Plastic bag art on display at CityU Gallery

Michelle Leung

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) Gallery is showcasing a collection of works by the Spanish artist Mr Mario Pasqualotto, who has transformed plastic bags into valued fabrics, ancient stained glassworks and unexpected canvases.

Mr Pasqualotto, born and based in Barcelona, accumulated plastic bags of every colour from around the world for more than a year. He then transformed them into the pictorial elements of his most recent production: a series of boxes of light, presented for the first time in Asia at CityU Gallery.

Mr Pasqualotto takes the game of decontextualisation to its extreme in creating textured Marilyn Monroe collages, plants and abstract graphics. Incorporating cut out names and slogans, he stretches, cuts, flattens, tears and piles the plastic bags into consecutive layers before pressing them between two circles of glass and methacrylate. The compositions then take their final unique and startlingly impressive shape when framed in iron and bathed in illuminating neon.

The exhibition, “Pasqualotto Desire’s Bazaar—Plastic Bags Second Round”, was opened on 29 January by the artist, accompanied by Mr Juan Luis Flores Arroyuelo, Consul General of Spain in Hong Kong; Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, Acting President of CityU; Professor Martin Painter, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, CityU; and Mr James Ng Kam-ming, Chairman of CityU Gallery Management Committee and Executive Director of CityU Extension.

“Chinese artists strongly believe that if you go out to see the world, you will come back a better artist. Today, we don’t have to go to Spain. Spain is coming to us through Mr Pasqualotto’s works of art,” said Professor Richard Ho in his remarks. “I want to thank Mr Pasqualotto and Mr Arroyuelo for bringing a dose of Spanish art and culture to our campus.”

The exhibition is one of several University activities organised to promote Spanish art and culture, as CityU continues to nurture an international campus culture.

Mr Mario Pasqualotto, 54, is an artist of wide-ranging interests and talents. His creative activities utilise plastic in installation and performance art, sculpture, painting, jewellery and graphic art. He first exhibited his work in Italy and Spain in 1975, with subsequent exhibitions throughout Europe.

Mr Mario Pasqualotto will, at 3:30pm on 31 January (Thursday), share with CityU Gallery visitors the concept behind his artworks. He will also demonstrate the production process of his plastic bag art.

Co-organised by CityU’s Department of English and Communication, Cultural and Sports Committee and CityU Gallery, the free exhibition continues until 5 March at the CityU Gallery, 6/F, Amenities Building. Opening hours are 10am to 7pm daily.


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