A complex and beautiful series of equine studies exploring the ancient Japanese notion of ‘Shinme’
- the sacred horse.
The tradition of dedicating horses to religious shrines in Japan grew from the belief that divine spirits, or 'Kami', often appeared on horseback. Over the centuries they were gradually replaced, first with statues and latterly with votive tablets. In Shinme, Christian has combined modern Japanese aesthetics with ancient ideas to create his own contemporary interpretation of the art of the sacred horse.
Find out more about the collection in this fascinating short film.
From Christian Hook’s extraordinary Shinme collection we have produced six museum quality limited editions.
The fractured nature of these works refers to the concept of wabi-sabi, a Buddhist influenced notion in Japanese aesthetics that celebrates the existence of imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness as the three marks of existence. The term breaks down into ‘wabi’, defined as flawed simplicity, and ‘sabi’, which expresses the effects of age. Together, wabi-sabi speaks to the changes wrought on a subject by the passage of time, a concept which collectors will recognise as central to Christian Hook’s oeuvre.
The sophisticated printing method used means the piece mimics the surface of an oil on canvas with exceptional authenticity.
Visions combines the influence of Francis Bacon’s twisted canvases with the airy whites and pastel palette of the Rococo. In the original work Hook used pure oils in unusually heavy impasto alongside water-based oils to create his signature drips down the canvas; in this way, tradition and modernity collide to create a dynamic and fragmented image.
DYE SUB EDITIONS
These extraordinary limited edition pieces are created using the complex process of dye sublimation.
16 x 12", Dye Sublimation Print, Edition of 195
In each case the image is adhered to a sheet of aluminium and subjected to extreme heat and pressure. The dyes that created the image sublimate (transform into a gas) and then solidify onto the sheet of treated aluminium. In this way the colours are permanently fused to the metal giving the image a luminous, reflective quality and a high gloss shine which is uniquely durable.
TEXTURED PAPER EDITIONS
Delicate and evocative, SakU and Kaouru offer an innovative and profound interpretation of the equine study.
22 x 17", Textured Paper Edition of 195
In both cases, the original painting was made on Japanese paper incorporating tea stains, kimono patterns, gold leaf and Japanese ink applied with a calligraphy brush. This was overlaid with the figure of the horse itself rendered in ink on a transparent Mylar paper.
The editions have been made using a modernised form of the traditional screenprint method using UV inks in order to reflect the layering process of the originals. This gives a particularly rich clarity and an authenticity of texture to the finished image.
Hook’s paintings have been acquired by important permanent collections including several national galleries. Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, selected his portrait of actor Alan Cumming from over 100,000 pieces in the collection for his list of ‘100 masterpieces’, alongside works from Rembrandt, Picasso and Matisse, confirming his place as a major figure in 21st century art history.
While he has impressed art historians and critics and become a huge draw for serious collectors and investors, Hook has also captured the public’s imagination with a series of entertaining films for Sky Arts who named him as Portrait Artist of the Year in 2014; his celebrated sitters include Kristin Scott Thomas, Fabrice Muamba, Sir Ian McKellen and countless others.