What distinguishes Hong Kong art from other art in the region? The largest touring exhibition ever to focus on contemporary art from Hong Kong attempts to give us an answer.
“Hong Kong Eye” opened the Asian leg of its tour on 1 May 2013 at ArtisTree, TaiKoo Place, featuring works by 24 emerging and established artists from the city. Exploring significant narratives in Hong Kong contemporary art, the exhibition is the largest touring international showcase to date of Hong Kong’s contemporary art.
“Hong Kong Eye” launched in London at the Saatchi Gallery on 5 December 2012, where it admitted close to 200,000 visitors over a five-week period. For its move to Asia, the exhibition features an expanded collection and additional artists, bringing the total number of participants from 18 to 24.
A broader narrative for Hong Kong art
“Hong Kong Eye” highlights the city’s diverse art scene and encourages debate on key narratives linked to its history and urban environment. According to the official press release,
This exhibition explores Hong Kong contemporary art and its marked divergence from art of the same period in mainland China. It prompts an exploration on key narratives including: how is new art linked to the beginnings of China’s post-dynastic history; how did colonial modernity shape Hong Kong’s local narrative; and how has Hong Kong’s urban and island environment played a role? It celebrates the richness of the local scene and seeks to stimulate discussion on the Hong Kong art scene.
The exhibition emphasises the diversity of artists and media of Hong Kong contemporary art. The works on display range from charcoal and acrylic paintings to large-scale sculptures, animatronics, and interactive video installations. With the intention of creating a broader narrative about Hong Kong and its contemporary art scene, the exhibition presents a mix of emerging and more established artists with connections to Hong Kong by birth, work, or residence.
New art additions in Hong Kong
New works added for this part of the tour include some that have never been exhibited in Hong Kong before, such as Kingsley Ng’s Musical Loom (2005), described in the press release as “a transformation of a 250-year-old antique loom into an interactive soundscape where visitors can control four-tone harmony and volumes via ultrasonic sensors”, and Amy Cheung’s life-size multimedia sculptures of Hong Kong taxis.
The “Eye”: expanding horizons
The “Hong Kong Eye” exhibition is curated by Chang Tsong-zung, Director of Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong; Serenella Ciclitira, the Founder of Parallel Contemporary Art; and Nigel Hurst, Gallery Director and Chief Executive of Saatchi Gallery, London. In an interview with Time Out Hong Kong, Chang commented,
With this opportunity I want to try and recast the narrative of Hong Kong art. Hong Kong art is seen to be a minor corner of the art of mainland China, and inconsequential compared to Taiwan. We need a fresh take in order to put Hong Kong in a bigger picture.
“Hong Kong Eye” is the third exhibition in the “Eye” series, following “Korean Eye” (2012) and “Indonesian Eye” (2011). The Eye Initiative, founded by David and Serenella Ciclitira of Parallel Contemporary Art, has held eleven major exhibitions worldwide over the past four years.
“Hong Kong Eye” artists
The 24 exhibiting artists in “Hong Kong Eye” are:
- Amy Cheung
- Chow Chun Fai
- Silas Fong
- Ho Sin Tung
- Kong Chun Hei
- Kum Chi-keung
- Kwan Sheung Chi
- Lam Tung Pang
- Leung Kui Ting
- Otto Li Ti Lun
- Lui Chun Kwong
- Florian Ma Ho Yin
- MAP Office
- Kingsley Ng
- João Vasco Paiva
- Hector Rodriguez
- Wilson Shieh
- Angela Su
- Annie Wan Lai Kuen
- Adrian Wong Ho Yin
- Wong Chung-Yu
- Doris Wai Yin Wong
- Fiona Lai Ching Wong
- Justin Wong
- Hong Kong artist Hung Keung’s digital art in a “yellow box” – Schoeni video interview – April 2013 – the artist’s view on the East vs. West debate
- Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2013: Hong Kong art group MAP Office sails home with top award – February 2013 – artist duo wins top honour
- Hong Kong Artists / 20 Portraits book: Must-read for newcomers to Hong Kong art scene – February 2013 – publication on the diverse landscape of the Hong Kong art scene
- ART HK becomes Art Basel Hong Kong but retains Asia focus – January 2013 – the “new” Art Basel Hong Kong
- Top 10 Hong Kong art gallery picks – The Guardian – July 2012 – The Guardian’s top ten picks in the Hong Kong gallery scene
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