Kour Pour: “Fallow” Exhibition at THE CLUB

Art

After opening his last exhibition in Tokyo in 2019, Pour traveled around the country, intending to connect with the natural landscape surrounding the island of Naoshima and explore sacred sites and temples in Kyoto. The map paintings in this exhibition are formally abstract representations of these areas using vernacular colour palettes. While these works continue the conversation between Japanese and Western artistic exchange, they also take on new and personal meaning as records of the artist’s travels.

Pour’s return to Los Angeles in April of that same year, following an intensive period of exhibition and travel, marked the beginning of a period of stillness. After his hiatus, new works such as Maranasati, proceeded to address this period of restoration. Continuing the artist’s development of the Persian miniature painting tradition, these works depict images of medical herbs and ointments from Tibetan painting, musical instruments, food and drink from Japanese cuisine, and Tantric symbols floating in undefined spaces. Not dissimilar to yantras, these paintings act as devices to aid in meditation and healing.

A new body of tiger works, displayed here for the first time, draws influence from East Asian ink painting. An ambiguity of origin complicates the easy classification of the imagery as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Such work reveals the ways in which indigenous cultures incorporate foreign elements, which arise new and innovative forms. This obscurity is reinforced in the new paintings, through the various techniques employed and the nature of the tiger as simultaneously distinctive and camouflaged, yet occasionally cute, funny, or even extraterrestrial. These paintings represent enigmatic beings with indeterminate groundings.

This show marks Pour’s first exhibition since his last outing in Tokyo, bookending a fallow period of the artist. His own reemergence is echoed in the tiger paintings; previously hidden away in caves, behind pine trees, and the mountain fog. The tiger now steps forward, leaving its natural habitat and breaking towards a new territory.

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