantly come to mind, drawing incongruent objects through the process of collecting, and patching fragments of memories together to create collages of images. This approach to memory as a medium, rather than a tool to recall the past, is a key aspect of Oh Young's practice. By using memories as a medium, Oh Young is able to approach her buried past and create art that explores the complexities of human emotions and experiences.
Oh holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Hochschule fuer Kuenste Bremen, Germany as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Ewha Womans University Fine Art, Seoul, Korea.

Lee Youngha (b.1968) is a visual artist who creates works of art that utilize the lenticular effect to give an illusion of depth and motion. By painting two different images on top of each other, either in oil or acrylic on canvas, he is able to create a dual structure that expands the flat plane of the canvas and adds a new dimension to the image. This technique, which was popular in the 1950s and 1960s in the form of lenticular postcards and toys, allows the image to change and shift as the viewer moves, giving it a dynamic and constantly evolving quality.

In his work, Lee often pairs images that invite contemplation and discourse, such as Barack Obama with Martin Luther King, Mao Zedong with Benjamin Franklin, John F. Kennedy with Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol with Jean Michel Basquiat II, and Rodin's "The Thinker" with a seated Bodhisattva are some examples. These pairings challenge the viewer to consider the relationships between the images and reflect on the meaning behind them, making Lee's work both thought-provoking and visually stunning.

Lee is a highly educated artist, having earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a Master of Fine Arts degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, all from Hongik University in Korea.

His body of work has been showcased at various institutions, including the Schema Art Museum in Cheongju (2012), the Gilhyun Art Museum in Namhae (2011), and the Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul (2000, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1994). Furthermore, Lee's art has been highly sought after and has been featured in multiple auctions.

Featured artworks: "Andy Warhol & Basquiat VII," "Eternal Idol-Audrey Hepburn-III," and "Eternal Idol-Che Guevara" | Medium: Oil on Canvas |Dimension & Year: 37.9 x 45.5, 2023

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