2022 Packers Prize
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Howard Smith Wharves
About the artwork and sitter
This thoughtful portrait is a result of a sitting that occurred during the 2021 lockdown. Liam Nunan has captured actor, Remy Hii, who grew up in Brisbane, in a reflective moment.
Remy Hii rose to prominence with the miniseries Better Man and has since had global success with Marco Polo, Crazy Rich Asians and Spiderman.
Liam Nunan says during the sitting, “..we indulged in speculations as to how and when life will get back to normal. We also talked about lockdown’s silver-lining – the time to reflect and recharge. An albeit enforced respite from our self imposed timeframe for success. A moment to contemplate who we are when we can not be what we do.
“While I hope to have captured a sense of this sentiment, I mostly worked to capture Remy’s keen mind and his open and generous temperament.”
About the artist
Originally from Brisbane, Liam is a Sydney based actor and artist, who now spends time here every year. He has performed with Brisbane and Sydney theatre companies. Relatively new to painting, Liam won the 2019 Lester Prize and has been a finalist in Darling Portrait Prize and the Brisbane Portrait Prize.
This masterful work by Brisbane raised Liam Nunan of Brisbane raised actor Remy Hii, (Crazy Rich Asians, Marco Polo, Better Man) shows off the artist’s technical ability. The work invites close examination, and we see such care for the surface where Liam has, quite lovingly, articulated this very beautiful surface with fine lines and marks, creating both the sitter and the background.
Remi Hii is a bit of a muse to the art world. There are a collection of portraits of him by Del Katherine Barton in the Art Gallery of South Australia, so he’s clearly someone who is beguiling. And that often makes the best sitter, someone who draws you in. Remi Hi is looking not at the viewer, not at the artist, but across to the side, as though something is holding his mind, in a meditative way.
There is also a sense to which the artist is borrowing from art history. If you think about these complementary colours sitting side by side, the purple and the yellow, creating a halo with this post-impressionist light technique.
The Packers Prize is chosen by the Brisbane Portrait Prize volunteer packers and Brisbane Powerhouse technical crew and staff.
Assistant Director, Artistic Programs
Art Gallery of South Australia
Chief Judge 2022