Art

Hong Kong Is Pushing Its Boundaries to Become an ‘Artropolis’

 

Hong Kong is always promoted as dining and shopping hot spot, and the city has to transform itself with sophistication because it holds the third place in art market for trading and buying art in the world. The annual art month where Art Basel, Art Central and Asia Contemporary Art Show take place encompassing fine art and contemporary art, one may not also notice Hong Kong Art Festival also celebrates its 45th anniversary this year.  The leading position is further solidified by multibillion-dollar redevelopment project of Western Kowloon Cultural District featuring M+ museum with significant contemporary Chinese art pieces mainly donated by Uli Sigg, it also offers theatres, art galleries, exhibition spaces and park.  Despite of the key events and important auctions hold twice a year, there is a lot more varieties to offer by the visionary art collectors and gallery owners who want to build conversations with art connoisseur, bringing art as an experience to public space.  Hong Kong Art Gallery Association is set to engage and open our eyes by Hong Kong Art Week with different art programs to raise the awareness on the art scene to enrich our life experience and to promote art at local level.

 

Gallery Hopping at Noho

A walk from Central to Hollywood Road, you can surf from traditional white wall galleries with high ceilings inside Pedder Building to interesting space by walking up along Old Baily Street closer to Caine Road. Heading towards Sheung Wan, interesting galleries featuring international artists juxtapose with antiques shops will definitely keep your eyes busy and dizzy!

 

Hanart TZ Gallery

Currently exhibiting Fang Lijun: This All Too World, a solo exhibition of recently paints and prints by the most celebrated Beijing-based artist Fang Lijun.  He turns his honest gaze to the anxiety and pain felt by those living in the midst of a transforming society, shaped by rapid and critical change when China is still undergoing social transformation.  Fang Lijun is characterized by two principle sets of imagery.  The first shows a ‘grand’ landscape among which masses of people are gathered.  Their vision is always broad and passionate with the intention to describe the mind set of a collective society.  His key figures including heroes, every walks of life, beasts or birds are being washed away by the tide of history and become generic masses with the same collective face.  The other main type of imagery is represented by hallucinatory images of multitudes.  People float in a fluid space with their face spinning in a vortex in which the image has no sense of perspective. These people are more violent, greedy and desperate for power.  New-born baby, the future, is threatened and stared by predators.  Within these images, we see the collective social mode wipe of history and culture that twist human nature and produce pack of wolves lacking in personal morals.  On the contrary, the cruelty of extreme individualism and commercialisation is also devouring the ‘future’.  Fang questions the future and show he truly cares about the world. This humble teacher deserves every respect!

 

Contemporary by Angela Li

The gallery is presenting ‘Human Nature’ by one of the most talented London-based Chinese pop artist Jacky Tsai. This exhibition showcases his latest works by using different mediums including Chinese lacquer woodcarving, traditional Suzhou embroidery, porcelain, acrylic on canvases and screen prints.  His works feature traditional Chinese motifs, characters from old Chinese folk tales or super heroes from Western comics to present his concern on current social issues or subject matters.  The artist is able to mix different mediums together, demonstrating his talent and enthusiasm in traditional Chinese craftsmanship, which are both eclectic and visually pleasing. He said to me that ‘When looking at my works, I want people to reconsider one’s self-identity.  I am lucky as I am not institutionalised, my talent can be fully expressed.’  Jacky’s work does not confine to certain specific style as he will take further step to change his style as he evolves.

 

10 Chancery Lane

In celebration of the legendary Frog King, Kwok Mang Ho, 70th birthday, this gallery presents Frog King’s first solo exhibition showcasing his art works in his ever-changing phases of life by experimenting different mediums, breaking the traditional boundaries of ink and calligraphy.  He was formally trained by seminal New Ink Painting master Lui Shou Kwan, constantly steering contemporary art in Hong Kong through engaging a great diversity of media covering calligraphy, installation, graffiti, performance art, photography and sculpture.  In this exhibition, you can see this free-spirit artist is using his intuitive with spontaneous imagination and improvisation on his works and performance art to interact with audience.  Engaging with him is quite an experience; he would pass his spectacle and giant painting brush to me to be part of his art work!

 

Whitestone Gallery

This art space is presenting gallery collection by showcasing artworks by KAWS, Jeff Koons and Yoshimoto Nara. Celebrating our childhood imagination develops from our first encounter with children books, this exhibition aims to provoke audiences to re-experience seemingly familiar visual in a different way.  Can you recall these vivid images in your memory?

 

A Destination

Wong Chuk Hang, the former industrial area with lofty space and lower rents, offers more flexibility for galleries and local artists experiment their creative practise. Just a few minutes’ walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR station, you can immerse yourself with absolute different galleries with vast displaying area to present big art pieces and projects. People can also come in studios to stay as long as they like to engage with the exhibition or build conversation about it.

 

Rossi & Rossi

(Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Art Gallery Association)

Having passed through the dusty lobby and took a ride by cargo elevator, this gallery has vast exhibition space with specialty in displaying both classical and contemporary art. During the visit, they are presenting When Head and Body United by acclaimed Cambodian art Leang Seckon.  His art works compose of a variety of media-textiles, photographs, posters, found objects, reveals his memories growing up during a devastating and turbulent period in Cambodian’s history, Khmer Rouge and its subsequent attempts to heal.

 

De Sarthe Gallery

Situated within a modern office tower in the Southside, it offers 10,000-squre-foot space which is exhibiting The Must See Art Show Where You Can Find 10,000 Artists by Wang Xin.  She challenges the archaic structure of the art world, as she often takes its institutions, systems and dogma as her material.  The exhibition comprised of multiple interactive, site-specific installations in which Wang Xin challenges the status of the artist as well as the art world’s current ecosystem.  Wang also encourages the participation of each audience as soon as they walk into the gallery.  As the exhibition suggests, 10,000 unknown artists’ contact information are stored inside the pink balls.  The audience is entitled to pick up the pink ball, open it, and unravel an unknown artist’s information.

 

Objects Factory (Kacey Wong’s Studio)

A home-grown artist’s private studio houses his installations and art works designed and hand-crafted by him, fusing with authentic Hong Kong Culture and elements. I met him in his studio in Ap Lei Chau. Once stepping into his studio, you would be stunned by its cosiness with an open air terrace overlooking the seaside. He explains each of his art work drawn from what he experiences, observes or exposes the reality. His works combine social and political statement; his mobile work Eggette Bar, he mocks the cost of making the mobile car is only HK$50,000 comparing to the cost of street food truck that could cost over HK$1million.  Being a teacher, he also encourages each people ‘should focus on their own interest, let your talent excels, and you are not meant to do that…’, while pointing the most expansive land in Hong Kong.

Eggette Bar.

Empty Gallery

(Photo courtesy of Empty Gallery)

A complete black-cube space which is exhibiting Toshio Matsumoto: Everything Visible Is Empty, a retrospective exhibition of the late experimental filmmaker and visual theorist, examining arguably his most fertile creative period: the years from 1960 to 1979. The 2-floor exhibition area is divided into 10 rooms screen playing his works including ‘The World Goes Pop’ at Tate Modern and ‘Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde’ at MoMa.

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