Night Swims (2017-2021)
“Night Swims Series” (2017-20) is a project which continues my journey to dive into the dark waters of the human psyche. The characters depicted in the paintings reflect a state of feelings including isolation, solitude, uncertainty and fear. The reflections dancing off of the dark waters surface are a symbolic description of these hidden emotions. They mirror the feelings of the characters as if they were like nocturnal animals that are only comfortable to feed and hunt in the dark.
It was my first experience swimming at night in Lantau Island, Hong Kong in summer 2016 which inspired this project. It is here where I swam far away from the artificial streetlights of the Island, where one could observe the horizon of darkness between the sky and sea. Here was an endless darkness with different layers of black colours. This variety of black colours is also a material study for my colour palettes used in this project.
While painting the Night Swim series, I have poured many of my own emotions into the paintings. Whilst we continue to live and persevere through all ongoing and endless trials and tribulations, the character in every body of water is all of us - fighting against nature’s powerful forces of waves and unpredictable currents, with all of our contrasting meagre strength and breathlessness... yet we continue, against the odds.
“She now looked down into this pool or sea in which everything is reflected- and, indeed, some say that all our most violent passions, and art and religion, are the reflections which we see in the dark hollow at the back of the head when the visible world is obscured for the time. “
-Virginia Woolf, Orlando (1928).
“Night had come - night that she loved of all times, night in which the reflections in the dark pool of the mind shine more clearly than by day. It was not necessary to faint now in order to look deep into the darkness where things shape themselves and to see in the pool of the mind.”
Copyright © Corn Shuk Mei Ho. All Rights Reserved.