Low Resolution

February 3–March 9, 2024

MOU PROJECTS is pleased to present "Low Resolution," Sophie Varin's first solo exhibition with the gallery as well as in Hong Kong. Featuring a most recent selection of miniature paintings that capture mesmerizing landscapes and uncanny characters as well as two human-sized puppet-like sculptures that serve as custodians to the gallery space, the exhibition beckons viewers on a journey of curiosity and investigation.

A new form of artistic experiment for the artist, a series of long horizontal paintings are unveiled for the first time, encapsulating expansive sceneries and miraculous landscapes. These vistas elicit panoramic views gathered from the summit of a mountain, inviting contemplation and reflection. Evoking East Asian handscrolls by their long, narrow format, the works embrace the aesthetics of shanshui paintings—instead of creating a focal point, they orchestrate lines of sight that invite continuous, linear reading. With vast landscapes condensed into relatively small compositions, the depicted scenery loses much of its intricate details, resulting in the surfacing of the grainy and slightly rough texture of the canvases while creating a subtle, low-resolution pixelation.

In addition to the paintings depicting long horizons, Varin presents a collection of palm-sized landscape paintings. Rendered on a miniature scale, the works demand meticulous examination due to their scale, ensnaring the gaze and compelling viewers to surrender to the captivating allure. Within these intricate compositions, minuscule figures emerge, their diminutiveness and vagueness deprive them of human features, engendering a sense of otherworldly intrigue. Anonymity permeates the paintings, shrouding the tiny characters in a veil of secrecy—they exist as nameless entities, inviting viewers to project their own imagination and motivations onto the canvases. The viewers become curious investigators, drawn into a realm where the actions of these enigmatic personalities tantalize and beckon. Yet, rather than offering a conclusive narrative, the works only construct fragments of mystery, inviting imagination to roam freely. In Exit Plan 1 and 2 (2023), two couples of figures, respectively dressed in green and blue, emerge from a plum-colored mountainous landscape as if attempting to reach a destination or escape from something in the dark of night. The purple background of the paintings adds a layer of mystery, while the uncanny resemblance of the two scenarios invites ingenious imagination, prompting viewers to ponder the motivations behind the figures' need to exit from the mountains. Parallel to her practice as a visual artist, Varin also writes detective novels. Just like how the story in a detective novel unfolds with twists, turns, and rooms for interpretation, the works entice the viewers to speculate and investigate.

In the exhibition, viewers are greeted with two human-size puppets (Welcome Welcome 1 and 2, 2024) quietly reclining against the gallery walls, assuming the roles of both hosts and gatekeepers to welcome the viewers to the exhibition. Seemingly frozen in slumber, they exude a mesmerizing stillness, with their life-size stature in contrast to the diminutive figures found in the small-scale paintings. In juxtaposing the sculptures with the miniature paintings, Varin manipulates viewers' perception of scale, as if one is transported to the enchanted world of Gulliver's Travels (1726) to embark on expeditions through the realms of Lilliput. The exhibition's title, "Low Resolution," carries a symbolism that extends beyond its literal meaning of pixelated or indistinct imagery. It encompasses the notion of modest expectations and a departure from elevated standards by hinting at the absence of resolutions or outcomes. Lingering between fiction, dreamland, and simulacrum, the exhibition presents a world both familiar and unfamiliar. It constructs a space where the boundaries of reality and imagination merge, where the viewer becomes an active participant in the generation of meanings.

About the Artist
Sophie Varin (b. 1993, France) delves into the intricate interplay between human consciousness and the fabric of reality in her miniature paintings and sculptures of enlarged figurations. Engendering nuanced negotiation between the yearning to behold and the inclination to obscure, her paintings and sculptures manifest seemingly mundane vignettes that embody a mesmerizing sense of ambiguity. Often situating tiny characters within intimate, serene landscapes, Varin's works construct a world of mimicry, inviting active inquiry and investigation into possible narratives and plots. In bestowing much importance upon the perceptive faculties of the beholder, she focuses on how curiosity, desire, and fantasy could fabricate and modulate ways of seeing.

Varin received her DNAP from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2015, her BFA from Hunter College School of Fine Arts in New York in 2016, and her MFA from Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam in 2018. Apart from her art practice, she also writes detective stories starring a fictional persona J.P Gutti.

The artist currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.

Artist CV

Low Resolution

February 3–March 9, 2024

Low Resolution

Sophie Varin

February 3–March 9, 2024

Those Who Remember

Blake Daniels

December 16, 2023–January 20, 2024

Choice of Oblivion and Remembrance

Huang Baoying

October 28–December 2, 2023

Dreamers

Sung Jik Yang

September 16–October 14, 2023

Pomegranate

Pocono Zhao Yu

August 5–September 9, 2023

Gravesend

Vilte Fuller

June 24–July 22, 2023

Auto Soma

Harrison Pearce

May 6–June 10, 2023

Broken heart pieces disco ball

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March 18–April 22, 2023

Imagine Yourself a Warrior

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February 11–March 11, 2023

Pause, Arise

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January 7–February 4, 2023

Lime & Tangerine in a Wormhole

Tap Chan

November 12–December 31, 2022

The Love That Moves the Sun and All the Stars

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September 24–October 29, 2022

Interrupted Dream

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July 9–August 20, 2022

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May 21–July 2, 2022

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April 14–May 14, 2022

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January 13–February 12, 2022

Horizon

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August 26–September 25, 2021

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July 8–August 14, 2021

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April 15–May 8, 2021

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February 18–April 9, 2021

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January 6–February 6, 2021

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Mask

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Petals to Pixels

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Dry Clean Calendar

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Cutthroat Kitchen

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March 27–April 27, 2019

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Yang Bodu | Solo Exhibition "Portrait of Space"

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Gong Bin | Group Exhibition "Painting Tiny Times"

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December 23, 2023–January 27, 2024

Katja Farin | Group Exhibition "All Walks of Life"

Pace Gallery

December 15, 2023–January 18, 2024

Vilte Fuller | Solo Exhibition "Corporate Horrors"

Brooke Benington

December 1, 2023–January 20, 2024

Yang Bodu | Group Exhibition "Kong-Fu: Form and Meaning"

Yuan Art Museum

November 25–December 31, 2023

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November 15, 2023

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November 14, 2023

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October 21–November 12, 2023

Xiong Jiaxiang | Group Exhibition "A Way of Crossing Space"

LEVANTART

October 28, 2023–January 20, 2024

Vilte Fuller | Group Exhibition "The Unlimited Dream Company II"

Hannah Barry Gallery

October 7–November 16, 2023

Sung Jik Yang | Group Exhibition "Friends & Lovers"

The FLAG Art Foundation

October 6, 2023–January 20, 2024

Yang Bodu | Solo Exhibition "In the Court"

Tang Contemporary Art

September 28–October 29, 2023

Gong Bin | Solo Exhibition "Bright Daylight"

MOUart

September 24–October 24, 2023

Tap Chan | Group Exhibition "Marginal Notes"

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July 18–October 1, 2023

Zhong Tianyue | Group Exhibition "The Consolation of Clinamen"

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July 15–August 26, 2023

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June 11, 2023

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Yang Dingliu | Solo Exhibiton "Bird"

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Wang Zhiyuan | Group Exhibition "The Sea of Time"

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April 22–August 20, 2023

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