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The End of the Universe is SOHO 



A solo presentation by Matti Gao | 高宏伟个人展览


Dates: 13-18 December, 2023 

Address: 13 Soho Square, London W1D 3QF 

Preview: 6PM, 13 December, 2023

Thank you.


The End of the Universe is SOHO


A solo presentation by Matti Gao | 高宏伟个人展览

This exhibition primarily focuses on portraits of my drinking buddies. Additionally, a doctoral mentor and a child, with whom I don’t drink. 


When one of my drinking buddies and I feel bored and decide to drink, “the end of the universe” was our code, indicating a trip to Soho in London. We would then joyfully run to Soho, like two kids running to a playground after school.


Why do adults need to drink:


Feng Tang (Chinese poet, best-selling writer) says he can only write when he's reasonably drunk; he also mentioned that if he doesn't drink three “big rounds” with someone, he won't be able to decide whether he can partner with that person in business or not. 


Well, Chinese drinking culture surely has its reasons for existence.


If we have too much repression and concealment, the life inside a person is lifeless, and the soul becomes limp, lacking creativity. (Interestingly, if you think about it, how many great artworks were created under the influence of alcohol, and how many children were conceived by couples after a accident? Or by our deliberate faults?)


All the adult friends I painted for this show asked me how they should dress, sit, or behave before being painted. I simply replied, “Be Yourself”. Only the child didn't ask me; he just did whatever he wanted because he is purely, constantly “himself”. (Of course, the child is not one of my drinking buddies.)


The doctoral mentor is a new friend I got to know, Dr. Ben Anderson, whose researches on "boredom" and "hope" in human geography really generated much spark to my search for the meaning of painting, in particular, portraits. So much so that I have  kindly asked him to oversee and advise on my writings related to this show. He is one of the most leading voices in he field. I am truly grateful for such a recent divine encounter right before I took the courage to paint people, again. 


I hope this exhibition is not only a solo show, but also a start of an ongoing personal research project. I hope to pick up my paint brushes again to study how to help myself, and my sitters, to reduce life's boredom, and increases life’s hope.


We drink, to let go of defenses, to rediscover the true self, to be more human, and able to engage in more sincere, authentic communication with others. We also drink in the hope of getting closer to our true self, and to the truth our souls constant long for.


Painting, for me, is similar to drinking.


Hearing more and more of my drinking buddies told me they feel "bored," I surely feel equally so if not more. So, I decided to revive a bit of my old skills and started painting portraits for them. So my other hope is that “painting a portrait” would be a process of mutual help, healing, and rediscovery of the "true self." 


During the painting process, we would open a bottle or two, then open up our hearts and souls to chat (well, the child only indulged in his reading and completely ignored me…). 


I always feel that when painting portraits, the artist and the model become two mirrors facing each other, slowly peeling through and seeing each other more clearly, even catching a glimpse of something eternal, such as the loneliness and vulnerability of the soul, and a deep longing for love, hope, and truth.


Suddenly, I understand why Freud, Bacon, Auerbach, Bowie, Ginsberg, and many creative minds gathered in Soho in post-war London. I seem to be able to see them pushing limits at the end of the universe in Soho's late nights, where some of the greatest thoughts collided, sparking genuine human affection, fire, warmth, truth, and of course, hope. A lot of hope… 


Perhaps, the end of the universe is truly in Soho.


At the very end (of our own universe and our collective one), we will all face two gates: The gate of eternal love, and the gate of eternal boredom. Is the choice ours? I believe so. Deeply, believe so. 


Love, again. Love, more.



(Matti Gao, 20 November, 2023. Auver-sur-Oise, France)







这次展览名为”宇宙的尽头是SOHO”,主要画的是我的酒友(嗯,drink buddies). 




当我和一个酒友无聊了,要喝酒,“宇宙的尽头”是我们的暗号,就是去SOHO. 我们便像两个孩子一样欢乐的跑去SOHO喝酒了。




冯唐说,他只能喝得差不多的时候(reasonable drunk)才能写东西;他也说过,如果不和某人喝三次大酒,是不会和那个人一起工作的。












一个博士导师,是Dr Ben Anderson,他主要研究人类的”无聊”和”希望”,是人文地理行业的顶级专家。我这次展览是一个画展,也是个持续的个人研究项目,我希望用画笔研究怎么能帮助自己和他人减少生活的无聊、增加生活的希望。






或许,宇宙的尽头,真在soho 🥂 


Love, again; Love, more. 



(2023年11月20日,高宏伟 Matti Gao,写于 Auver-sur-Oise 法国奥维小镇)

Matti Gao 高宏伟

高宏伟(Matti Gao),出生于1989年的中国,现居伦敦。毕业于中央美术学院(CAFA)和中央美术学院附中(2004-2013)。







高宏伟 Matti Gao, born in 1989 in Harbin and currently residing in London, an alumnus of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and the High School affiliated with CAFA in Beijing, where he pursued Fine Art and Interactive Media from 2004 to 2013. 

Gao's practice is a testament to his keen observations of human connections. His common approach involves creating art directly amidst social gatherings, notably during meals and parties. This intentional engagement allows him to capture the essence of his subjects' souls, in his words, as well as the distinctive spirit of each event or circumstance.


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