Author: Artomity Magazine

South Island Art Day

Saturday, September 2112 – 8pm Following highly successful South Island Art Days over the past 5 years, SICD promises an exciting and varied program including art exhibitions in 13 art spaces, giving visitors the opportunity to attend exhibition openings, interact with local and international artists, experience contemporary art, performances, as well as enjoy free food and drink from our south side partners. Beside the indoor art activities, we will run an outdoor installation program. Around 10 local and international artists will install interactive pieces in the streets of Wong Chuk Hang. Visitors will therefore be able to experience more art from different artists going from one gallery to another. For more information visit sicd.com.hk or contact us on T +852 2696 2300 E contact@sicd.com.hk.

Xu Zhen

The Glorious / Perrotin / Hong Kong / Mar 25 – May 11 / Katherine Volk / Walk into Perrotin, and a towering sculpture commands the middle of the room, surrounded by two large-scale series from Xu Zhen’s solo exhibition The Glorious. The juxtaposition of media and styles typifies Xu’s exploration of cultural exchange, authenticity, history, globalisation and capitalism. The prolific artist founded MadeIn Company in 2009 and creates work both individually and through the collective practice of the group. In Eternity – Northern Qi Painted Bodhisattva, River God Ilissos from West Pediment of Parthenon (2018), from Xu’s Eternity series, a replica of a Northern Qi (AD 550-577) figure is posed upside down on top of a replica of a Classical Greek sculpture, with the head and arms removed from the former to match the latter. The two headless, handless bodies are seemingly defenceless, conjoined at the necks in an unwilling but inevitable clash of cultures. The sculptures depict Gods and the Buddha as figures elevated beyond mankind; comically connected, they satirically confront the fluidity and struggles of humanity, globalisation and relationships between ideologies from the east and …

Samson Young

It’s Heaven Over There / Centre A / Vancouver / Feb 23 – Jun 4 / Justin Ramsey / When the Sun Wah Centre was constructed in the 1980s, it was envisioned as a neighbourhood mall for Vancouver’s Chinatown, the kind one might find all over Hong Kong: a fountain on the main floor, central escalators wending their way up through glitzy tiers of fashion and food. This never materialised. The building’s few vendors nestle in a near constant state of pink-walled disrepair. The setting is apt for Samson Young’s exhibition It’s Heaven Over There, curated by Tyler Russell at Centre A, which has recently moved into the Sun Wah Centre, alongside other arts organisations that are transforming this under-realised mall into a cultural hub. The first display in Young’s exhibition resembles a shopfront: blaring pop music, a glass case full of trinkets. It is an appropriate beginning to an exhibition focused on the mall itself. It’s Heaven Over There is the second in a trilogy of site-responsive exhibitions by Young that critique utopian projects and their fraught, often unexpected …

Vvzela Kook

By Christie Lee / I’d expected a philosophical explanation for Hong Kong artist Vvzela Kook’s quirky name, but it turns out that it was all due to a technicality. The artist had wanted to call herself vuvuzela, after the African horn, but on realising the domain name was taken, took out the two “u”s.   Kook’s art, however, is rather better thought out. Research is key to her artistic process. During our conversation, she repeatedly describes her works as projects rather than videos or installations, and says she spends the bulk of her time reading, researching and mapping the details of her projects in her mind. It’s similar to the artistic process of fellow Hong Kong artist Samson Young, for whom Kook works as an assistant. Born in Dalian, a port city on the southern tip of Liaoning province in northern China, the 29 year old received her BA from Hangzhou University before reading for a MA in Creative Media at City University in Hong Kong. We chatted at her new studio in Ngau Tau …

Mandy El-Sayegh

By Christie Lee / Somewhere between dizzying grids, newspaper clippings and a xeroxed copy of a page from a Chinese colouring book is Mandy El-Sayegh’s subjectivity. Or was: as the artist says, her subjectivity is a process. “I view myself as someone who is always changing. It [one’s subjectivity] depends on different moments in time. If you accept that as you are mutable, you’ll be more accepting of change,” says El-Sayegh, who is in Hong Kong to open Dispersal,her first solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin. One end of the gallery is dominated by her Piece Paintings (2010-), featuring a smorgasbord of figurative imagery in unexpected juxtapositions. Theyare hoisted against an installation piece featuring copies of the South China Morning Post, meticulously arranged in a grid-like format on the walls and floor and smeared with a thin veneer of white paint. El-Sayegh says she deliberately picked a newspaper that was easily comprehensible to a western audience, and one that conveys a sense of truthfulness, to ask what context newspapers provide to help us to understand the …

Ho Tzu Nyen

R for Rhombicuboctahedron, Vol. 8 / Edouard Malingue Gallery / Hong Kong / Mar 26 – May 17 / Caroline Ha Thuc / Humidity, corruption, nationalism, irrigation, rice, empire of decay. A for anarchism. Modern nepotism. K for kingship. To think through the effects of ghosts. F for fiction, fluidity, forest, friction, frontier. Across past and present. Southeast Asia is a machinery of rots. Jellyfish, Malaya, legibility, Utama, ecology, buffalo, politics, tigers, slavery. Theatrical acts of civil disobedience. V for vampires, vaginas. C for cosmology, circle, contagion. Acts of political vengeance. Becoming animal. N for nation, narration, narcosis. A triple agent from the Japanese, the French, the British. L for linguistic, legibility, Lai Teck. P for paddy, politics, plateau. Endlessly, an algorithm selects and weaves different sounds and images from the database of text, music and online images that forms Ho Tzy Nyen’s ongoing project The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia. It asks what Southeast Asia is, and how we can grasp such a concept, which is at once real and constructed. Language itself is inadequate at reflecting the region’s …

Liu Heung Shing

Spring Breeze / Star Gallery / Beijing / Mar 20 – May 18 / Nooshfar Afnan / A carefree rollerblader whizzes past a large statue of Chairman Mao at Dalian’s Institute of Technology in 1981. Like this one, each of the pictures in award-winning photographer Liu Heung Shing’s solo show Spring Breeze is a reminder of the enormous changes China has experienced since the “reform and opening up” that started in December 1978. For some audience members it is a trip down memory lane. For others it is a lesson in China’s recent history: Mao statutes were and often still are ubiquitous in public squares. Rollerskating was a popular pastime during an era of dire economic conditions, with wheels unceremoniously tied with strips of fabric around people’s shoes. The composition is engaging from a purely formal point of view, with the contrast between the solidity of the monument and the sprightly movement of the skater; and the juxtaposition of the dark shade of the figure with the light-hued statute. The black-and-white photographs on display were taken by Liu in …

Tung Wing Hong

Following the Imagined / CL3 Architects / Hong Kong / Mar 25 – Apr 26 / Christie Lee Hong Kong artist Tung Wing Long’s recent solo at CL3 Architects’ Wanchai office is a short but nevertheless sweet paean to the medium of video, where exciting things are happening right now, bolstered by new editing tools, the possibility of ever bigger screens and the general obsession with the immersive. The first thing the visitor sees on entering Following the Imagined is a video of a sleeping head. Inspired by Constantin Brâncuși’s The Sleeping Muse, Untitled (head) examines the idea of the medium itself. The term video art is often used interchangeably with the moving image; the piece questions whether a video needs to be moving for it to be considered video art. The eerie stillness of Untitled (head) is quickly disrupted by the spinning and whirling elsewhere. Immediately behind it, i/i is an installation of two CRT TVs that move in a continuous circular motion until at one point meeting before turning away. The two screens depict blurred views of a cityscape, though …

Video, Sofa, Bauhinia – Retrospective and Reconstruction of Ellen Pau

By Leung Po Shan / “They said There’s nothing special about an onion It deserves all criticisms Despite an earthy costume Its name doesn’t inspire trust Its nature is not agreeable. Peel off layer after layer, there is nothing inside that can be called sophistication! How formalistic!” (Yasi: Extract from “Onion”) What About Home Affairs?, the title of Para Site’s retrospective of Ellen Pau, pioneering Hong Kong artist and co-founder in 1986 of the city’s first video and media art collective, Videotage, can been construed as a bilingual pun, taking in both Hong Kong politics and the shackles imposed on women in the home and society. “Home Affairs” brings to mind the Home Affairs Department, which is responsible for Hong Kong’s internal affairs. The ambiguity of the words creates a discrepancy between the title in Chinese and English. In her essay in the exhibition catalogue, video artist Lo Yin-shan, who emerged a generation later than Pau, references academic David Wang Der Wei’s post-loyalist theory to point out that Pau’s Emergence (A work in progress) (2016) was …

Wesley Tongson – The Journey Book Launch & Curator Talk, Asia Society

Jul 9, 6.30 – 8.15pmEvening Book Launch & Talk by Catherine Maudsley,Curator of “Wesley Tongson – The Journey”Exhibition &conversation with Tina Pang and Cynthia TongsonAsia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong Wesley Tongson – The Journey documents the acclaimed solo exhibition of Hong Kong ink artist, Wesley Tongson (1957-2012), held at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco (October 12, 2018 – March 9, 2019). The book features 23 works, including the artist’s signature finger paintings, and a selection of Tongson’s never-before published personal notes. Included are new essays about the artist and his work by curator Catherine Maudsley; Mary Ann Milford, Carver Chair in East Asian Studies at Mills College; and Wu Song, Professor at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Curator Catherine Maudsley will begin this evening program with an account into the curation process behind the exhibition, the inspiration behind conceiving the exhibition as “A Journey”, and the meaning of Wesley Tongson’s art. This will be followed by a conversation among Catherine Maudsley, Tina Pang, curator of Hong Kong Visual Culture at M+, and Cynthia Tongson, the artist’s sister. Sign up here.Asia Society Members …