Exhibition The Origins of Our Souls – Art by Pepe Hidalgo and Guo Yan showcases twenty five medium to large scale acrylic paintings by artist Pepe Hidalgo, a renowned Spanish artist living in Delta, BC; thirteen large-scale oil paintings by Chinese-Canadian artist Guo Yan; and twenty five pairs of 8 x 10 inches paintings, of which odd numbered paintings are by artist Pepe Hidalgo, the corresponding even numbered paintings are by artist Guo Yan. Each pair of paintings are the result of the duo’s communication over the language barrier with the help of Hidalgo’s wife Noreen Marte and Guo Yan’s English-speaking friends.
Hidalgo speaks Spanish. Guo Yan speaks Mandarin. They met at an exhibition titled Bridges of Friendship in 2019 at Lipont Gallery, which was organized by the Consulate of Mexico in Vancouver on an annual basis to bring together Mexican artists and local artists of different cultural background to showcase their recent artworks and enrich the cultural life of the community. The two artists’ conversation started at Hidalgo’s painting The Spinners, which is a contemporary interpretation of Diego Velázquez' masterpiece Las Hilanderas (The Spinners).
Shortly after, Hidalgo and Guo kicked off on a year-long collaboration of the twenty-five pairs of paintings despite the language barrier. They considered it innovative soul-to-soul communication. It was revolutionary for both artists’ careers and the results are stunning. The themes of the paintings touch on folklores, cultural symbols, local art scenes, abstract subjects, cityscapes around the globe, spaces that inspired them and so on.
“Although our styles cannot be more different, coincidences keep happening in our paintings, such as the subject matter. We have a common love for classic works that have influenced us throughout our careers. We must admit that each of us is a prisoner of culture. The art education we have received affects us like a brand, which is reflected in our works without fail.” – Guo Yan 2020
During the year-long collaboration, they each finished a body of work prolifically in their own unique styles as well, which are on view together with the twenty-five pairs of paintings at Lipont Gallery from November 10 – 27, 2020