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New exhibit at Aeon Gallery in Richmond explores monkey tree phenomenon

Monkey-like callus on a tree in Singapore thought divine, drew crowds

She Sleeps in Stone by Marc Potts is among the work to be featured as part of “Monkey Tree, Creatures from the Shadows," opening April 7 at Aeon Gallery in Richmond.
She Sleeps in Stone by Marc Potts is among the work to be featured as part of “Monkey Tree, Creatures from the Shadows," opening April 7 at Aeon Gallery in Richmond.

An upcoming exhibit at Aeon Gallery in Richmond will bring shadows to life.

Featuring at least 100 pieces from 31 artists hailing from at least 17 different countries, “Monkey Tree, Creatures from the Shadows” challenged artists to use the medium of their choice, such as inkblots or naturally occurring patterns, to create works that explore the subconscious mind.

The show is based on a monkey tree phenomenon in Singapore in 2007. The discovery of a callus on a tree in Hong Kah appeared monkey-like. Some believed the image to be of divine origin, and the tree drew large crowds to look or pray at the tree.

In a similar sense, Zmiya Mochoruk, an artist and the owner of Aeon Gallery, asked artists to pair faces and meaning with organic shapes by exploring the play between positive and negative space.

“It’s kind of the exploration into seeing things that aren’t there in random patterns,” he said.

“It’s going to be an interesting show. I don’t think any gallery has ever done this before. It’s new ground, for sure.”

The exhibit will open with a reception from 8 p.m. April 7 to 1 a.m. April 8 at the gallery, 10331 Main St., Richmond. The all-ages reception is open to the public with a $5 admission fee. The exhibit will be available to view during gallery hours from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through May 26. For information, visit http://theaeongallery.com/aeon-gallery or www.facebook.com/AeonGallery/.

Opening last year, the Aeon Gallery has a 2,000-square-foot gallery space and also features a tattoo studio, eight working art and design studios, a late-night café and a soon-to-open spirits lounge. This is the gallery’s third large show.

Artists submitted work mainly using ink, with some using oil and acrylics, Mochoruk said.

“People have kind of gone in their own direction with it, which is really what we were looking for,” he said of the upcoming exhibit. “We left everything loose… It’s pretty interesting takes on the theme.”

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