The first thing you notice about Rex’s work is his super bold expressive drawings. This style of drawing is inspired by the old HKC Movie posters;
"In the old days, promotional posters of movies in the cinema were all hand drawn, especially when it came to larger scale ones, no matter how much hard work the painter or illustrator had put in, the features of the characters were always a little off, but somehow that was what I enjoyed looking at the most. Therefore when it comes to drawing I am still trying to mimic that particular style, with a rather raw touch of ink and lines, deliberately mishandling the body ratio, not trying to draw alike the actors, yet aiming to capture the scenes with the most simplistic, direct and punchy way…”
You can really see that inspiration shine through when you know the connection, even more so when you watch the films that the illustrations are from. The artwork is delightful to look at in much the same way as HKC is, Rex appears to have captured the same aesthetic even though it is a completely different format.
His exhibition wasn’t a complete departure however, as he made a series of flick book style animations that work inside a home made machine so that the viewer could spin the arm and keep the animation moving. They worked so well and really allowed to the viewer to keep the joy of the artwork going. He captures the moments perfectly, and because it loops, and the animation isn’t very long, it has the effect of making the scene go on forever, or for as long as you turn the handle anyway.
Here you can see the artwork Rex created along with the animation and then a still from the film which inspired it.
The only thing I would say about this exhibition is that although I love it in many ways, It just doesn’t say anything. Other than his love of HKC and particular things about it like bad dubbing and the fact that people can bleed copious amounts and not die. Other than that he just doesn’t have any point or larger context to the exhibition. This I believe is a missed opportunity, I really like the idea of using HKC in a similar way to how Wu Tang Clan do. They sample sections of the films to build a new message, using HKC’s iconic sound in this case to speak to a global audience and carry their message of freedom from a society that has forgotten them and pushed them aside. Keeping this in mind I really like the idea of of using HKC to comment on society today, speaking out against or in favour of a particular cause. One thing that springs to mind is all the abuse cases coming out of the wood work today, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Michael Fallon to name but a few. HKC often has women challenging stereotypes and punish the boundaries that men set for them, so there will be no shortage of material to use in terms of secondary research.