Art Radar selects a number of must-see events during Hong Kong Art Week 2015.
As Art Basel in Hong Kong approaches, galleries, museums and non-profit spaces prepare for a series of unmissable events that will attract the international art crowds flocking to the city for the biggest art fair in Asia. Here is Art Radar’s selection.
1. “Ren Ri: Yansu Projects” | Pearl Lam Galleries (11 March – 12 April 2015)
Pearl Lam Galleries is opening a new gallery in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan, dedicated to the promotion of emerging artists, as well as established and up-and-coming international designers. The new space will be launched with a solo exhibition, curated by David Ho Yeung Chan, of Chinese artist Ren Ri’s (b. 1984, Harbin) forty previously unseen sculptures made of beeswax.
The artist manipulates the movement of bees and the formation of honeycombs to create hybrid sculptures that investigate the force of nature and the consequences of human intervention. The exhibition includes two distinctive series of artworks shown in separate spaces: Yuansu I: The Origin of Geometry (2007), incorporating maps into the make-up of the beeswax, and Yuansu II, a series of geometrical sculptures achieved by manipulating bee behaviour.
Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong SOHO, Shop No. 1, G/F & 1/F, SOHO 189, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
2. “TWENTY” – Xu Zhen | THE QUBE at PMQ (11 – 18 March 2015)
Organised by William Zhao and co-presented by Adrian Cheng, David Chau and MadeIn Company, the solo exhibition opening on 10 March will feature Xu Zhen’s “TWENTY” series of new media and paintings that will provide “an irresistible feast of stimulation”. The artist continues to explore the concept of “art as commodity” and exposes the layered issues within contemporary cultural production and consumption.
Following his “Under Heaven” series – a commission for The Armory Show 2014 – Xu Zhen’s new series “TWENTY” also employs vibrant colours, such as bright pastels, lemon chiffon, violet and vermillion. The concept originates from a curious investigation into the notion of love formed when one is twenty years old, and the artist has collected those perceptions and colours that identify with the idea – the spirit of youth and passion. The exhibition further introduces artworks using the frameworks and visual language of the luxury commodity market, while MadeIn Company has adopted the vernacular of contemporary advertising, developing a marketing campaign for the artworks.
THE QUBE, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong
3. “MTVs: Samson Young’s Screen-based Works 2006-2015” | am space (12 March – 21 April 2015)
am space will open an exhibition of work by Hong Kong multimedia artist Samson Young (b. 1979), featuring a collection of his video works from 2006 to 2015 that trace his evolution as an artist. Selected works on show include God Save the Queen (2009, revised 2013), Memorizing the Tristan Chord (Institute of Fictional Ethnomusicology) (2009), Muted Situations (2014) and The Coffee Cantata (2015), which address the artist’s recent preoccupation with the history of colonialism and the politics of classical music.
The exhibition also features some early experiments, such as the performative music video A sort of mediation at a prison cell (2008) and Po is Ordinary (2006), one of Young’s earliest video works featuring the artist as one of the Teletubbies. am space will also present Young’s work in the Discoveries section of Art Basel Hong Kong in a solo presentation with an on-site performance entitled Pastoral Music.
am space, Unit C, 1/F, Kingearn Building, 24-26 Aberdeen St., Central, Hong Kong
5. “Tropicana Migration” – Dinh Q. Lê | 10 Chancery Lane (12 March – 18 April 2015)
The exhibition will feature new works by Dinh Q. Lê, including a large installation, photographic weavings, photographs and videos that examine the evolution of Vietnam through tourism, and how even today the presence of the effects of the Vietnam War continues to be an ironic attraction. Lê’s work plays with a dark, humorous undertone to unveil the absurd yet real findings of his investigations into his homeland.
Transformed into a Danang Beach from floor to ceiling, complete with a painted coconut installation, the gallery will house a refrigerated wax sculpture of Ho Chi Minh. A series of tourism posters will greet visitors, with beautiful images accompanied by slogans such as “Come back to Vietnam! We promised we won’t spit on you.” The seemingly relaxed and cheerful atmosphere of the beach environment hides a dark, unpleasant reality. To add to the weight of Lê’s reflections, a video meditates on the issue of sexual abuse of children in Vietnam by the growing number of foreign pedophiles touring and staying in the country.
10 Chancery Lane Gallery, G/F, 10 Chancery Lane, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong
6. “Duddell’s presents: ICA Off-Site: Hong Kongese” | Duddell’s (12 March – 22 June 2015)
The exhibition features international contemporary artists whose work is inspired by our ever-changing world and the cosmopolitan centres in which they live, each artist offering differing viewpoints relating to social, economic and political transformation. On display will be photography, painting and sculpture by Korakrit Arunanondchai, Zhang Enli, Zeng Hong, Koo Jeong A, Zhu Jinshi, Phoebe Man, Ahmed Mater, Haroon Mirza, Shinro Ohtake, Rodel Tapaya, Tseng Kwong Chi and Annie Lai Kuen Wan, among others.
The exhibition, curated by Gregor Muir, Alia Al-Senussi and Abdullah AlTurki, aims to identify with the evolving nature of Hong Kong as it enters a phase of rapid development. The show takes place in one of Hong Kong’s most renowned restaurants in the heart of Central, which holds regular art exhibitions guest-curated by respected international art professionals.
Duddell’s, Level 3, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong
8. Art Central | VIP Preview (13 March 2015)
The new satellite art fair in Hong Kong, Art Central, will hold its VIP Preview on 13 March and will be open to the public from 14 to 16 March. With over 75 participating galleries, of which 65 percent are from Asia, Art Central provides an intimate viewing experience for both established and younger collectors. The art on display ranges from established to emerging artists, with prices that go from affordable to high-end. The Fair features two sections, Central and Rise. The first is dedicated to more seasoned galleries, while the latter will introduce emerging spaces and artistic talent.
Art Central, Central Harbourfront, Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
9. Chai Wan Mei Arts & Design Festival | Chai Wan, various locations (14 – 15 March 2015)
Now in its fourth edition, the Festival sees the participation of more than thirty art spaces and takes place across the Chai Wan industrial area. The programme includes guerrilla art installations, performances, pop-up exhibitions, workshops and much more. Highlights include “Videos and words from a Post-Industrial City” curated by Inti Guerrero, featuring a series of rogue installations art – video and neon-based text works – by local and international artists.
There will also be a performance programme curated by WING platform and a screening programme curated by Hitomi Hasegawa, entitled “Immediacy”, which examines the speed and fast pace of life in Hong Kong and China now, and the concept of immediacy in the artists’ moving images. The Festival is co-organised by Katie de Tilly of 10 Chancery Lane, Claudia Albertini of Platform China Contemporary Art Institute and Peter Lau of Asia One, with sponsors including K11, the world’s first art mall, Monique and Max Burger‘s The Burger Collection and Nam Wah Neonlights.
Various locations in Chai Wan; Info Point at: Chai Wan Industrial City Phase 1, 60 Wing Tai Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
10. Papay Gyro Nights Art Festival 2015, Hong Kong | VIDEOTAGE and various locations (6 to 20 March 2015)
On 14 March, from 10pm at Videotage, there will be a live performance by Juha van Ingen, Jarkko Räsänen and Seppo Renvall, entitled WILD LIFE IN HONG. ‘Wild life’ serves as a source of inspiration for the artists to create a cacophony of sound and vision with colleagues from Hong Kong, which rely on the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos. The artists also invite the audience to bring their instruments and participate. The same performance will happen on 15 March from 8pm.
Papay Gyro Nights Art Festival 2015 is at its fourth iteration during Art Basel in Hong Kong and presents artist-run projects from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Scotland, bringing to Hong Kong a unique selection of video and sound art, experimental film and music, theatre and architecture, and also a series of workshops and talks by philosophers, anthropologists, and artists. Originating in a remote Scottish island named Papa Westray, Papay Gyro Nights is an annual celebration that reflects on folklore, heritage, ritual and ancient traditions.
Videotage, Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong
11. Fotanian Open Studios 2015 | Fo Tan (14-15 March 2015)
The Fotanian Open Studios programme is an annual event that connects artists and art lovers in an industrial lofts district that has been transformed into artist studios. The event is a major opportunity for visitors to explore the resident artists’ creative works, which encompass a wide array of media, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, mixed media, printmaking, installations, photographic and video works. Visitors can freely wander into the artists’ workplace, hear about their artworks and enquire about their art-making techniques. The event fosters the exchange of ideas and dialogue, and visitors are encouraged to interact with the artists. Fo Tan hosts more than 88 studios and over 250 artists.
Fo Tan information centre: G/F, Wah Luen Industrial Center, 15-21 Wong Chuk Yeung Street
12. “A Hundred Years of Shame – Songs of Resistance and Scenarios for Chinese Nations” | Para Site (6 March – 10 May 2015)
Non-profit art space Para Site is launching a new space and will be holding a special afternoon reception on 15 March. Curated by Cosmin Costinas and Anthony Yung, Senior Researcher at Asia Art Archive, the inaugural exhibition includes artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China and beyond, and “revisits a disobedient intellectual spirit under the current social and ideological conditions in the region.” The invited artists employ satirical, subversive and original takes on history and the contemporary. Their work helps to expose the dangers and clichés of China’s rising nationalism. On show will be new and existing works by Cai Hui, Chen Shaoxiong, James T. Hong, Hu Xiangqian, Huang Xiaopeng, Kao Chung-Li, Meiro Koizumi, Kwan Sheung Chi, Lai Chih-Sheng, Firenze Lai, Liao Guohe, Song Ta, Inga Svala Thorsdottir and Wu Shanzhuan, Wong Wai Yin, Yang Jiechang, Trevor Yeung, Zhang Peili and Zhou Tiehai. The exhibition also features the recording studio of the fictional label Xi Kang Records.
Para Site, 22/F, Wing Wah Industrial Building, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
13. South Island Art Night | South Island Cultural District (15 March, 5-10pm)
South Island Cultural District galleries, art spaces and artist studios will open their door for an exceptional night. The Art Night will feature exhibitions, artist performances, video art corner, music, food and drink at various locations throughout the Cultural District. More than 16 local and international galleries are participating, including Blindspot Gallery, Pékin Fine Arts, Rossi & Rossi, Yallay Gallery, Spring Workshop, Art Statements, Gallery EXIT and Mur Nomade, among others.
South Island Cultural District: Wong Chuk Hang, Tin Wan and Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong
For more events during Hong Kong Art Week and Art Basel Hong Kong 2015, you can also see The South China Morning Post events selection, Ocula’s Diana d’Arenberg events calendar and Art Basel Hong Kong events listing, among other sources.
C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia
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