Art radar highlights 5 events at Hong Kong’s new destination for contemporary art.

Hong Kong South Island Art Day takes place on 24 September 2016 in the South Island Cultural District with a packed programme of exhibitions, tours and performances. Art Radar highlights five major events taking place from 12pm to 8pm.

South Island Art Day 2015. Gallery Installation. Image courtesy South Island Art Day.

South Island Art Day 2015. Gallery Installation. Image courtesy South Island Art Day.

The past success of South Island Cultural District

Following the success of the Art Nights and the Art Days over the last two years, 2016 marks the third time that the galleries and artist studios currently based in Hong Kong’s South Island Cultural District (SICD) will gather in a coordinated programme of guided tours, show openings and performances. The Art Night and Art Days concept was first conceived in 2013 when many galleries and artists first uprooted and moved to the SICD. While promoted as “Hong Kong’s new destination for contemporary art”, many gallerists and artists initially found the industrial zones of Wong Chuk Hang and Tin Wan that make up the district to be challenging in terms of getting the same traffic of visitors and art audiences that other zones of Hong Kong (such as Central) have been experiencing for years.

It seems that persuading viewers to make the 15 minute trip from Central to Hong Kong’s south side has been a gradual process. The risk of investing in the area (with its lower rent rates for more space) is beginning to pay off. This year, according to the press release, the SICD is expecting over 2000 local and international visitors to attend the South Island Art Day, which will run on 24 September 2016 from 12 to 8 pm and will involve 24 art spaces offering a programme of exhibitions, interaction with local and international artists, dance, music and art performances, as well as food and drink from south side partners to the event.

Art Radar picks five highlights from among the rich offerings at SICD.

Translatio exhibition affiche. Image courtesy Charbon Art Space.

“translatio” exhibition affiche. Image courtesy Charbon Art Space.

1. “translatio” — Charbon art space

The young Charbon exhibition space will be celebrating its first anniversary at South Island Art Day with the opening of their multimedia exhibition “translatio”. In an exhibition of performances, photography, installations, drawings and stage plays, “translatio” will explore the transmission, translation and impact of the artistic projects and games of the late French artist Edouard Levé. The exhibition features French and Hong Kong artists. There will be a talk by the exhibition’s curator Lalie Choffel at 12.30pm.

"Inhere" exhibition and film installation preparation by artist Enoch Cheng. Image courtesy Grosvenor Gallery.

“Inhere” exhibition and film installation preparation by artist Enoch Cheng. Image courtesy Grosvenor Gallery.

2. Enoch Cheng, performance — Charbon art space

Writer, self-taught film director and performer Enoch Cheng (b. 1983, Hong Kong) will be performing a piece of work developed in dialogue with the legacy of French artist Edouard Levé. Cheng’s practice involves moving image, installation, theatre and performance and is concerned with exploring themes of travel, fiction, migration and destination. He received his MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, London and BA in English Literature and Art History at the University of Hong Kong. In 2015 Cheng had his Hong Kong screening debut with Operation Pina4, commissioned by the Fresh Wave programme funded by Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

For a recent solo exhibition at Grosvenor Gallery in Manchester entitled “InHere”, Cheng invited actors to read a script constructed from official government announcements broadcasted in Vietnamese in Hong Kong during the 1980s and 1990s. The project explored the notion of border crossing: from role playing and acting to migration and struggles for citizenship. The performance will take place at 6.30pm at Charbon art space.

Installation shot of exhibition "Without Tyring" by Doris Wong at Spring Workshop. Image courtesy Spring Workshop.

Installation shot of exhibition “Without Tyring” by Doris Wong at Spring Workshop. Image courtesy Spring Workshop.

3. Doris Wai-yin Wong, “Without Trying” —  Spring Workshop

Non-profit arts space Spring Workshop opened its current Wong Chuk Hang location in 2012, aiming to bridge and encourage international, multidisciplinary artist dialogues through holding regular artist and curatorial residencies. During South Island Art Day they will be holding an exhibition of the work of Hong Kong artist Doris Wai-yin Wong, which opened on 20 August 2016.

“Without Trying” is an exploration of the anxieties and fears involved in the process of art making and parenting respectively. Through a series of videos and installations Wong explores with uplifting humour the choices one must make between the secular and spiritual worlds, parenting as a kind of teaching practice and how pedagogy permeates every aspect of life.

Tsherin Sherpa "All Things Considered", 2015 Digital giclée print with gold leaf on Somerset paper 2 panels, (51.3 x 81.7 cm). Image courtesy Rossi & Rossi.

Tsherin Sherpa “All Things Considered”, 2015, digital giclée print with gold leaf on Somerset paper 2 panels, 51.3 x 81.7 cm. Image courtesy Rossi & Rossi.

4. Tsherin Sherpa, “Beautiful Decay” — Rossi & Rossi

Rossi & Rossi (established in 1985) have been successfully representing contemporary Asian artists with a focus on contemporary Tibetan art since the early 2000s, from their base in Mayfair London and more recently from their new South Island location. During Art Day, they will be open with a solo exhibition of the work of Tibetan artist Tsherin Sherpa (b. 1968, Kathmandu) entitled “Beautiful Decay”.

Sherpa has trained in Buddhist Philosophy under the tutelage of various Buddhist Masters in Nepal and has a degree in Computer Science. His work is a curious product of his formal studies and a childhood spent studying traditional Tibetan thangka painting with his father Master Urgen Dorje, a renowned thangka artist from Ngyalam, Tibet. Tsherin Sherpa will be giving an artist talk at 2pm.

Trevor Yeung, "The Artichoke Eater (old crush)" (2016), Video, archival inkjet print 22 min 55 sec 33.4 x 55.6 cm (Monitor). Image courtesy Blindspot Gallery.

Trevor Yeung, ‘The Artichoke Eater (old crush)’, 2016, video, archival inkjet print, 22 min 55 sec, 33.4 x 55.6 cm (Monitor). Image courtesy Blindspot Gallery.

5. Trevor Yeung, “The Sunset of Last Summer” — Blindspot gallery

Set up in 2010, Blindspot Gallery has a primary focus on contemporary photography and image-based works amongst other media in contemporary art. For Art Day they will be inaugurating a solo exhibition of the work of artists Trevor Yeung (b. 1988, Guangdong). “The Sunset of Last Summer” explores the nostalgia and memory of a past love affair through video, film installation, sculpture and a continued focus on what has been central to his artistic practice for a decade: his use of plants and horticulture.

Rebecca Close

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Related topics: Art districts, Art spaces, Art tourism, Events, Hong Kong artists, Promoting art, events in Hong Kong

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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