New artwork from Simon Birch
For the last month or so I’ve had a solo show of my paintings up in Hong Kong. Titled Laughing with a Mouth Full of Blood, it was held at the beautifully restored Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, in the bustling district of Sheung Wan, in the centre of the city. Hidden amongst the modern skyscrapers, this 100 year old red brick building is quite at odds with urban landscape.
My management organization Future Industries converted the historical museum into a contemporary art space, constructing a temporary ‘white cube’ gallery inside this unique building (once used as a bacteriological institute and a pathology lab).
After my recent multimedia installation projects, the exhibition was a return to oils and canvas and a continuation of my exploration of the human body in figurative paintings. Tilting into abstraction, mapping the complex intertwining of pain and pleasure aversion and desire, decay and growth. I’ve always been interested in a central investigation of duality, as hinted in the exhibition title, how everything beautiful is tragic as time drags us all in one direction.
This realisation liberates us as we are more conscious of the finite nature of existence, how little time we have to make the most of it. The work, obsessively and intimately exploring flesh and form, partners perfectly with this former scientific institution where flesh would have been explored in a very different way historically.