Gongshi, and the White Cloud



Petra Laaper
& Le Nghi Teng






11 feb – 11 maart 2023
Contour Gallery

The very concept of Gongshi translates into Petra’s sculptural works, alternative embodiments of the scholar’s stone, where four different aesthetic qualities are identified: upright stature, openness, perforations and folding. Along the same lines, the space and floating quality in Le Nghi’s photographic creation is reminiscent of a white cloud. This imagery of white cloud (白云), up and away from the modern world of noises, visually translates into moments of tranquillity and meditation on the transience and impermanence of all things.

Rather than to provoke or break, Petra and Le Nghi seek to show vulnerability that is human and to build bridges and connections among the people and the surroundings. Upon looking at the leather sculptures, gazing through floating cranes, and admiring the semi-transparent prints of faded nature, what questions would you be asking yourself as you let your mind roam free while looking at these photographs and sculptures.


Petra’s work implicitly questions our perceived individuality and independence. Her sculptures in Gongshi poses questions such as:How are we being shaped and formed? Do we really consider ourselves on our own without connections in the world? Petra believes our times asks a different approach; it is no longer a time for fixed and radical views. In her work, she calls for space for flexibility and mobility, open-mindedness, and seeks to look and observe, creating work that encourages a sense of introspection and the softness of dialogue.

images by : Jacqueline Fuijkschot


In Le Nghi’s most recent work, she reflects on capturing the scenes intuitively and spontaneously, setting out on a shoot of sceneries no staging, no planning. Together with this newfound way, Le Nghi incorporates her Chinese cultural and traditional background to her new series. 

The crane, a symbol of happiness and relates to the idea of long life and peace according to Chinese belief, is the link between heaven and earth. After her mother passed away, the crane has become the symbol of Le Nghi’s journey.