Friday, May 3rd, at 5:00 pm, the opening of the exhibition Absence et présence will be launched! This Premiere will unveil the works of artists Verona Sorensen and Kakim Goh, who will share their creations with the public at the Maison de la culture Plateau-Mont-Royal, until June 2nd.
Absence et présence is an exhibition of recent paintings by Kakim Goh and Verona Sorensen. Drawing on the concepts of “absence and presence”, the artists reflect on the dance of life and death, tackling form and formlessness, overlapping the boundaries between abstraction and figuration and articulating memory and experience.
Verona Sorensen was born inMontreal to a Filipino nurse and a West Coast Nordic painter. Her earlier years were spent between the Eastern Townships and Mexico. After successfully completing a BFA at Concordia University with a specialization in Theatre Performance, Verona embarked on her painting career when she was invited to apprentice with the ‘Dormice’ art collective in Florence, Italy. After two years of training in Italy, she moved to Ajijic, Mexico to study encaustic painting. After her father passed away in 2011, she embarked on a journey to India and the Philippines, in the hopes of coming to terms with her grief and the absence of the presence of her father. This series, presented at the maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, captures the colors and textures of her spiritual journey to Asia. In these works, she expresses the layers of her subconscious: the dreams, memories and meditations that offer a space to reconnect with her father. She shares through visual means this continuing personal cyclical journey of growth that transforms absence into presence; separation into unity.
Her paintings are inspired by material and surfaces such as weathered doors and walls that serve as testimony to the passing of time. Imprinted by the beauty of experience, these surfaces parallel the depth and layers of the human existence. Like a lotus flower emerging from the mud, her works acts as analogies of the human condition: the hardships and triumphs, the darkness and luminosity.
Kakim Goh is a Singaporean-born Montreal-based visual and performance artist working primarily in painting and drawing. Born into a family of artists, Kakim’s father was a poet, doctor and nightclub owner whose wanderlust spread Kakim’s youth across Singapore, Malaysia, Vancouver and Cowhead, Newfoundland. At the age of 19, Kakim left Vancouver for Mexico where he studied oil painting, drawing and printmaking processes for five years in the artist colony of San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico. Upon his return to Canada, he complemented his training with a BFA (Major in Painting and Drawing with distinction) from Concordia University in Montreal.
Globalization is a process of expanding hybridization. Within the phenomenon of cultural globalization, previously held notions of biological, racial, linguistic and theological purity are being challenged by the mishmash cross-cultural exchanges of love, lust, values and commodities. In this struggle to adapt to a world that is constantly in flux, are we truly present? Kakim conceived the series of paintings in Absence et présence as improvisations on memory, place, ancestry and the evolution of culture in response to change. The compositions are portrayals of imagined spaces inhabited by family and friends, tone poems to the dead and the living; spaces where ideological battles are waged; the epicenters of pain and desire. Odes to what is loved, lost, gained and sacrificed to the network of everchanging winds.
The opening will be illuminated by the presence of Komang Swijani, native of Bali, who will perform a Balinese dance called Parade amoureuse d’oiseaux.