Last exhibition of 2015: Un/natural, with Stephen King

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I’m pleased to present my final exhibition of 2015: ‘Un/natural’, a joint show with one of my students – Stephen King*. It runs from 5 December 2015 to 9 January 2-16 at Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong. This follows ‘Connection’ at the Hong Kong Arts Center in June, and ‘The Idea of Man’ at the Rangefinder Gallery in Chicago last month in October.

You might have already guessed from the title image that this is going to be something very different from my normal work.

Our concept for this show (composed of 20 pieces) was to explore the tension and similarity between natural and unnatural elements. Stephen’s images are subjects found in nature that appear almost too regular to be natural, yet with sufficient organic clues that suggest man would lack the ability to create them. My images are the opposite: entirely man-made subjects that are irregular enough to be plausibly organic or natural, but with a similar number of minor visual cues – such as text or machined edges – that suggest what you are looking at cannot possibly be natural.

The line between nature and what we make out of it thus becomes blurred.

Both sets of images have simultaneous elements of harmony and dissonance: in Stephen’s case, it’s the asymmetry that contrasts the calming tones. In my images, it’s the intensity of color that both creates and dominates the overall structure of the image. There is a very strong element of abstraction to both – this is deliberate, to almost completely eliminate any sense of scale. It is a reflection of both the fractal nature of both natural and man-made worlds. In fact, the cognitive boundary is blurred enough that is almost possible for the subjects to be from the same origin.

This marks my sixth exhibition, Stephen’s first exhibition and Alisan Fine Arts’ first foray into photography; up til now they have been representing Chinese artists and were one of the first in the art scene in Hong Kong. My work will be displayed as Ultraprint on canvas, with archival pigment and media; as usual for me, the prints will be made by Wesley Wong of Giclee Art in Kuala Lumpur.

The full press release for the exhibition can be found here.

‘Un/natural’ runs from 5 December 2015 to 9 January 2016 at Alisan Fine Arts, 2305 Hing Wai Centre, 7 Tin Wan Praya Rd, Aberdeen, Hong Kong (+852 2526 1091). Sebastian Turner and
Daphne King Yao
are representing me for this series of images, and all are limited to an edition of eight pieces each. The opening reception is from 4-6pm on Saturday 5 December; I’ll be there and all are welcome – please drop in and say hi if you’re in town.

*Not the author, but no less illustrious – a well known financier in Hong Kong, amongst other things.


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards. All rights reserved


  1. I came here because I saw Stephen King, stayed because of the photo. Very nice

  2. Congrats Ming and Stephen! 🙂 I’ve been following Stephen on Flickr for some time now. I’ve especially enjoyed the River Delta series. I wasn’t sure early on if they were really creative macro shots or large scale aerial photos – I had to see through the entire series until I was sure. Intriguing work.

  3. Lucy March says:

    Congratulations, Ming! I love your abstract work and I`m sure Hong Kong will too.

  4. Congrats! Will you display repros of the displayed works on the Web for those who weren’t able to attend? (unlikely that I will be in HK at the time)

  5. Ming, you are an artist with so much technical know how… an *unnatural* combo… 🙂

  6. John Brady says:

    Congratulations Ming, I only wish I could see it in person. Best of luck with the exhibition.

  7. Jorge Balarin says:

    Sounds very interesting. I like very much the photo that you choosed to illustrate this article. Best wishes !

  8. Fabulous concept. Best of luck MT and Stephen, wish I could see the exhibition….maybe when you take it on international tour 🙂

    From what I have seen just on a PC screen, it is going to be wonderful.

  9. Kristian Wannebo says:

    If the title image is representative of your exhibition,
    and I have no doubt that it is,
    then this will be *very* interesting!

    And I guess your and Stephen King’s images
    will enhance each other!

    I certainly wish Hong Kong was around the corner!

  10. Gerner Christensen says:

    Big congratulations Ming. I am confident the visitors will have quite an experience seeing the photos. I just wish I could go.
    Have great success both of you and all the best.

  11. Praneeth Raj Singh says:

    Congratulations Ming!

  12. clintkapp says:

    Yes, Ming. Congratulations! From the posts regarding the other exhibitions of your work, your efforts, objectivism and superlative work validate the facts and enormous skills in your possession and command. Way To Go, Ming!

    Your presence is a gift to and for all of us and leaves an indelible impression which everyone can benefit from, if they so choose.

    Terima Kasih!

  13. Congratulations! An awesome achievement. – Eric

  14. Wow, that is excellent. I will be in Hong Kong at the end of December. Looking forward to seeing another one of your shows.

    • Great! If you’re there on the 5th, drop by and say hi – otherwise, it’s open for the whole month. And you’re going to find this one completely opposite to IoM in Chicago 🙂


  1. […] of these projects very deliberately and in parallel (Paradise Lost, Idea of Man II, Crucible-un/natural, Anatomy of the Quotidian etc. – there is a complete rundown of my current ongoing personal […]

  2. […] those of you who are in Hong Kong are free tomorrow afternoon – a gentle reminder that my exhibition ‘Un/natural’ with Stephen King opens tomorrow at Alisan Fine Arts. The reception is at the gallery from 4-6pm; hope to meet you there! […]

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