Punu Mask (Gabon)
Baoule Ox-mask (Bonu Amwin, Baule, Republic of Ivory Coast)
The Labyrinth
The King Playing with the Queen
The Grand Transparent
Minotaure No. 7
Mythologies: Surrealism and Beyond (3)
Mythologies: Surrealism and Beyond (1)
Mythologies: Surrealism and Beyond (2)
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Surrealism is not easily understood by those uninitiated to this twentieth-century avant-garde art movement

Delving into the unconscious mind was a newly formed science and therapy founded by neurologist Sigmund Freud in the 1890s. He was the founder of psychoanalysis, a set of theories and treatments for studying and treating mental disorders.

In 1899, Freud introduced the theory of dream interpretation as a prelude to understanding the workings of the unconscious mind. He considered dreaming, like breathing, to be an involuntary action, an “automatism” that provided clues to the person’s psyche and unspoken desires. 

The emphasis on dreams as the expression of the unconscious mind gave impetus to Freud’s therapy of allowing his patient to articulate imagery through processes of automatic speaking, writing and drawings without censorship or restraint.

The ideas of automatism impacted a generation of artists living and working in Paris, who sought innovative ideas to stimulate and provoke a new path to creativity.

André Breton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924. In this, he defined Surrealism as psychic automatism.

This exhibition presents masterpieces brought to the city through a collaboration between the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Surrealism’s most iconic works by renowned artists such as Joan Miró, Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Jackson Pollock are on show.

Text & photos Cammy Yiu