Author: Artomity Magazine

Catherine Opie

By Diana d’Arenberg Parmanand American photographer Catherine Opie once described herself as a “kind of twisted social documentary photographer”. Born in Sandusky, Ohio, the young Opie picked up a camera at age nine, inspired by the photographs of Lewis Hine, and immediately began photographing friends and her community. Over several decades she has gone from marginalised photographer of the marginalised to a member of the establishment: she had a 2009 retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, is a tenured professor at UCLA and sits on the boards of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Like Walker Evans before her, and later Robert Mapplethorpe and Diane Arbus, Opie shares an interest in and affection for subcultures, and for individuals and communities overlooked by society. Her early series Being and Having (1991) and Portraits (1993-97) mixed traditional portrait photography with less traditional subjects, depicting her friends in the lesbian and gay community in Los Angeles, transgender women and men, drag queens, and members of the tatted, …

Cheuk Wing Nam, Han Jinpeng

Wander in Style Leo Gallery at Little Tai Hang Hong Kong May 20 – Jul 31 Christine Chan Chiu For Wander in Style, a collaboration with Leo Gallery, Little Tai Hang is displaying works by new-media artists Cheuk Wing Nam and Han Jinpeng in its gallery and outdoor public areas. The whimsical pop-up show explores social themes and challenges the conventions that have traditionally surrounded classical art. Cheuk’s sound sculpture Avaritia – Silent Greed consists of about 90 green glass bottles of various sizes, suspended from a large ceiling grid similar to those used for hanging ower pots. Dangling inside each of the bottomless containers is a shard of plastic that is connected to a power source and programmed to swivel around randomly. The result is a cacophony of sounds of varying frequencies as the plastic shards strike glass. Viewers are encouraged to visit at dusk, specifically at 7pm when it is most atmospheric: from
this hour, it becomes clear in the darkened space that the bottles are also individually lit with warm fluorescent lights. The …

Chris Huen Sin Kan

By Elliat Albrecht As a painter and in person, Chris Huen Sin Kan is far beyond his years. His intuitive paintings look less like those of a 27-year-old and more like those of an artist who’s had several decades to hone his visual language, arriving at a mature and idiosyncratic style of painting. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Huen has been drawing since he was a small child, and earned a BA from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Made with fluid and sometimes staccato brushstrokes, his paintings are characterised by their quotidian content and sketch-like quality; Huen achieves this aesthetic in part by thinning down his oils with turpentine until they appear almost like watercolours. The bare canvas shows through in many places on his paintings; the viewer is left to fill in the blanks of negative space like a word game. These gaps in perception are fundamental to Huen’s philosophy: rather than painting direct representations or his memories, he is concerned with exploring the fragmented experience of looking. With a restrained …

Tai Kwun

By Elliat Albrecht Hong Kong has a soft spot for crime and police stories. Films about gangs, double agents and bloody conflicts have long been a mainstay of local cinema. There is an underlying psychological reason: a surge of public interest in the genre occurred in the 1980s, coinciding with the UK and China’s negotiations over the 1997 handover. Amid anxiety about the political future, the movies often depicted the goings-on of crime syndicates and their clashes with authority to explore themes of loyalty, heroism and chaos. This blue-coat fascination laid the foundation for some of the most significant pop culture of the 1980s – and continues to provide inspiration today, in the form of the city’s newest cultural institution. While Hong Kong awaits the opening of M+, its much-anticipated major museum of visual culture, the recently opened Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage & Arts is poised to tick the mid-size museum box. Built on a historical site, the 19th-century Central Police Station compound on Hollywood Road, Tai Kwun has an unusual cross-disciplinary remit. The …

David Zwirner presents Brilliant City

6 July – 4 August 2018 Opening reception: Friday, 6 July, 6 – 8pm David Zwirner is pleased to present Brilliant City, a group exhibition organized by Leo Xu at the gallery’s Hong Kong location featuring work by Francis Alÿs, Chen Wei, Stan Douglas, Li Qing, Michael Lin, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Ming Wong. The exhibition borrows its title from the lyrics of the 1987 Cantopop classic song “Starry Night,” in which the Hong Kong–based electro duo Tat Ming Pair illustrate the perplexing brilliance of the city’s landscape at night, and the feeling of loss and doubt that it harbors amongst its youth. Drawing inspiration from Hong Kong, an archetypal dystopian metropolis characterized by its unparalleled density and lofty high rises, this exhibition explores how artists across generations and locations have engaged with the complexity of urban space. 5-6/F, H Queen’s 80 Queen’s Road, Central T (852) 2119 5900 Email Tu-Sa 11am – 7pm Image: Iron Sheet by Chen Wei, Archival inkjet print, framed, 150 × 187.5 cm print, 154 × 191.5 cm framed, 2015.

M+ Matters: Post-1949 Visual and Material Culture in China

July 5, 2018, 6.30pm  Miller Theater, Asia Society Hong Kong Center  9 Justice Dr Admiralty Hong Kong  M+ Matters: Post-1949 Visual and Material Culture in China is a public talk on July 5, 2018, that considers critical issues in the first decades of the socialist state in China through a multidisciplinary lens, examining design and visual art. Bringing together three international scholars and curators, it aims to propose new ways of appraising the highly complex narratives of socialist cultural production in China, which have often been overlooked by historians. Following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese state devised visual and material strategies to achieve its particular conception of socialist modernity. The talk builds on pioneering studies that contextualise and re-examine the manifestations of this modernity—often positioned as alternative or oppositional—across geographies, time, and disciplines within China’s shifting socio-economic and political frameworks. The talk consists of three presentations: Everyday Desirables: What Wristwatches, Sewing Machines, and Bicycles Can Tell Us about Mao-Era China Karl Gerth (Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Endowed Chair in Chinese Studies and Professor of …

Jane Lee

Red States Hong Kong Arts Centre Hong Kong May 11 – Jun 10 Christine Chan Chiu The aptly named Red States showcased 17 new works and smaller existing pieces and studies by Singaporean artist Jane Lee, revolving around the boldest of all colours. Alluring and provocative, the exhibition invited its audience to contemplate the emotions and connotations that the colour red conjures. More importantly, it provided an insight into Lee’s innovative practice and artistic virtuosity for the past 15 years, highlighting her vastly tactile signature techniques, including coiling, layering, mixing and stacking. At the entrance, visitors were greeted by a large heap of tangled red canvas threads, a prelude of what was to come. The rectangular piece The Story of Canvas #2, hanging in the main gallery, is made of more layers of canvas threads, giving it an organic, fibrous texture. The Story of Canvas #1 and The Story of Canvas #1a followed – compositions of roundels of varying sizes made from coils of red canvas strips, strategically arranged and spanning 500cm along the wall. These works prompt the viewer to abandon all preconceived …

Sarah Morris

By Nooshfar Afnan The Importance of Conversation Conversations and research form the bedrock of Sarah Morris’s artistic practice. The artist conceives most of her creative ideas through conversations, followed by research to give shape to those thoughts, and then even more conversations to realise a work. These conversations involve fellow artists, curators and potential film subjects. But the spark for new ideas for artistic projects most regularly comes from conversations with the group of culturally diverse young professional studio assistants from a variety of disciplines that she surrounds herself with. The New York-based artist was in Beijing in March for the opening of her solo show at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Sarah Morris: Odysseus Factor. Resembling a mid-career retrospective, it is one of her biggest shows to date. It also marks a decade since Morris came to China to shoot her film Beijing (2008) about the Olympics. Ten years is also the amount of time it took Odysseus to sail home to Ithaca and the duration of the Trojan war, hence the show’s title.  Morris is busy …

M+ Live Art: Audience as Performer

June 1–3, 2018  Goethe-Institut Hongkong  14/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Rd Wan Chai, Hong Kong  Free admission. No registration is required for performance programmes. Friday, June 1, 7:30–10pm Saturday, June 2, 12–7pm Sunday, June 3, 12–5:30pm Audience as Performer is the inaugural exhibition of M+ Live Art, the museum’s first series dedicated to performance art, highlighting and unpacking the concept of the live body in visual art through compelling performances from local and international artists. Spread over three days, M+ Live Art: Audience as Performer features works by five artists from Asia who engage directly with the viewer, shifting the role of the audience from passive witness to active participant. By offering collaborations in new and open-ended works of art, the exhibition inspires the public to build social bonds through artistic production and collective action. M+ Live Art: Audience as Performer features new commissions by two Hong Kong artists, wen yau and Isaac Chong Wai, whose works express the lived experiences of the city’s inhabitants facing shifting social realities. In A Drop and Two Dots: Everything Must Go! (Homage to All Peaceful …

Catherine Opie at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

So long as they are wild through July 7, 2018 Lehmann Maupin is pleased to present So long as they are wild, a solo exhibition of recent work by Catherine Opie. For the Los Angeles-based artist’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, Opie will present a series of photographs shot in one of the United States’ most revered and naturally beautiful locations, Yosemite National Park in California. Opie is known for her ability to create photographs that unite contemporary themes and issues with a classical aesthetic that expands upon her exploration of the tradition of photography as well as the greater art historical canon. In addition to the photographs, Opie will include a series of ceramic sculptures. This recent undertaking of sculpture began as a personal pastime but has evolved into an alternative aesthetic pursuit. 4th Floor, Pedder Building 12 Pedder Street, Central T (852) 2530 0025 Email Web Tu-Fr 10am to 7pm, Sa 11am to 7pm Image: Installation view of So long as they are wild by Catherine Opie at Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong.