Gery De Smet: Hidden Signs

Venue: HRD Fine Art
Date: April 1 - May 13, 2023
Hours: Thu 11:00am - 3:00pm / Fri & Sat 11:00am - 7:00pm
Closed: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed (Open by appointment)

HRD Fine Art is delighted to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of Belgian artist Gery De Smet, titled "Hidden Signs," which will go on display from April 1st through May 13th, 2023 at HRD Fine Art. This will be the Gent-based, broadly talented artist's second solo exhibition in Japan.

Gery De Smet, who is actively engaged in exhibitions and projects throughout Europe, is working around the themes of identity, immigration, nationality, and power. Particularly, his interest lies in "invented tradition." Gery De Smet researches the identity of people and demasks the constructions behind it.

In his first solo exhibition at HRD Fine Art in 2021, titled "Causality Unintended," De Smet presented his "photographic" works using pornographic photos cut out from old magazines and the Rune alphabets from ancient Europe, exposing the power and the deceptivity of images. In this exhibition, "Hidden Signs," however, his focus is painting.

Many of De Smet's paintings are based on landscape photographs. Dynamic brushstrokes of acrylic paints and abstract processing of the subjects beget simple but fluid composition, and the resulting paintings carry poesy, which is not unlike traditional Oriental paintings. However, in his paintings, De Smet hides scores of symbolism and allusions related to history and tradition, so that various interpretations are possible. Here again, De Smet explores the "multifacetedness of images," which is what the artist has always been questioning regardless of disciplines and media.

This exhibition includes medium-sized canvases, small square-shaped paintings, as well as works on postcard-sized paper, showcasing his wide repertoire of techniques, while slowly revealing the critical consciousness underpinning all of his creation.

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Artist's Statement

My work often deals with the necessity and misuse of myths, and in doing so, nature and its symbolism is not far away. Furthermore, it asks questions about the relativity, interchangeability and appropriation of history. A quest that could be described as an exploration of invented tradition.

If you take your time, you will discover the affinities between all facets of my work. Often it is not what you see, but it has multiple meanings.

- Gery De Smet

"Parallel Lives" | acrylic on canvas | 50x65cm | 2019

"The Departure" | acrylic on canvas | 50x60cm | 2019

"Wedemaand 1996" | acrylic on canvas | 25.4x25.4cm | 1996

"Bloeimaand 2006" | acrylic on canvas | 25.4x25.4cm | 2006
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