Open White Gallery

11–13 September Gallery Weekend
SUN OIL with Charles Laib Bitton, Tadashi Toyama, Martin Aagaard Hansen & Yi Ten Lai
co-curated by Jeffrey


SUN OIL Press release 11–13 SEPTEMBER


HALLESCHES UFER 60, 10963 Berlin

FRI 11.9, 18–22; SAT 12.9, 16–22 & SUN 13.9, 16–20


CHARLES LAIB BITTON (*1985 in Brussels, Belgium) is a painter living and working in Düsseldorf and Brussels. After having studied and worked in spatial design in London and New York, Bitton moved on to fine arts in 2013, studying at the Art Academy Vienna with Erwin Bohatsch and the Art Academy Düsseldorf with Thomas Scheibitz and Koenraad Dedobbeleer. His works have been shown at the Van Gogh Huis Museum in Zundert, Netherlands and Irene Laub Gallery in Brussels, among others.

TADASHI TOYAMA (*1985 in Matsumoto, Japan) is a painter based in Düsseldorf. Following his studies in political science in Tokyo, he enrolled in fine art studies at the Art Academy Düsseldorf studying under Siegfried Anzinger and Enrico David, before graduating under Tomma Abts in 2020. His works have recently been shown in Düsseldorf at K21, Sonneundsolche and during Kunst im Hafen.

MARTIN AAGAARD HANSEN (*1988 in Odense, Denmark) is a painter working and living in Copenhagen. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts under Thomas Locher from. His work has been shown in several shows at Jacob Bjørn Gallery and Charlotte Fogh Gallery in Århus, Denmark, as well as at the the art museums Viborg Kunsthal and Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm.

YI TEN LAI (*1996 in Bailén, Spain) is an artist and performer based in Berlin. Lai studied Visual Arts in Valencia, Madrid and Fine Arts in Berlin under Hito Steyerl. Her work has recently been shown at Kunstsaele Berlin, Barananas in Reykjavík, Iceland and at the Antiguo Hospital Gallery in Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

For more information and high resolution images, please do not hesitate to get in touch!


On the occasion of Art Week and Gallery Weekend Berlin, Open White Gallery presents Sun Oil–a group show with Charles Laib Bitton, Tadashi Toyama, Martin Aagaard Hansen and Yi Ten Lai, co-curated by Jeffrey Grunthaner. The exhibition will be open throughout 11–13 September. Sun Oil speaks to the abstraction of consciousness from technology, the recovery of magic from technique. Throughout the exhibition, space itself acts as a conduit for the experience of a mythic commons. Like the drawing of a sigil, the variousness of human possibility becomes apparent through an arpeggiated language of ritual and symbolism. The works on view protrude, hide and hang, showcasing the experience of meditation in its foundational state. Yi Ten Lai’s daily performance builds on emptiness. Her Materializing in sound, the air is a near perfect melding of sight and site–highlighting human presence while making audible the impossibility of non-being. Tadashi Toyama’s subjects spring from his unconscious. As though rediscovering a bygone tradition, his colorations describe the rudiments of social gatherings, where naturalistic forms blend with spirits and rituals. The works of Charles Laib Bitton are wryly personable. The digital screen cannot capture the warmth of his compositions, the materiality of his textures. Martin Aagaard Hansen’s paintings portray rooms within rooms, a folkloric dystopia where wraiths converse across multiple dimensions. The contours of his lines create a layered atmosphere, like pages torn from a grimoire. In the teeth of technique, there’s the acid light of the commons: an oil dripping from our nuclear sun, so unlike the glow of screens lighting up the darkened attic of our eyes. Traversing urban exteriors, ephemeral landscapes, and portraits, the perspective each artist takes on his or her themes foregrounds a pervasive sense of mystery. This refusal of closure is, in a sense, the moorings of art. There is no audience invoked by these works–apart from the senses of the persons experiencing them.

Text: Jeffrey Grunthaner