Bildung is Alexandra’s second show with Gallery At Home, and her first solo exhibition. This collection of paintings is inspired by the artist’s recent trip to her childhood home and the notebooks buried within. Spurred on by a sense of nostalgia, old essays became the first building blocks of a journey navigating through the seemingly conflicting aspects of her life experience so far.
Here, ‘Bildung’ is used literally, as in the English cognate ‘to build’, and figuratively, referring to the 18th century philosophy of personal cultivation through harmonisation of the various aspects of the self. In this regard, Alexandra draws on her Chinese roots by incorporating broad calligraphic strokes, and setting them against geometric shapes. Instead of highlighting the contrast between the fluidity and rigidity of this dualistic nature, the overlapping of layers reveal an organic process in reconciling past and present traditions and beliefs. Alexandra’s paintings encourage introspection, and bring about a sense of relief and calm through resolution.
The paintings of Alexandra Yan Wong explore the interplay between the abstract visual and the personal mind. Inspiration most often comes from within, despite appearing as fleeting spectres in the surrounding environment. Her meditative paintings are built through layers of varied materials emblematic of space and time; gestural mark-making allows catharsis.
Alexandra studied German literature and philosophy at the University of Oxford, and these topics have lingered and shaped her artistic practice. In addition to artists such as Rothko, Kline and Park Seo-Bo, she draws influences from the works of Goethe, Schiller, Hoffmann and Jung, amongst others.
Inspired by Jung’s theory on the unconscious, Alexandra’s work relies on instincts and urges. The symbolism and narrative happen as a result, and form the beginning of a journey inwards.