Laura Limbourg’s paintings embody a powerful personal experience that has been transformed into shock at the phenomenon of overt sex tourism she encountered while travelling in Southeast Asia, in Thailand especially. Limbourg herself speaks about social contrasts which are not only horrifying but also difficult for Europeans to understand. In countries with a strong Buddhist tradition, religious veneration exists side by side with the depths of human misery, which is redeemed, inter alia, by the slavery of prostitution, to which the local authorities turn a blind eye for economic reasons. Strong local traditional cultures and a captivating natural world are permeated by the devaluation of human life and the meaning thereof. Organised crime is embedded in the system of services offered and masked by the seemingly innocuous forms of supply and demand that tourists find acceptable. Human misery is sold here as a souvenir to visitors from wealthy countries. Laura Limbourg has created her own “narrative language”, in which she subtly combines the attributes and symbols of traditional Asian cultures with references to the visual world of advertising, marketing and kitsch. She unifies them in the manner of a bedaubed painting whose stylistic prototypes are drawn from rapidly drawn travel sketches and watercolour impressions. The original travel or journal records are then used to create larger paintings up on her return home. Asia brought light into the artist’s palette, which had previously been somewhat monochromatically dark, the images more descriptive. The influence of classical ink techniques and the painting on porcelain associated with the region of East Asia is also apparent. The use of watercolour inspired Limbourg to free up her style, to effect a formal reduction, and to introduce a specific “lightness” of painting in transparent layers and vibrant colours, for which she sought the possibility of scaled enlargements. What leaps out at the viewer is a generously expressive elision that captures the emotions being communicated with precisely the vivacity and immediacy in which they involuntarily arose.
The exhibition is accompanied with the bilingual catalog of the same title Hump In Honey, supplemented by an introductory word by curator Petr Vaňous and an interview with the painter.
Curator, texts:Petr Vaňous
Exhibition and book production: Blanka Čermáková, Veronika Čechmánková
Graphic design: Ondřej Šorm
Printing: Tiskárna Helbich, a. s.
Number of copies: 333 pcs / ks