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Exhibition Review

Adia Millett: Painterly echo of mid-20th century jazz

Luke Chapman

Dec 14, 2022

Installation view of Adia Millett: You Will Be Remembered. at Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong (Nov 9 - Dec 31, 2022) 



Adia Millett’s second solo exhibition in Asia You Will Be Remembered. is on view now at Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong. Curated by Jacqueline Francis, the exhibition projects the power of the mid-20th century and modern jazz music exploring the encounter between jazz music and visual art. A collection of 16 paintings - a rare presentation by the artist showcasing paintings alone - is a body of work created while listening to the selected recordings. Millett studied the musical legacies through the creation process, consciously allowing her work to take on a level of transfiguration. The audience is invited to review Millett’s earlier work and lay comparison to this exhibition of paintings, sharing the sensation of musical influence. In the gallery, a curated selection of music plays in the background, enhancing the visual experience. Furthermore, individual music for each artwork is available via the VR exhibition on eazel, expanding the sensory experience even further. 


Mid-20th century jazz music remains one of the most influential languages in the history of the arts. Since then, jazz has evolved and reinvented itself like many other creative arts, it still comes from its original form and is therefore not new as a concept. Contemporary art shares the same ability to echo when handed down again, permeating our everyday lives. Art history and antiquity shares the transient property and ability with music. Each artform provides the know-how to future generations of artists, appreciators, collectors and creators. Music evokes feelings in the same way that experiencing visual artwork can also call on emotions in the viewer. Aligning with the jazz mindset while creating this body of work, the california-based artist invites us to share this experience, encouraging the viewers to interpret the paintings while listening to the playlist. 



"You Will Be Remembered." (Patchwork), 2022
Acrylic and glitter on wood
91.5 x 122 x 4 cm (36 x 48 x 1.6 in.)
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong



Millett’s diverse and experimental range of works are recreations or repurposed ideas of rebirth and memory. In this collection of paintings she further explores the familiar geometric symbols together with newly imagined motifs and reconfigurations while reinventing structural forms that could be considered’ flags’ of love and culture. For Millett, taking a pattern and breaking it is the intentional act of shifting an existing energy into something else. An object can carry the origin of human experience, memory and its history, and a second breath is given to a material or a motif, bringing forth a transcendental occurrence allowing the audience to evoke a new potential and perhaps a more complex feeling. It’s no secret and yet viewers are forgiven for not noticing, fabrics are sometimes upcycled and thrifted from second hand stores or donated by friends. It’s with this ‘new life’ gifted to the materials, Millett underlines a core aspect of the artworks' subjectivity.


The curated selection of work in You Will Be Remembered. does much more than highlight the artist's paintings. Millett’s canvases become continued metamorphism and undoubtedly the subjective depth and sanctity of each individual work takes effect through the entity of improvisational music. A grounding vibe of hope and serendipity present in each individual artwork come together and resonate an uplifting, tangential bond with the audience. 



Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong held the Adia Millett's inaugural exhibition in Asia A Matter of Time in 2020, which is also archived on eazel. The artist's second exhibition at the gallery You Will Be Remembered. is on view until 31st of December 2022.