Sculpture is an art form stretching across three dimensions. Through carving and modelling, Matteo Pugliese extracts the distillation of time. Demonstrating heterogeneous cultures and diverse regional environments, by a single material, for his audience, the works he creates weaves a multi-dimensional sphere – the Seven Dimensions.
Extra Moenia inherits the representation of flesh from Italian Renaissance tradition, but the men who emerge from the walls, their breathing lungs, their pulsing blood vessels, are showing the contemporary situations of mankind. With theatrical Baroque gestures, as well as epic explosions of depression and rage through muscles expressions, the male figures in his sculptures are crossing and interacting with the reticent wall, which for them, is the origin and also the end, is an obstacle to be overcome but also a reason for their survival. Within the wall, they are struggling with assorted paradoxes, shuttling in the time tunnel and between worldly situations of human. With these elements, Pugliese expands his art into the fourth and fifth dimensions.
The Guardians all bear a husky shape similar to each other. Their strength comes not so much from their physique but rather from their cultural heritage, as reflected in the exotic totems and decorations on their battlefield outfits. Those characteristic ornaments also suggest the impossibility of cultural assimilation, even if globalization and modernization have announced their triumph over the diversity of any kind. To reconstruct and to defend the dignity of each ethnic group, Pugliese attends to every detail in the form and spirit of these guardians, for exploring the cultural root of different regions, and thus opening the sixth dimension in his creation.
Beetles are the incarnation of Pugliese's memories of his childhood. Embedding tiny mementoes or amulets, this series of ceramic works are model-like vivid reproduction of the creatures. Yet, with the inclusion of personalized footprints of reminiscences, Pugliese produces a surreal form of Darwinist evolution, by interface between man and nature from different angles, which brings forth the seventh dimension in his artistic spectrum.
In more than a decade, Seven Dimensions is the second exhibition of the works of Pugliese at this gallery. Through all those years, we see an increasingly dazzling spark of maturity and philosophism in his art. Matteo Pugliese never is the prisoner of the present time and space: he captures the spirit of the past and the future, he transcends between different races and species, via the earthly materials.
Seven Dimensions by Matteo Pugliese
4 September - 3 October 2019
Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, G/F, 20 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong