Christopher K. Ho | Work

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Christopher K. Ho
The Pasture

2009
Facial moisturizer on board
6 x 8 inches each

Paintings from the series The Pasture remind how new landscapes replace old. Faint 4 x 6-inch pastoral landscapes by 18th-century painter Thomas Gainsborough appear on 6 x 8-inch boards primed with traditional gesso. Instead of paint, the medium is Advanced Marine Biology Night Solution by Swiss skincare company La Prairie, which developed and built a proprietary above ground aquaculture that mimes the conditions of the deep ocean in order to harvest free-radical-fighting botanicals. (Each painting contains approximately 18ml of the facial moisturizer.) If Gainsborough depicted the British countryside on the eve of the Agrarian Revolution, The Pasture captures landscapes after having passed through capitalism and emerged on the other side.


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Christopher K. Ho
The Sight of Death

2009
Digital print, chine-collé
73 x 91 cm
Edition of 3 + 1 PA

The Sight of Death is a chine-collé print featuring juxtaposed mountains centered on an expanse of off-white mould-made paper, each cropped from a landscape by Nicolas Poussin, whose 1638 painting Et in Arcadia Ego, idiomatically translated “Even in Arcadia, there is Death,” provides the exhibition’s name. “The Sight of Death” is also the title of a book about the two Poussin paintings from which the mountains came, in which the art historian T.J. Clark's advocates slow looking.

 

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CHRISTOPHER K. HO
Lesbian Mountains in Love, 2008
Single-channel split screen high-definition video
43:04 minutes

 

'Lesbian Mountains in Love' is a projection of two mountains side-by-side: Mount Rainier in Washington State and El Popo just outside Mexico City. Depicted in real time, they speak to each other in private, loving tones: "Will you remember to watch for the full moon?"; "Every single time." Before tectonic movement thrust them upward into mountains some 150 million years ago and separated them, before politico-linguistic boundaries further distanced them, they were once of the same landmass. Now they yearn for reunion in a future Pangea. The stillness of the frames—quiet but for occasional wind blowing snow off the summits, subtle climatic variations, and cloud movement—bespeaks the vastness of geologic (rather than historic or even archaeological) time, and belies the lovers' task: erosion will surely decimate them before they converge. 4'34" gaps of silence—an eternity for the contemporary art viewer— separate seven segments of subtitled dialogue appropriated from the seven tragi-romances of novelist Nicholas Sparks' complete works as of 2008: 'The Notebook,' 'Message in a Bottle,' 'A Walk to Remember,' 'Nights in Rodanthe,' 'At First Sight,' 'Dear John' and 'The Choice.'

 

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CHRISTOPHER K. HO
Mondrian Automata, 2009

Watercolor on embossed paper diptychs
18.5 x 39.5 inches (individual panels 13 x 13 inches square)

The paired lozenges comprising 'Mondrian Automata' were by spraying red, blue, yellow, and white watercolor in successive layers onto paper embossed with a grid of .25 x .25-inch squares. The colors were not mixed prior to spraying. The diptychs refer to the point at which landscape became abstraction in the early 20th century, as well as to the more recent theory of emergence, in which a repeated simple rule set—here varying sequences and dilutions of pigment—generates seemingly intelligent, organic form. 'Mondrian Automata' strives to inversely mirror abstraction, a process traced out in 'The Key.'
 

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CHRISTOPHER K. HO
"China #2," 2008
Vinyl letters
variable dimensions
Edition of 3 + AP

The work “Made in Mexico, Created in Mexico” 2008 by Christopher K. Ho, was conceived for being set in a gas station “pemex”, questioning the fact that for producing one needs oil...  It has been shown at two “containers” 墨西哥制造  approches a shipping container as object that circumnavigate the globe rather than as neutral containers for art. On one side of the empty container, vinyl letters spell out “Made in Mexico” in Chinese. On the other, the last character is changed, so as to shift the meaning to “Created in Mexico” (墨西哥制作). The subtle shift, from “made” to “created,” acknowledges the passage of both Mexico and China from production-oriented to invention-based, and also raises questions about their relationship: Are the countries, the two most important emerging economies of this century, partners or competitors (China replaced Mexico as the United States’ largest trade partner in 2005)? What does it mean to have “Made in Mexico” in Chinese on a Mexican gas station? Which country is dominant—China, in whose language the sign is, suggesting that it is by and for a Chinese audience, or Mexico, home to Pemex, its largest company and still partially controlled by the government? And what of OPEC, neither country of which are members?
 Christopher K. Ho is a Hong-Kong born, New York-based artist. He is Assistant Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

 

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CHRISTOPHER K. HO
Thief, 2007

Ceiling-mounted 1/2 inch copper pipe

24 x 24 inches Edition of 3

 

This work was conceived for a an art fair in Miami. Surrounded, even inundated, by art, a helpless viewer might look up ... And see a cry for help become visually manifest. Is it an hallucination? A trick played by a tired mind? Incidental and not immediately legible, “help” and “thief” words aim to occupy, perceptually and literally the fringes of mental space.