Virginia Mak. Countenance
‘Countenance’ – be it one’s face, one’s expression – is a word we quickly associate with 19th Century poetry. Take this excerpt from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famed ‘Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie’.
‘At the helm sat a youth, with countenance thoughtful and careworn.
Dark and neglected locks overshadowed his brow, and a sadness
Somewhat beyond his years on his face was legibly written.’
‘Countenance’ is also the title of talented artist Virginia Mak’s latest exhibit at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto.
Mak – who was born in Hong Kong and lives in Toronto – creates work where subjects’ faces intrigue with both their tell-tale positioning, and their fogged-out features. How do these people feel? How do they make me feel?
‘Countenance’, we read on the gallery site, ‘is an on-going series exploring the human face. A face expresses emotion, or predicament. We can recognize a face by the overall shape, or the gestures that accompany it. Even if we were to squint our eyes, thus blurring what we see, we can make out traces of the persona, the potential of a “self”.
‘Countenance’ runs at Bau-Xi Toronto until June 30th, 2022. You can also see the works online.
Header: Virginia Mak. Countenance 04