John Young

6th – 29th November 2003
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Hong Kong born Mel­bourne artist John Young is best known for his Dou­ble Ground” paint­ings, a decade long painter­ly inves­ti­ga­tion which he start­ed in 1992. These works fea­ture a dia­logue between two pic­to­r­i­al grounds: a dig­i­tal­ly print­ed back­ground, with a fore­ground of oil paint­ed pan­els of gener­ic pho­to­graph­ic repro­duc­tions; and recent­ly, of dig­i­tal images which the artist has tak­en of land­scapes, nudes and still lifes. In this exhi­bi­tion, for the first time, the two grounds of the Dou­ble Ground” paint­ings are reversed, the back­ground now paint­ed, the fore­ground now printed.

Sev­er­al of the new works, Rever­sals, draw on the vibrant pat­terns of the ubiq­ui­tous che­quered Hong Kong shop­ping bag, used by a range of peo­ple: casu­al shop­pers, mod­els on cat­walks and in par­tic­u­lar, those seek­ing refuge in oth­er lands, usu­al­ly with their entire life’s belong­ings held with­in these con­tain­ers. Tran­sient souls glob­al­ly seek­ing a place of refuge are the seeds of dias­po­ras. Like the foot that steps on a new shore, these paint­ings hold an impend­ing sense of hope and sanctuary.