Melding the spirit of the Abstract Expressionists with a taste for calligraphic mark making that borders on the gleefully obsessive, Wayne Mok is a painter who wears his influences visibly on his canvas, yet he also poses new questions aplenty in his work.
Born in Hong Kong, Mok is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and of the California College of Arts. He has exhibited worldwide - including "Burning Bright" in London, curated by Rebecca Wilson, director of Saatchi Gallery. His paintings have been featured in publications such as Elle Decoration, GQ, Living Etc, House and Gardens, the Sunday Times magazine and on the cover of Viewpoint. He was also selected as one of the top 20 artists to watch by Art Business News Magazine.
Mixing Western artistic mores with Eastern craft skills, Mok creates.
Born 1962 in Hong Kong.
San Francisco Art Institute. Post baccalaureate certificate.
California College of the Arts, San Francisco. BFA (Painting)
Academy of Art University, San Francisco. BFA (Painting)
Director’s choice award. Spring show 1998
Selected exhibitions/ projects
Spring exhibition. JP Art Gallery, London
Group exhubition. Battersea Art Gallery, London
Insight. JP Art Gallery, London
Saatchi Art presents: Pattern Play. Helms Bakery District, Los Angeles
Installation at Gordon Ramsay’s London House, London
Summer exhibition. JP Art Gallery, London
Installation at Thompson’s Belgraves, London
Studioilse Installation for Vitra/Artek. VitraHaus, Weil-am-Rhein
Before You Go. Jeffrey Meier Gallery, Lambertville
Group exhibition. Kissing In Traffic, London
Wells Art Contemporary. Wells and Mendip Museum, Wells
Group exhibition. JP Art Gallery, London
Cherry Bomb. Jeffrey Meier Gallery, Lambertville
Group exhibition. Blackheath Contemporary Art Galllery, London
Art Karlsruhe. Karlsruhe Trade Fair Center, Karlsruhe
Summer exhibition. Dulwich Contemporary Art Gallery, London
Rumspringa. Jeffrey Meier Gallery, Lambertville
Burning Bright. (Curated by Rebecca Wilson, Director of Saatchi Gallery)
The Churchill, London
The Other Art Fair. The Old Truman Brewery, London
Art auction and exhibition. Dulwich Contemporary Art Gallery, London
Three Painters. Romeo Jones, London
For Always. Everyman, London
Group exhibition. JP Art Gallery, London
A Year In Painting. Victory Gallery, Portland
East West Art Award. La Galleria Pall Mall, London
Mind Wandering Magic. Lloyd Gill Gallery, Weston-Super-Mare
New Artist Fair. The Old Truman Brewery, London
The Other Art fair. Ambika P3, London
Vivid Identities. Victory Gallery, Portland
ArtNW10. Northwest Studios, London
Salon Art Bizarre. La Galleria Pall Mall, London
Group Exhibition. Gallery 118, London
Notting Hill Visual Arts Festival. Tabernacle Gallery, London
Group Exhibition. Gallery Fumi, Porto Cervo
Untitled Art Fair. Chelsea Town Hall, London
Art Bin. South London Gallery, London
Solo Exhibition. Yard, London
Homage To Homage. Pedro Mendoza Paton Space, London
Reflections On Desire. Gallery Fumi, London
This Is About You. The Gallery, Dagenham Center, London
Windows Beneath The Pillow. Il Bottaccio Space, London
Group Exhibition. Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco
Absent/Veiled. (Curator) Big Pagoda Gallery, San Francisco
Hands On/Off. (Curator) Big Pagoda Gallery, San Francisco
Group exhibition. Tecoah Bruce Gallery, San Francisco
Luscious. Club Six, San Francisco
Group Exhibition. Centre Gallery, San Francisco
Opposites. Big Pagoda Gallery, San Francisco
My paintings are series of exploration, not an attempt at perfection or a finite end result. Each series in turn is a new journey rather than the seeking of improvement or betterment. These micro and macro stories are incantations not prescriptions. Art history and personal history meld in each series and in every piece. The down mark of the brush can create a line that resonates with Chinese calligraphy or one that could well be lifted straight from a DeKooning painting. The same mark can denote a musing on love, a question about faith or a moment of desire.
Passion and sense of longing is never far from my creative practice, with desire being a major motivation within my art work and reflection of this desire being apparent on the canvas. My work is inspired by the motivation to create objects that reflect a certain truth, harmony or beauty, with my evocation of the work of others being a part of my desire to possess.
This craving for pleasure and possession is, for me, as much about spiritual interest as it is about human nature, with the struggle to square desire with fulfilment, both physical and spiritual, being at the core of artistic endeavour, faith and philosophy. Repetition on canvas becomes a Buddhist chant and takes on an almost meditative effect in this battle with will, unrequited love and the empty canvas.
This area of desire is such a double-edged sword, at once conjuring up a utopian happiness yet having the potential to deliver only embitterment and disappointment. Spiritual enlightenment has never been mooted as being attainable through giving in to desire, which is only ever seen in the negative in religion and in high thinking. There is an idea that nothing good can ever come from wanting, yet without it we are not human. Without dreams and optimism we cannot create beauty.
My work explores this area through process, examining the catharsis of creation and channelling of energy into work in order to both sublimate and investigate these notions of longing and wanting. As the great philosophers have found, there is no one solution to this question of love, lust and desire or the joy and trouble it brings, but my work will continue making the search, making the marks and creating new stories, one brush mark at a time.