prettygirls flyer

Above Second is proud to present a group exhibition:

“Pretty Girls”


Featuring Original Works by:

Crajes (Spain) Emily Burns (USA) Erika Yamashiro (Japan) Sonya Fu (Hong Kong) 

Yumiko Kayukawa (Japan) and Ray Caesar (Canada)


April 5 – 27, 2013

Opening Reception

Friday April 5 from 6 – 10 PM

Venue: 31 Eastern St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

Above Second  is proud to present a group exhibition featuring the original works of six talented artists: Emily Burns, Yumiko Kayukawa, Erika Yamashiro, Crajes, Sonya Fu, and Ray Caesar.

How are women portrayed in contemporary art? Is it all about seduction? The voyeuristic?  Can women be powerful and independent even when subject to the Gaze?  The psychological effect of the gaze as described by Jacques Lacan is that the subject looses a degree of autonomy upon realizing she is a visual object. In her 1975 essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey uses Lacan’s concept of the gaze to analyze the objectification of women in film, and thus by extension visual art.  Mulvey’s feminist theory questions the objectification of women in art.  But today, with women and men supposedly equals in society, perhaps this objectification can be subverted.

In this group exhibition, all of the subjects are so much more than just “pretty girls.” The artists bring together a multifaceted view of women in contemporary society, showing the diversity of the female form, personalities, desires, and fantasies.

Each artist brings a unique vision and aesthetic to the show. Emily Burns investigates the inner complexities of women through intimate glimpses of parallel environments.  By exposing themselves intentionally, her women explore the vulnerability of beauty.  Yumiko Kayukawa explores the relationship of women and nature, thus exposing the natural power of her subjects.  Her women are strong in the presence of tigers, snakes, and demon –communal with nature. Duo Carla Rendón and Jessica Ruiz, working together under the name Crajes, mix horror-movie grotesqueness with traditionally feminine elements to explore the darker side of the female psyche. Their work explores death, religion, and fantasy in relationship to female empowerment and sexuality. Local artist, Sonya Fu illustrates dreams.  She digitally paints women in surrealist backgrounds exposing their desires and fantasies, but leaving the interpretation up to the audience.  She hopes her characters will cause the viewer to pause and reexamine their perspective on life and everyday encounters. Ray Caesar, a star of the international low brow scene, uses his art to express trauma.  His seductive, powerful, and distorted women are eroticized while at the same time asexual.  He is concerned with the multifaceted personalities of a person, drawing from his own experience suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Meeting together from around the world, and working in disparate styles and mediums, these artists converge through their exploration of the intricacies of female sexuality, beauty, and the gaze.


Ray Caesar (Canada)

Ray is a visual surreal artist and digital painter residing in Toronto, Canada. As he wrote about himself “I was born in London, England on October 26 1958, the youngest of four and much to my parent’s surprise, I was born a dog”. Caesar’s family moved to Canada after “some trouble with intolerant neighbours”.

Graduating from the Ontario College of Art & Design, Caesar went on
to work in the Art and Photography department of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where he has documented various child inflictions in sketches. This gruesome experience has enabled Caesar to create surreal landscapes and models with very detailed photographic textures.

He painted mostly little girls. But accordingly to his words “Actually they are not all little girls. Many of them are little boys too such as the Prince of Truth, Castor and Pollux, Harvest and many of them are boys in dresses (boys were often dressed this way before the 20th century and I had two older sisters that had no end of fun dressing me up). People think I paint pictures of children… I don’t! I paint pictures of the human soul… that alluring image of the hidden part of ourselves… some call them ghosts or spirits but I see them as the image of who we truly are, made manifest with all the objects and bruises that fill the story of each life.”

“My work is mainly about the Archetype of the Divine Child… the Christ figure in all its forms as to me this represents spiritual growth. The children in my work are actually a form of self portrait and as an artist the feminine is a more accurate picture of the nature of the soul… of my soul… that which gives birth to creation.”

The most incredible thing about Caesar’s work is that they are digital. At first glance, they look like paintings but Caesar creates his dream-like images with a 3D modeling software called Maya.



Edition 10 of 10

Digital Ultra Chrome On Archival Paper
183 x 122 cm

HKD $120,000


‘Turning Point’

Edition 6 of 20

Digital Ultra Chrome On Archival Paper 51 x 102 cm

HKD $25,500


‘Death of an Unfaithful Still Life’

Edition 6 of 20
Ultra Chrome On Archival Paper 51 x 102 cm

HKD $26,500

Screen Shot 2013-04-20 at 6.30.20 PM

‘La Chasse’

Edition 11 of 20

Digital Ultra Chrome On Archival Paper 102 x 102 cm
HKD $81,000


Crajes (Spain)

Crajes got together as a team in 2009, and began their wanderings with experimental animation shorts. In time their bonding increased giving place to a more consistent line of work. They are self taught, coming from Psychology and Philosophy studies which became very handy on their later work. Their artistic philosophy always comes from a concept that might
be shown or neglected at the final shape of their work. Crajes considers themselves multidisciplinary. They have done projects that include very different media and have covered pretty much the whole spectrum of techniques including animation, video art, digital art, classic art, illustration, wall painting and sculpture. They have been influenced by many things including movies, comic books, music, and social phenomenon. They try to manifest themselves through their work using imagination to disseminate their thoughts.

Crajes_ Work in Progress

“En Maldad He Sido Formado” in Progress Crajes



“Pink Dress” Emily Burns

AboveSecond_ErikaYamashiro_Vortex_2011_oil on canvas_72.7 x 72.7 cm

“Vortex” Erika Yamashiro


“Pompous” Obscurity Sonya Fu

Yumiko Kayukawa_Sharing_Acrylic and Ink on Canvas_12x20 in. 21,000 HKD

“Sharing” Yumiko Kayukawa


Ray Caesar_La Chasse

“La Chasse” Ray Caesar



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