Preview: 10 highlights from Art Central Hong Kong 2017

2017 sees the opening of the third edition of Art Central Hong Kong.

Art Radar previews some highlights from Hong Kong’s Art Central Fair, open between 21 and 25 March 2017.

Art Central, 2017. Aerial view. Image courtesy Art Central.

Art Central, 2017. Aerial view. Image courtesy Art Central.

One of the keystones of Hong Kong’s art month, Art Central returns to the Central Harbourfront for its third edition with 100 contemporary galleries. While Art Basel Hong Kong – on at the same time – attracts the big names from among the well established artists and gallerists, Art Central offers a space for promoting emerging Asia-based talent. New gallery additions for 2017 include Art Front Gallery (Tokyo), Artereal Gallery (Sydney), GALERIE OVO (Taipei), Salon de H (Seoul), In The Gallery (Copenhagen), De Buck Gallery (New York, Antwerp, Saint Paul de Vence) and Sims Reed Gallery (London) among others. The gallery line-up is complemented by a dynamic five-day programme that includes interactive installations, experimental film and performance, and panel discussions.

Art Central 2016. Photo credit: James Ambrose. Image courtesy Art Central Hong Kong.

Art Central 2016. Photo credit: James Ambrose. Image courtesy Art Central Hong Kong.

Charles Ross, Art Central Managing Director, said of the 2017 edition:

This year, I am particularly excited to welcome our new gallery partners, presenting art of the highest quality from a spectrum of periods and geographies, and offering our visitors an immersive cultural experience. The quality and ambition of this year’s presentations are testament to our Fair’s strength and identity as a place to meet and exchange ideas.

Art Radar highlights a few must-sees among the gallery stands, performance events and installations.

Mehwish Iqbal, ‘La Makaan’, 2015, Silk Screen, Collagraph, Etching, Embroidery. Image courtesy the artist.

Mehwish Iqbal, ‘La Makaan’, 2015, Silk Screen, Collagraph, Etching, Embroidery. Image courtesy the artist.

1. .M Contemporary — Mehwish Iqbal

Sydney based .M Contemporary will be showing a new body of work including paintings, sculpture and work on paper by acclaimed South African artist Lionel Smit. The gallery will also be presenting embroidery and ceramic works by artist Mehwish Iqbal. Iqbal’s work is a synthesis of eclectic concerns that generate from the realm of personal experiences of social, cultural and political landscapes in the country of her birth, Pakistan, and her home Australia.

Juana Gomez, ‘Constructal 3’, 2015. Hand embroidery and photography on cotton. Image courtesy the artist.

Juana Gomez, ‘Constructal 3’, 2015. Hand embroidery and photography on cotton. Image courtesy the artist.

2. Galeria Isabel Croxatto — Juana Gomez

A number of galleries from the Americas and Europe participate in Art Central. One highlight from the Latin America contingent is Galeria Isabel Croxatto – the Santiago de Chile based gallery that found themselves at the heart of the Contemporary Istanbul censorship imbroglio when a conservative religious group entered the fair with the intentions of removing represented artist Ali Elmaci’s work, which they deemed offensive. At Art Central Hong Kong they are presenting the work of Juana Gomez, a Chilean artist who embroiders the central nervous system over photographs of the human body, exploring the systematic “common language” that connects the biological, social and cultural realms.

Hasanul Isyraf Idris, ‘Paranalgesic’, 2014. Mixed media on paper. 105 x 152 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Hasanul Isyraf Idris, ‘Paranalgesic’, 2014. Mixed media on paper. 105 x 152 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

3. Richard Koh Fine Art — Hasanul Isyraf Idris

Richard Koh Fine Art are presenting emerging multimedia artist Hasanul Isyraf Idris. The Malaysian artist produces works in a variety of media, from paintings and meticulously crafted drawings to painted oven-baked clay sculptures. Mining inspiration from within, he articulates his personal struggles as an artist by personifying them as strange characters that inhabit his invented universes. Influenced by the graphics of underground comic books, 1960s science fiction, fast food, street art and fashion, he juggles pop culture references with a personal viewpoint. Recurring topics in his practice are the meaning of life and death, memories and fantasies, and sin and reward. The artist creates strange characters responding to his own personal struggles. Haffendi Anuar’s installations recycle found images, objects and the digital in local contexts.

Aboudia Nouchi, 'Children in hues of blue orange', 2016. Oil and canvas. Image courtesy the artist.

Aboudia Nouchi, ‘Children in hues of blue orange’, 2016. Oil and canvas. Image courtesy the artist.

4. Ethan Cohen Fine Arts — Aboudia

New York’s Ethan Cohen Gallery are showing Aboudia, whose large-scale, heavily layered, and brutally energetic paintings betray the traces of the civil war that tore through the Ivory Coast and the capital Abidjan in late 2010-2011, during which the artist took refuge in a basement studio and began painting in response to the country’s political situation.

Sinta Tantra, ‘A GIRL LIKE I NO.10’, 2016. Vinyl tempera on linen. 21 x 30 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

Sinta Tantra, ‘A GIRL LIKE I NO.10’, 2016. Vinyl tempera on linen. 21 x 30 cm. Image courtesy the artist.

5. Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery — Sinta Tantra

London’s Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery are participating as part of the RISE section at the fair, which presents galleries and art spaces launched in the last six years. The stand exhibitions here showcase tightly curated solo presentations by early career artists, with the aim of enabling new talents and trends to be discovered. Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery are showing Balinese-British artist Sinta Tantra, who will present an immersive installation, featuring a theatre set incorporating spray painted murals, geometrically patterned, woven rugs and hanging paintings. Tantra’s most notable work includes a permanent landmark commission for Canary Wharf completed for the 2012 Olympics – a 300-metre-long painted bridge stretching over the water in the heart of London’s business district. Recent public art commissions include Newnham College in Cambridge University, as well as a large floor painting covering an entire public square in the newly-built ‘tech city’ of Songdo, South Korea.

Zulkifle Mahmod, ‘Raising Spirits and Restoring Souls’, 2015. 54- channel midi-controller, soleoids, e-brows, amplifiers, piano / bass/ guitar strings, copper pipes, midi player and others. Commissioned by Singapore Art Museum. Image courtesy the artist.

Zulkifle Mahmod, ‘Raising Spirits and Restoring Souls’, 2015. 54- channel midi-controller, soleoids, e-brows, amplifiers, piano / bass/ guitar strings, copper pipes, midi player and others. Commissioned by Singapore Art Museum. Image courtesy the artist.

6. Yeo Workshop — Zulkifle Mahmod

Zulkifle Mahmod (aka ZUL) is one of Singapore’s leading sound artists. ZUL has been at the forefront of a generation of sound-media artists in Singapore’s contemporary art development – one of the genres of international contemporary art-making that has been garnering interest for its interdisciplinary approach and experimental edge. ZUL’s practice has been marked by diversity, with the artist exploring various media and platforms.

Anida Yeou, ‘Offerings, The Buddhist Bug Series’, 2014. Digital C print. Image courtesy the artist.

Anida Yeou, ‘Offerings, The Buddhist Bug Series’, 2014. Digital C print. Image courtesy the artist.

7. Art Central’s Performance programme — Anida Yeou Ali and Enoch Cheng

4A returns to Art Central Hong Kong with a performance programme showcasing a series of diverse and compelling works by five contemporary performers. These leading performance artists are all working to question and challenge expectations of the norm. They ask you to imagine yourself in a different form, challenge you to rethink your expectations and invite you to speculate on “spectacle”. Through the six days of the fair, these artists will perform new iterations of some of their most lauded works. Anida Yeou Ali’s Red Chador will weave through the crowds alongside you as you browse the booths and Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan will invite you to hack the art market. Hong Kong artist Enoch Cheng will be presenting his new work entitled Fair Gestures/ 動靜不失其時 – a durational dance performance that includes a performance inspired by daily gestures derived from the news. Other artists participating are Tobias Gutmann and Amrita Hepi.

Amrita Hepi portrait. Image courtesy the artist and Art Central Hong Kong.Amrita Hepi portrait. Image courtesy the artist and Art Central Hong Kong.

Amrita Hepi portrait. Image courtesy the artist and Art Central Hong Kong.

8. Panel discussion led by 4A Centre of Contemporary Art

Mikala Tai, Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Art and curator of the Art Central Performance programme, will lead an interactive panel discussion with five contemporary artists from the fair’s performance programme, each working at the heart of experimental performance. The panel will explore the role of performance art, its role within a commercial art fair and how international trends are shaping and feeding into their art making. Mikala Tai will be talking to Anida Yoeu Ali
Enoch Cheng, Tobias Gutmann, Amrita Hepi and Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan.

Hannah Quinlivan, 'State of Suspenstion', 2016. Steel pvc salt and shadows dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist.

Hannah Quinlivan, ‘State of Suspenstion’, 2016. Steel pvc salt and shadows dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist.

9. Estuary — Hannah Quinlivan

Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s “Rythmanalysis”, Quinlivan (whose work is being shown by the aforementioned .M contemporary Gallery) will use ephemeral spatial drawing to apprehend and intervene in the rhythms of urban life and capture the dynamism of the Fair. The artist will develop the artwork in two stages where she will first install the mesh of wire and nylon component prior to the Fair opening. She will then spend the duration of the art fair to complete the salt component of the drawing in a manner that responds to the first phase of the installation and to the energy and flux of bodies in motion at Art Central. This dialectical performance approach constitutes a response to the Fair itself, its temporalities, its flows and its spaces.

Zheng Mahler, "Deep Water", 2016. Still image. Image courtesy the artist.

Zheng Mahler, “Deep Water”, 2016. Still image. Image courtesy the artist.

10. Deep Water — Zheng Mahler’s 

Zheng Mahler’s work DEEP WATER was originally produced for the independent art space HOLY MOTORS in the Sham Shui Po district of Kowloon and funded by the Young Collectors Collective (YCC). This work takes the form of a video and sound walk through the Sham Shui Po market area and references both the concreted over stream that existed until the 1960s on Nam Cheong Street and the harbour shoreline whose waves lapped along Pei Ho Street before land reclamation. The work is re-translated for Art Central from a single-channel video work into an immersive VR experience alongside a series of 3D anaglyphic still prints from the video. By bringing the work to Art Central, decontextualised from the surroundings in which the work was originally produced, Zheng Mahler is interested in the idea of this work as a speculative “time machine” that may allow the audience to experience various versions of the natural and political history of Sham Shui Po. Zheng Mahler’s work can be seen at Booth D1.

Rebecca Close

1603

Related Topics: Hong Kong artistspaintinggallery showsevents in Hong Kong

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