Rene Magritte exhibition Visit

My Final Major Project for the next 30 weeks will begin with my Final Project Proposal assignment for my MA Photography course. To kick off this first blog I am writing about my visit to an exhibition I attended on the 19th Jan 2018 at the Artistry in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong of Photos and cinema exhibition in Hong Kong of a surrealist Artist Rene Magritte. (The Art Story, 2018)”Surely the most celebrated Belgian artist of the twentieth century, Rene Magritte has achieved great popular acclaim for his idiosyncratic approach to Surrealism. To support himself he spent many years working as a commercial artist, producing advertising and book designs, and this most likely shaped his fine art, which often has the abbreviated impact of an advertisement.”

I’m going to try to produce a book for my final project. I thought it would be worth taking a look at this exhibition for some inspiration or ideas.

Surrealist work is not new to me as I have seen some of the work of Salvador Dali and Rene’s work reminds me of his work. So what did I see at the exhibition? I think one of the things that stood out was how most of the work was displayed in a small print format with a medium size frame such as those below.


Artistree Quarry Bay Hong Kong 2018
Rene Magritte. Small prints – (The Art Story, 2018) Exhibition work at the Artistree in Quarry Bay Hong Kong – exhibition Image was taken by Paul Peach 2018


The False Mirror

At the exhibition, some of Magritte’s work was described as a false mirror and he often appeared with his eyes closed, which represented the inner self-thinking as opposed to the conventional reason for eyes being closed in death or sleep. The exhibition description goes onto say that Magritte believed that the face does not express a person’s real nature, but offers only an appearance” a false mirror”.  This got me thinking about how my photographs of barbershop images are perceived in a general sense as opposed to say a barber or someone who works in the hairdressing industry.

Does a picture of Barber cutting someones hair give you the true expression of what is actually going on in that particular scene, maybe at the time of when the picture was taken the client was really feeling under the weather, or maybe the barber was thinking, I hope there is no one else’s hair to cut today due to tiredness.

We simply can’t say, so maybe a barbershop scene is to some degree a false mirror of the culture or mood of the image taken and even in most cases the result is that the client will feel happier after a good haircut or shave. There are layers to which I can explore with more during the production of a book with the different sequencing of images and reflection of those images and their narratives.

Rene Magritte. (Original Photograph 1925) Private Collection, Courtesy Brachot Gallery, Brussels – Portraits of people with closed eyes,


Rene Magritte. The Giant (Le Gant), 1937, Paul Nouge on the Belgian Coast “The False Mirror concept”, image scaled up for the exhibition – Image of exhibition taken by Paul Peach 2018


Exhibition highlights – Video taken by Paul Peach


The Art Story. (2018). Rene Magritte Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jan. 2018].


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