Y. M. Kwok was born in Hong Kong and is now based in Toronto . He received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Parsons School of Design.


Chromatic Elevations
March 6 – May 23, 2021

RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present Y. M. Kwok’s solo exhibition with the gallery titled Chromatic Elevations.

In Kwok’s latest body of work, grids of hand-cut photographic prints are assembled in a meditative process. Each work contains anywhere from ten to fifteen thousand individual prints totaling thousands of square feet.The repetitive staggering of materials come together to form a forceful exploration of surface, texture and tonality.

Architectural principles such as Mies van der Rohe’s notion of opacity reverberate and inform many of the optical experiments in the work. Rigid lines dissolve into fuzzy edges upon closer inspection, their porousness recalling the way Mies’ structures minimized the boundaries between the interiors of his buildings and exterior environments. Over the 3 year period of making these intricate pieces, Kwok worked from his office in a Mies building as he photographed the shimmering effects of sunlight reflecting off the tinted glass of the neighboring skyscrapers. The resulting images are a synthesis of nature and the man-made, forming an language of abstraction based on the modulation of colors and density.

As Kwok prints and dissects each image into incremental sections, the elements become discreet and pliable. Removing the image from their architectural index, Kwok converts them to studies of incrementalism. Instead of the industrial scale of architecture the work takes on the intimacy of the studio space as Kwok creates rhythmic interpretations of the grid. The imperfections of the edges belie the hand in the making of the work while the forms themselves become functionless symbols revealing the inner language of Kwok’s practice.

Land’s End
May 13th – June 21, 2017

RUBBER FACTORY is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Alex Kwok with his "Land's End" series.

Land’s End is the edge of the oceans, where the land and the sea collide. These are remnants of relentless conflicts between the two elements. With his feet in the ocean looking back towards the land, Alex photographs an earth under continuous erosion. Like lovers, water confronts the land, water caresses the land, and nevertheless water needs the land. The combination of a close up, rotated frame defines seemingly extraterrestrial landscapes, eliminating the tremendous weight and force of the depicted. Land’s End, thus, is as much landscapes of nature as it is portraits of a relationship between the two forces.

Printed on Japanese rice paper, each photograph is rinsed with the ocean water it is geographically taken in. The photographs are then crumbled by hand and sequently released by the material’s inherent tension. Not only does the crumbling references the subject matter, it simultaneously highlights the print’s tactility. The distorted dimensions of the photographic print speaks to the difficulty in the empiricist desire of measuring. The treatment of the photograph makes it dimensionally variable, the same way the land is in a sublime, permanent, and yet, malleable state.

Installation Shots

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