• Tbrains_detail
  • Tbrains
  • Cat
  • Tick
  • Tick_detail
  • Cow
  • Cow_detail
  • Giantsoul
  • Giantsoul_detail
  • Dog
  • Dog_detail
  • Lipstick
  • Tshirt
  • Bagface
Art

Goodbye Turdbrains!

Posted by Alex Bec,

Goodbye Turdbrains! is undoubtedly a great title for a show. Unfortunately more often than not, exhibitions with such headlines can be a little hit and miss. But fear not! In this case there should be no such anxiety because hanging and producing the work is the brilliant Mimi Leung.

Mimi is an illustrator at the height of her talents, showing some work created while on a residency in the a central Australian desert. What better prompt to say hello to Mimi, ask her what we could expect, and why it is that everything she makes seems is so unashamedly vibrant.

Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do

I’m an artist and illustrator. Graduated from RCA communication in 2007 and since then have spent a year in Hong Kong making new work and having exhibitions here and there.

Why did you decide to go to Hong Kong in particular – is that where you’re from?

I was born in Hong Kong and have some family there. By the time I finished RCA I was really fed up with London and art in general, I wanted a fresh start on a clean slate. I went to Hong Kong to figure out what I wanted, get to know my family a bit better and explore some new things/people.

What are your drawings of?

They are images of the things around me filtered through my thoughts, my memories and imagination. Everything is a very surreal and pretty mixed up, the colours are urgent and excessive.

Why do you use so many colours? Are you a colourful person yourself?

I spent 2 years at the RCA trying to be clever and making black and white prints so I suppose once I got out I wanted to go nuts. Eventually I found a way of working with as many colours as I wanted. I like colours and the way you can put them together almost arbitrarily, and also maybe because I am greedy – I want everything, all the colours, now. I don’t think I’m a particularly colourful person… maybe after a few drinks.

What work can we expect in the show?

A lot of colour, a lot of silliness and energy. (Though the first time I laid out all the work I felt a bit dizzy and a little sick because of all the colours…) All the work was done whilst I was on a 3 month residency in Yuendumu which is in the desert of central Australia, so landscapes, logs and dead animals mostly.

How did you find out about Yuendumu, and why did you want to go and work there?

I have a friend there and decided to visit. It’s not the sort of place you go to without knowing someone there. I worked at the local aboriginal art centre and learned a lot. I had a lot of time to think and wonder about in the desert. I like to experience things that are quite extreme, and the difference between central London and central Australia is pretty extreme.

How do you make your work?

Everything I do is by hand, I draw everything on paper and colour in gouache. Working on the computer confuses me sometimes cos nothing is really real, and I can’t get very precise control over the colours.

You seem to work in lots of different places, do you find it difficult working in one place?

I get restless… I am restless. I’m bored too easily and have a stupid attention span. If I stay in one place too long I feel stuck. Though increasingly I am getting tired of never fully unpacking my suitcase and forgetting where I left this and that. I would like to have a proper studio and stay there for a while but I haven’t really found anywhere I like enough yet.

Goodbye Turdbrains!
Tenderpixel Gallery London
WC2N 4HE
July 17 – August 10
Tue – Sat 10.30am – 7.00pm

Private View July 16, 6.00pm-10.00pm

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. List

    We’ve already sung the praises of the V&A’s flagship London Design Festival project – Barber Osgerby’s extraordinary reflective installation in the Raphael Cartoons Gallery – but there are some other gems on offer at the spiritual home of the festival.

  2. List

    I have no idea who Mr G.G.Hines is. And yet I am standing surrounded by junk staring at his black leather passport holder. I am transfixed by it; lost in reveries about who he was, where he travelled to and what his handwriting – neat, confident but not fussy – says about him. I am also wondering how his passport came to be here, and the answer to that begins with Dan Tobin Smith.

  3. List

    Three years ago at the London Design Festival, the Bouroullec Brothers transformed the Raphael Cartoons gallery at the V&A by installing a huge textile-covered platform down the centre of the vast room. It became a playful, very human space in the heart of one of London’s most august institutions, and remains one of the most talked-about festival projects of recent years.

  4. Main

    GIFs are usually reserved for that corner of the internet preoccupied with getting a quick laugh out of an easy audience (us included) so it’s surprisingly poignant to see the popular form employed not to show how funny a dog walking on its hind legs can be but to express a more powerful idea. This is exactly what Sofia Niazi has done with her new project Women of WOT. She wanted to utilise the medium to tell the unheard stories of the women forgotten by the War on Terror, but soon found that her project took a unexpected turn.

  5. Main9

    Just when you thought the only time you’d get to see some fruit getting jiggy with each other was the last time you ate a Moam bar, here’s Amelie von Wulffen’s paintings. Amelie’s work is a refreshing, sometimes sinister, sometimes sexual series of water-colour paintings depicting a strange mixture of food and tools interacting with each other as if they were humans – eating ice cream and going to music concerts and the like. As well as reducing mankind down to what it really is – a bunch of ridiculous creatures bumbling around the earth – Amelie’s real success here is bringing dark comedy into the largely unfunny art world, and for that she should be praised.

  6. List

    We’ve long maintained that to really get to know how a creative’s mind works, it’s best to explore their personal work, which often tells you much more than their professional portfolio. Another good example of this comes from London-based identity designer Iancu Barbarasa, who works under the name Iancul, and his terrific new Drawriting project, which “turns thoughts and their letters into visual puzzles.”

  7. Main9

    Co-founders of Dastoli Digital Robert and James were huge fans of Star Wars in the late 1990s, recreating hundreds of images from comics, books and game graphics on Microsoft Paintbrush using the Windows 3.1 operating system. In the run-up to the release of Star Wars Episode VII which will come out on 18 December 2015 they’re releasing an image a day from this seemingly bottomless archive, giving fellow fans a glimpse of their fantastic attention to detail and brilliantly retro colour palette.

  8. List-2

    Anna Valdez is the kind of artist who makes me want to swathe myself and everything around me in layers of tropical prints and geometric patterns and embrace a new sartorial existence as a wannabe art teacher. Her mastery of textiles is so thorough that some of her pieces almost feel like studies, an effect which makes sense considering her academic interests. With a background in anthropology she paints domestic interiors as though they were portraits, with every detail contributing to the overall effect, whether it be house plants, intricately reproduced book covers, woolly jumpers or oriental rugs.

  9. List

    Australian artist Kit Webster is has long been fascinated with the emotional and psychological tricks he can play through the manipulation of sound and light. His new piece Hypercube is a concentric cubic sculpture with a 120-metre LED set-up that can be controlled using specially-created software. The pre-recorded cycles allow Kit to control the viewer’s experience, speeding the cube up to a frenzy and breaking the tension with meditative moments of calm.

  10. Main

    Apologies if this is a slightly dismayed post, but upon thinking I had stumbled across a gem via Nieves’ announcement of some new zines I was excited to be the first to write about Keegan McHargue on It’s Nice That. Alas I was not, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t shout about his brilliance once more.

  11. List

    When I was a teenager I’d have given my right arm for patches emblazoned with the lyrics of my favourite songs. It was the height of cool to be covered in brightly-coloured band paraphernalia (or at least I thought so). German artist Selma Alaçam clearly thought so too as her latest project Heartstrings combines some of her favourite song lyrics from the likes of Fiona Apple and Depeche Mode. The seven woven rugs – based on the traditional kelim, native to Turkey – have been hand-embroidered with bold typographic verses, whose personal importance is known only to the artist. To the rest of us these embroideries are like beautifully ambiguous album covers, enticing you in with their bright, bold colours.

  12. List

    It’s plain to see that Lee Marshall’s artwork is a product of the digital age; his smooth gradients, vectorised objects and figures apparently created in an early version of Corel Draw all evoke the atmosphere of an abstract digital landscape. But Lee’s creations all exist in the real world as paintings, drawings and sculptures, bringing a unique physicality to environments we’d expect to experience on a flat screen. The Norwich School of Art graduate has been perfecting this signature style since his student days, but with an ever-increasing list of group and solo shows to his name we’re expecting more great things from Lee over the coming months and years.

  13. List

    Let’s all give a big round of applause to the people behind Instagram who, in creating a convenient photo-based social media outlet, also paved the way for Instagram artists. If Instagram is the Impressionist salon of our time, then right at the forefront of this digital gallery is Kalen Hollomon, whose own brand of photo-collage is a tongue-in-cheek giggle at both the fashion industry and at commuters in general, and is hugely popular with it.