Canadian-born, Hong Kong-based Peter Yuill is no stranger to the local art scene, having exhibited at favourites Cat Street Gallery and Pearl Lam. He works in “deeply complex geometric abstraction” — intricate shapes and patterns complemented by closed-curve blocks, seeming to echo the way ancient Greek and Middle Eastern thinkers tried to understand the meaning of existence through mathematical and geometric purity. Because of the complexity, doing all the work by hand makes each piece deeply meditative.
But rather than ask him about that, we decided to break with the serious arts goings-on this month and quiz him on a few lighter topics.
What artwork would you most like to live in?
I’d love to live inside Monet’s moody and beautiful Sun Breaking through the Fog, which is my favourite of his Houses of Parliament series.
Interesting! What piece would you put your worst enemy in?
What would I put my worst enemy in? Probably anything by Mr. Brainwash! I just hate that pop-art hype-art trash — it's hella boring. Art that’s only popular because it's popular and valuable because it's valuable enrages me — it’s antithetical to what art is to me. Art should make you feel something, it should be beautiful and engage you. It’s the pure visual expression of the human spirit. Someone trapped inside one of his paintings would be cursed to a boring, hellish existence.
Er, OK… So who in the art world would you most like to have lunch with, dead or alive, and why?
Damn, that's such a hard question, but I think I’d have to choose French artist Moebius. His work was some of the first to really open my eyes as a young person. His sci-fi and fantasy illustrations, like in Heavy Metal magazine, really taught me that there was a big wide world out there, and you were only limited by your imagination. This was revolutionary for me growing up in a small blue-collar town. Even though my work has very little resemblance to that style, I’m still very heavily influenced and obsessed with it. I’d love to have lunch with him because I'm sure he’d just talk about the most insanely amazing things and blow my mind.
What up-and-coming artists do you have your eye on?
There are a few artists I love at the moment. I love the vintage moods of Tishk Barzanji — his colours and spaces take me away to an era that only exists in fiction. I also love the big abstract paintings of Jean-Baptiste Besançon.
Any top tips for surviving Arts Month?
The only way to survive is to plan out a recovery week afterwards and just go full-out and enjoy yourself! There are so many events, parties and exhibitions to go to you might as well just have fun and worry about it later.