Author: Artomity Magazine

N S Harsha

Gathering Delights / Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT) / Hong Kong / Jul 28 – Nov 3 / Valencia Tong / Tucked away among industrial buildings in Tsuen Wan is the Centre for Heritage Arts and Textile (CHAT). Located at The Mills, a former textile factory which has witnessed the development of Hong Kong throughout recent decades, the centre historicises the role of fabrics and textiles through its programmes. At Gathering Delights, a solo exhibition by Indian artist N S Harsha, curated by CHAT co-director Takahashi Mizuki, visitors are greeted with almost 200 sewing machines lined up along the corridors surrounding the second-floor atrium. On each machine of the installation Nations (2007-19) is a flag of a different country in the United Nations; threads in colours including red, blue, orange and green are woven in all directions over the supporting metal structures, signifyingthe interdependent nature of international diplomacy. The Mysuru-based artist’s paintings and sculptures examine the geopolitical order of countries such as India, delving into labour practices while highlighting traditional culture. Inside the main exhibition area, an acrylic-on-canvas triptych, which …

Sigg Prize 2019 exhibition

Dec 7, 2019 – Apr 13, 2020 M+ PavilionWest Kowloon Cultural DistrictTsim Sha TsuiHong Kong Web M+, Hong Kong’s museum of 20th- and 21st-century visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, is pleased to present the inaugural Sigg Prize exhibition. The exhibition brings together work by the six artists shortlisted for the prize: Hu Xiaoyuan (born 1977, lives and works in Beijing), Liang Shuo (born 1976, lives and works in Beijing), Lin Yilin (born 1964, lives and works in New York), Shen Xin (born 1990, lives and works in Minneapolis and Amsterdam), Tao Hui (born 1987, lives and works in Beijing), and Samson Young (born 1979, lives and works in Hong Kong). In recent years, each has articulated a distinguished artistic language to address topics that defy easy categorisation. Concentrating on work produced in the last two years, the combination of six practices in this exhibition reveals multiple connections with our current time. Some of the shortlisted artists react to and reflect on social and political realities, while others pursue the refinement and expression of personal languages and inner worlds. Together, these artists show the diversity …

Various artists

Yummy Gummy / Eaton / Hong Kong / Aug 23 – Sep 1 / Ellen Wong / Yummy Gummy, curated by Wong Ka Ying, was the most eclectic of the programmes and activities dedicated to celebrating women in this year’s lineup at Women’s Festival Hong Kong. For starters, Ho Sin Tung’s I’ve often sailed in her (2019) could be seen in the lift – not the ideal place spacially to display the piece, but one that attracteda larger crowd than would normally attend a gallery exhibition thanks to its location in the Eaton Hotel. The way in which the curator, the Eaton Hotel team and the artists worked together to appeal to a wider crowd is valuable for future reference. Alysa Chan’s Just cut it! (2019) outside the exhibition venue within the hotel was a companion piece to Sadako’s My Personal Feelings (2016-2019) inside the venue. Both used techniques superficially associated with mass media to raise issues related to minorities, and both were somewhat straightforward in their approaches. Chan’s work questioned the relationship between hair length and impressions of primness through the poster format, …

Max Hattler

Receptive Rhythms / Goethe-Gallery / Hong Kong / Sep 4 – 28 / Valencia Tong / Squares. Circles. Colours. Repetition. These are the words that come to mind as the visitor tries to comprehend the sensory overload unfolding before the eyes in the small exhibition space in the lobby of the Goethe-Institut, located in the Hong Kong Arts Centre. With a focus on the claustrophobia-inducing aesthetics of the high-rise architecture of Hong Kong’s residential estates and the geometrical patterns found on the city’s streets, the show brings to the fore fleeting images from our contemporary existence as city dwellers, and re-examines often neglected, mundane experiences through the lens of abstraction.  Hong Kong-based German video artist and experimental filmmaker Max Hattler explores the interplay between film animation and photographicimage in the exhibition, Receptive Rhythms, for example in the rapid transitions in the video Serial Parallels (2019), highlighting the vertical nature of the architectural landscape found in the densely populated urban metropolis. Moving images of each nearly identical rectangular components, which represent the facades of apartments stacked against each other, create a mesmerising effect reminiscent …

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Concert Hall, Hong Kong / Cultural Centre / Hong Kong / Jun 29, 2019 / Ernest Wan / Near the end of this 45th anniversary season of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, audiences were treated to a Finnish programme, performed by Finnish guest artists, that included the local premiere of the acclaimed Clarinet Concerto (2002) by prominent composer Magnus Lindberg.  Notwithstanding the characteristically sophisticated musical language, the Concerto is eminently accessible. It begins and ends in unambiguous, life-affirming C major, with a folk-like opening melody that recurs several times like an anchor of stability amid more changeable material. The orchestra, led by Osmo Vänskä, featured a large battery of percussion instruments and produced a diverse range of enchanting colours, with solo clarinetist Kari Kriikku’s many tremolo passages adding much to the often shimmering effect. He had worked closely with the composer on the Concerto and given its first performance, and it was a marvel that he played almost non-stop in this 28-minute work with apparent ease, overcoming one hurdle after another along the way, from seemingly endless series of arpeggios to passages employing advanced techniques such as multiphonics …

Nadim Abbas

By Elliat Albrecht / This June, a photo circulated on social media of a small group Hong Kong-based artists, writers and gallerists standing outside the Congress Center in Basel, Switzerland. Away from Hong Kong for Art Basel and concurrent projects, they showed their support for demonstrators at home with handwritten signs decrying the proposed extradition bill. Nadim Abbas was among them; the artist was in Basel for his solo show Poor Toy at Vitrine (June 11 – August 25), which referenced the horror and banality of domesticity through sculptures including vacuum cleaners and hacked Ikea furniture. We met in July after he’d returned to Hong Kong. Abbas lives and works in a flat not far from the University of Hong Kong, where he earned his MPhil in 2006. He suggested sitting near his computer where it was brighter; the afternoon sun streamed through the windows onto wall-to-wall bookshelves – fitting for an artist who often references methodically researched science fiction, psychology and philosophy in his work – keyboards, several guitars and a piano with the lid closed. We …

M+ Matters: Conversations on Women, Architecture, and the City

M+ Matters: Conversations on Women, Architecture, and the CityOrganised with the University of Hong Kong Faculty of ArchitectureNovember 23, 2019 Miller Theatre, Asia Society Hong Kong Center9 Justice DriveAdmiraltyHong Kong #MplusMatters M+ Matters: Conversations on Women, Architecture, and the City is a joint effort between M+ and the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture, which seeks to initiate public conversations in Hong Kong on the under-represented histories and contemporary realities of women in architectural production. The discussions examine the life and work of nine women and their roles in shaping the built environment in Asia, prompting the reappraisal of criteria and methods used to assess architecture. The series of dialogues brings together historians, editors, and educators to probe issues related to values and approaches in the practices of women architects between the 1950s and the 1980s—as well as the visibility of these practices. Conversations begin with a focus on Minnette de Silva (1918–1998), a pioneering woman architect in Sri Lanka; and Wang Chiu-hwa (born 1925), an architect known for her designs of libraries in Taiwan, who made a generous …

Kurt Tong at Dai Bing

Dai Bing52 Bonham Strand WestSheung Wan Nov 26 – April 2020Opening: Tuesday, Nov 26, 6.30pm til late Combing for Ice and JadeAt the end of the 19th century, thanks to the silk trade, numerous women in southern China became financially independent. Many would wear their hair in a long braid to symbolise their autonomy until their wedding. As imperial China began to crumble and instability spread, some women took the initiative of adopting independence permanently, as Comb Sisters. The Comb Up ceremony involved a woman bathing with mulberry leaves as a fellow Sister braided their hair. They took a vow of chastity, declaring themselves free of obligations towards their parents, and would henceforth wear their hair in a long braid and dress in a light-coloured tunic and dark trousers.  Choosing to live a life independent of men was not without its drawbacks. Comb Sisters were not allowed to return home to die in their old age, so many sisterhood homes sprang up where they looked after each other, often considering each other sisters for life. …

Wing Po So

From the Body to the Body Through the Body / de Sarthe Gallery / Hong Kong / Sep 7 – 21 / Vivienne Chow / Change is the only constant in life – which is why sitting on one of the bean bags inside Wing Po So’s From the Body to the Body Through the Body could induce a warm sensation of strange familiarity and calmness in viewers. The 11-metre-long immersive installation is like a gigantic cocoon, a pit stop where one can hide and seek solace during what could be a painful process of transformation before being reborn into a better version of oneself, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon or a phoenix rising from the ashes. From the Body to the Body Through the Body is the title not just of the monumental installation but also of the artist’s first solo exhibition at de Sarthe Gallery. The show is the conclusion of the third edition of its annual artist residency programme deSAR, which was inaugurated with Andrew Luk’s Practice in 2017. Instead of staging haphazard group shows …

Yuk King Tan

Crisis of the Ordinary / Starkwhite / Auckland / Aug 21 – Sep 14 / Amy Weng / Hong Kong-based artist Yuk King Tan’s Crisis of the Ordinary is an exhibition that deftly weaves together symbols of omnipresent political power and contemporary protest culture. Her first show in New Zealand in many years, Crisis of the Ordinary comes at a moment in both New Zealand and Hong Kong society when notions of national identity, civil liberties and colonial legacies have become flashpoints for opposing groups. On entering the gallery, visitors pass by Eternity Screens, a delicate partition of latticework that signals a subtle transition into a space where meaning forms part of a global economy of exchange. Eternity Screens reveals itself to be comprised of military-grade zip-tie handcuffs, a subtle sleight of hand that sets the tone for the rest of the exhibition, where seductive forms belie social and geopolitical tensions. Arranged on one wall are an array of brightly banded objects excavated from protest sites in Hong Kong, Korea and New Zealand. Battered water bottles, discarded sunglasses and other …