“The Best Is Yet to Come”: 4 emerging artists-in-residence at Hong Kong’s K11 Art space

K11 Art Foundation presents a residency exhibition moderated by Huang Xiapeng. 

Running until 18 December 2017, “The Best is Yet to Come” facilitates artist exchange through the work of four emerging artists.

Exhibition installation shot of Chan Ka Kiu’s work. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

Exhibition installation shot of Chan Ka Kiu’s work. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

Featuring the work of Sha Lina and He Rui – both active in the Wuhan art circle – and emerging Hong Kong artists Chan Ka Kiu and Wu Jiaru, K11 Art Foundation presents the exhibition in the foundation’s chi art space.

“The Best Is Yet to Come” focuses on the facilitation of artist exchange, providing two artists in Hong Kong and two artists in Wuhan the opportunity for “reflective creation and face-to-face exchanges”. Led by moderator Huang Xiaopeng, in preparation for the exhibition the four artists explored major art institutions, schools and museums in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, conducting in-depth, dialogical sessions with art professionals and students to question and examine the cultural, social and economic characters of the three cities. Through this process, the artists have created a series of new artworks for the exhibition, inspired by these exchanges.

From the left, Chan Ka Kiu, Sha Lina, Huang Xiaopeng, He Rui and Wu Jiaru. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

From the left, Chan Ka Kiu, Sha Lina, Huang Xiaopeng, He Rui and Wu Jiaru. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

As K11 Art Foundation states,

These visits and discussions allows artists to further develop their artistic practice and enhance the connections between art communities in the Pearl River Delta region.  This exhibition places emphasis on the process of creation and not so much looking for the conventional artwork production.

Sha Lina, ‘City’, 2017, Plastic film, tape, 25 × 35cm. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

Sha Lina, ‘City’, 2017, plastic film, tape, 25 × 35 cm. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

The exhibition is innovative in its use of a residency moderator, rather than a curator. Speaking with Art Radar, Huang Xiaopeng explained how this exhibition

is an attempt to build a hub connecting Hong Kong and mainland China, initiating a sort of mirroring effect.  It provides the two Hong Kong-based artists an the two Wuhan-based artists with an opportunity to communicate face to face.  Through examining personal images presented to each other, they look deeper into themselves and reflect on their current situations. The programme aims at transforming the four artists into an “artist collective”.

Through their experiences of living in and observing cities in China, they expand their scope of knowledge and artistic vocabulary, ultimately breaking through their creative blocks.  It is hoped that through the journey the artists would further understand not only their own individuality but also the commonality which brings them together.  In the linguistic and social contexts of the Other, they would also discover and learn about the framework which unites culture and local identity.  Ideological exchange such as this contributes to the deepening of our understanding of globalisation, especially now when boundaries have lost significance.  From here an innovative way of thinking and a new methodology of processing the Other begins, presenting the possibility of a “best” world that does not deny individual identity.

Exhibition installation shot of He Rui and Sha Lina’s work. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

Exhibition installation shot of He Rui and Sha Lina’s work. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

In this sense, K11 Art Foundation hopes to revitalise traditional challenges associated with short-term residency programmes, giving artists an in-depth journey within a limited time frame and hoping that these experiences have long-lasting effects on their practices. Visitors will walk into the exhibition feeling as if they have stepped into the artists’ shoes, reliving their journeys across the three cities.

Chan Ka Kiu, ‘God Said Let There Be Light, and There Was Light’, 2017, Two-channel video, 2 mins 33 secs. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

Chan Ka Kiu, ‘God Said Let There Be Light, and There Was Light’, 2017, two-channel video, 2m:33s. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

1. Chan Ka Kiu

Based in Hong-Kong, artist Chan Ka Kiu specialises in videos and installation. During the residency, she has created works around her fantasies and imagination stemming from daily life happenings. Her work tends to include ready-made objects, alongside images that incorporate familiar scenes into her practice. Recent group exhibitions include “Happily Ever After” at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong (2017), and “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You” (2017) and “Bad Bitches Says No Goodbye” at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2017).

Wu Jiaru, ‘Tulpa 2.0’, 2017, Installation, Dimensions variable. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

Wu Jiaru, ‘Tulpa 2.0’, 2017, installation, dimensions variable. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

2. Wu Jiaru

The work of Wu Jiaru employs images with lights and common everyday objects, combining her reflections of society with an imagination of the future to create “a spatial intervention in the exhibition venue”. Born in Guangdong in 1991 and now based in Hong Kong, she obtained her BA in Fine Arts and English Language from Tsinghua University in 2014, and her MFA from the School of Creative Media of City University of Hong Kong in 2017. Recent shows include “Other Sides of Evidence” at Osage, Hong Kong (2017); “UTOPIA” at Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2016); and “On the Road 2015—Nomination Exhibition of Chinese Young Artists & Forum of Yong Art Critics” at Guan Shan Yue Museum, Shenzhen (2015). Wu’s work is in the collection of OCAT Shenzhen.

Sha Lina, ‘Guardian’, 2017, Stainless steel, metal, coloured temper glass, 100 × 100 × 15cm. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

Sha Lina, ‘Guardian’, 2017, stainless steel, metal, coloured temper glass, 100 × 100 × 15 cm. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

3. Sha Lina

Born in Hubei in 1989, Sha Lina’s work also engages with ideas of daily life and modern society, through a sensitive rendering of various materials and visual languages. These take the form of installations, videos and drawings. Meticulously drawing intriguing parallels between the media and materials she chooses, and the ideas and images she conveys, Sha usually allows her intuition to guide her at the beginning of her creation process. As K11 claim, “these works manifest the reality she faces, her concerns about society, and her day-to-day feelings.”

Having previously presented at chi K11 art space in 2015, recent group exhibitions include “On Site/Visual” at Taipei Artist Village, Taipei (2016); “The Middle Ground” at Times Art Museum, Beijing (2016); and “Decade—Today Art Museum Annual Nomination Exhibition for Students of Academics” (Today Art Museum, Beijing, 2015). Sha was one of the artists participating in the Artist-in-Residence Programme of K11 art village, Wuhan, in 2016.

He Rui, ‘Yu Bian’, 2017, Sweets, notebook, Dimensions variable. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

He Rui, ‘Yu Bian’, 2017, sweets, notebook, dimensions variable. Image courtesy K11 Art Foundation.

4. He Rui

In the exhibition, He Rui utilises video, image and performance art to trigger reflection of reality. Born in Hubei in 1988, his artistic practice spans performance, installation, image making and new media. His work is astutely perceptive, as he makes observations on society and perceptions of emotional abuse, creating in turn a sense of claustrophobia. Older pieces of work have used mixed media, with objects such as computer keyboards as his core artistic materials.

Previously, he has undertaken a residency at K11 art village in Wuhan, where he began to turn his attention to performance and image making. As K11 explain,

his works at that time predominantly narrated relationships between individuals as well as relationships between individuals and their families, reflecting the social situations where the individuals, as independent entities, were in.

Now, his 2017 works exceed their predecessors in their bluntness and degree of violence; at odds with the traditional art space, they imbue their gallery settings with intimate emotions through the use of LED billboards and private residential properties.

Anna Jamieson

1980

“The Best Is Yet to Come” is on view from 3 November to 18 December 2017 at chi art space, /F, 18 Queen’s Road Central, New World Tower 2, Central, Hong Kong.

Related topics: Art spacesHong Kong artists, events in Hong Konginstallationgallery shows

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