Press Release “Borrowed of Memory” 2008
Viviane Silvera’s new drawings investigate themes of time, landscape and memory in a unique blend of Asian atmospherics with a grounding in western art historical techinques. Based on her childhood in Hong Kong in the 1970’s, the drawings explore the distinctive landscape of Hong Kong – the Aberdeens and Junks, while journeying through the sometimes clear, sometimes cloudy, provocative paths of personal and appropriated memory. Sources include family photographs as well as anonymous snapshots of Hong Kong in the same time period.
In her drawings, Silvera brings to the surface the fundamental questions of who owns a memory, how does the art of remembering transform an image and how are our memories shaped by and resurrected by imagery?
Imbued with the mystery of dreams these drawings pose intelligent questions in a stunning manner. Silvera’s brilliant pencil fills each page with intensely cross-hatched lines—a graphic way of competing with the photograph’s capacity for detail. Rendered on toned paper, the white hatching provides both a revelatory light and an obscuring haze; the marks serve to both define and obscure the image. Captivating to both the eye and the mind, these works stay in our memories long after we have stopped viewing them.
The artist lives and works in New York City. She was born in Hong Kong and raised in Brazil. She received her MFA at the New York Academy of Art and is on the faculty at the National Academy School of Fine Arts.