Review: Asian Urban

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In a self-proclaimed ‘supermarket’, you’d expect large quantities, mass production and, inevitably, mass consumption. All these point to diminished quality and artistic integrity. Art Supermarket does not hold to these conventions; the carefully placed shopping trollies and neon signs adorning the entrance are the closest you’ll get to mass-consumerism here. The latest exhibition, featuring French street artist JM Robert, is testament to the ethos here – bringing art into the everyday. Robert shares the space with Coco Chow and her recent oil series, Beyond.

Asian Urban is Robert’s second exhibition in the territory, reflecting on his first impressions of the city during his Hong Kong debut two years ago. The 26-year-old starts with the notions of decay and construction. Rather than laying the ethereal female figures on a blank canvas, broad black brush strokes capture the emotion on their faces, juxtaposed with the vivid colours and sense of haste and urgency, which form the background of his pieces. Everything appears to be crumbling, only to be held together by the fragile, emotive faces in the foreground.

Robert is the perfect artist to continue Art Supermarket’s philosophy. He is already on his way to challenging the often negative perception of street art by demonstrating that a medium which, by its very nature, is inherently fleeting, needn’t be permanently disregarded. Amanda Sheppard

Art Supermarket Until Jul 25; artsupermarketasia.com.

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