Author: Artomity Magazine

Ko Sin Tung

Dust and Trivial Matters / The Bunker / Beijing / Jan 26 – Mar 29 / Nooshfar Afnan Cold, clinical sanitation overpowers the senses as you step down into underground art space The Bunker. Plastic film stretched over aluminium frames blocks off portions of each room and creates narrow alleyways and low ceilings. This mimics the dust-free rooms found in some factories and medical facilities. Emerging artist Ko Sin Tung leaves it to the audience to decide whether they are being protected from or deprived of something. The slightly opaque quality of the plastic sheets creates uncertainty about the nature of the objects behind them. Once the eyes adjust to the blurriness of the plastic, the pieces begin to take shape. During her stay in Beijing, Ko gathered an array of paraphernalia and second-hand household items for the show. She introduces the theme of cleaning by placing a lone metal scouring pad on the ground of the first clean room and lighting it from above with a white neon tube. In the next two rooms, Ko plays on the symbolism …

Women in Art: Hong Kong

Au Hoi Lam, Fang Zhaoling, Jaffa Lam, Ko Sin Tung, Man Fung-yi, Mediha Ting, Choi Yan Chi / By Seth O’Farrell / As I walked down the corridor of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge at the new exhibition Women in Art: Hong Kong, the words of writer Eileen Chang came to mind: “Between memory and reality there are awkward discrepancies, producing a solemn but subtle agitation.” The works on show, by artists as varied as Fang Zhaoling, Au Hoi Lam and Ko Sin Tung, are mostly unrelated to one another: some are political, some pay homage to traditional Chinese craft and others fall somewhere in between. But what unites them is a certain restlessness in their melding of memory and reality, and of past and future, as they interrogate the notion of a Hong Kong identity. Co-curated by the New Hall Art Collection and Eliza Gluckman, Women in Art: Hong Kong is dedicated exclusively to women artists working in Hong Kong. The works represented range from guohua painting to conceptual installation, covering 50 years of artistic …

The WMA Commission Recipient Natalie Lo: Ecology is full of self-contradictions

By Fizen Yuen / The WYNG Media Award (WMA) is a series of non-profit making programmes developed to inspire public participation and promote awareness and discussion of social issues in Hong Kong through photography and visual arts. The theme this year is Opportunity, and the WMA Commission selected Natalie Lo Lai Lai as a recipient, commissioning her project The Days Before Silent Spring. On a superficial level, the project documented nature, and Lo’s self-styled “Half-Farming, Half-X” lifestyle, in which she uses farming as a means to personal and artistic autonomy. But visitors to her exhibition at the end of last year at the Bonacon Gallery in Guangzhou discovered more complex narratives. Lo mainly works in video. “I think essay films acknowledge my own more complicated and defensive way of thinking, with its strong synchronicity,” she says. “I use editing techniques, selective images and suggestive texts, which combine to become a vibrant response to it.” In her Guangzhou exhibition, apart from her video works, Lo cleverly adapted to the limitations of the gallery space to create an interesting installation, turning the tile pattern of …

Isaac Chong Wai

By Caroline Ha Thuc / A multimedia artist known for his performances in public spaces, Isaac Chong Wai (b.1990) explores the relativity and ambiguities of our collective norms and values, inviting us to rethink our experiences of daily life and our physical presence within society. As he exhibits a soft wall unable to stand by itself, a boat made with fences that takes on water, or inefficient, arty policemen, Chong’s practice questions the construction of our modes of representation. Time, history and the imprint of the past and even of a future-to-be also seem to haunt the artist, who constantly breaks the linear perception of temporality with re-enactment, dreams and slow-motion gestures. Caroline Ha Thuc: This time, you are coming back to Hong Kong with quite a personal exhibition, Is the world your friend?, where you mix your own experience as a victim of aggression with today’s representations and manifestations of violence. Isaac Chong Wai: People often think there’s a gap between personal and social issues. Is art a way to put them together? When …

Shen Ling

Intensity of Concreteness /Tang Contemporary Art / Hong Kong / Jan 1 – Feb 9 / Elliat Albrecht / A drastic pivot between pleasure and gloom marked Beijing-based painter Shen Ling’s exhibition Intensity of Concreteness at Tang Contemporary. Embodying the latter, five of the 10 large-scale, square canvases in the show were of melancholy outdoor scenes rendered in cursory lines and layers of dry-brushed grey and blue paint. Black Crows on a Tree (2018), for example, depicts an incredulous orange cat glaring from beneath gnarled branches, while the hero of Winter Star (2018) is an emaciated tree veiled beneath sheaths of pearly rain. In contrast, the five other paintings teemed with abundance and joie de vivre, their densely layered compositions depicting men lying in repose among flowers, birds and stirring blades of grass.  Camouflaged beneath foliage, some of the men hold cameras, as in Jealous Night in Flowery Wind No.1 (2017); they appear pensive, passive and wholly unaware of Shen’s gaze.Along with her husband Wang Yuping, Shen is often classified as a member of the …

Whitney Ferrare

Pace Gallery senior director Whitney Ferrare introduces three Hong Kong pieces from her collection.  When I was approached by the editor of Artomity about potentially discussing works in my private collection, I was apprehensive whether it would be viewed as a conflict of interest. The secret would be out that, as a gallerist, I was also a collector. It began at 10 years old in Hong Kong, when I pushed my mother to acquire a work depicting three women by Walasse Ting for my bedroom – a rather exorbitant demand for a kid, but the stage was set. My high school dormitory room was filled to the brim with my own renditions of Pollock paintings, and eventually the first work I paid for was a 19th-century water jug from Afghanistan. I paid for it in instalments, something I still do to this day. There’s a myth that working in the art world means you are sure to have access to desirable works, but it’s been challenging to have the word “dealer” marking my fate like some archaic scarlet letter. In …

Performing Society: The Violence of Gender

By Christie Lee / Half-used paint. Paint-streaked trainers. Crinkly plastic drop cloth. Three panels in shades of pink and orangey-red. A scene of unfinished business. But there is also a palpable sense of energy to it. On the wall opposite, an oil painting depicts a row of female nudes ascending the stairs, their bodies half-translucent, their flesh cutting into each other, giving a sense that whoever was there a moment ago had hurried off, leaving behind a trace of their presence. The two pieces could have been by the same artist, but they’re not. While the trainers and panels – meant to evoke “the carnal colour of the flesh”, according to the exhibition catalogue – are part of Pamela Rosenkranz’s Sexual Power (Three Viagra Paintings), the nudes belong to Jana Euler’s Nude Climbing Up the Stairs (2014). It is a liberating but also curious opening for Performing Society: The Violence of Gender, a show that – as one discovers in the proceeding exhibits – puts the systemic violence done to our bodies on glaring display. The exhibition is …

South Island Art Day

29 March 201910am –2pm 16 of the South Island Cultural District (SICD) galleries and artist studios open their doors as part of Art Basel Hong Kong and Art Central VIP Programmes. Yet this exceptional event is also open to the general public and the admission is free. Following highly successful South Island Art Days over the past 5 years, the SICD is expecting around 2000 local and international art lovers, collectors and curators to attend the event held in Hong Kong’s new destination for contemporary art. Art Day ProgramSICD promises an exciting and varied programme giving visitors the opportunity to see 16 exceptional exhibitions, interact with local and international artists, attend unique performances, join guided tours as well as enjoy free food and drink from its south side partners. Outdoor Installations and PerformancesBeside the indoor contemporary art exhibitions and performances, SICD runs an outdoor installation programme. While walking from one gallery to another, visitors will be able to experience installations by Kacey Wong and David Boyce scattered along the streets of Wong Chuk Hang. During a four …

Sebastian Stöhrer / Caroline Chiu Studio, Hong Kong

March 23 – 29, 2019 Opening: Saturday, March 23, 2 – 6.30pm Artist Talk with Ilaria Maria Sala: March 23, 4 – 5pm  South Island Art Day: March 29, 10am – 6pmArtist Talk: 29 March, 5 – 6pm  Caroline Chiu Studio, in collaboration with Carl Freedman Gallery, is proud to present an exhibition of new sculptures by German artist Sebastian Stöhrer. The exhibition features 15 works inspired by the artist’s 2017 Travel Residency in China (sponsored by Caroline Chiu Studio), which included glaze research and site visits in Jingdezhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Many of the works are inspired by ancient Chinese masterpieces, traditions and discoveries that the artist made on his travels.   Stöhrer’s quirky, colourful vessels take on various shapes and sizes, and are united by a fluidity that defies their weight. The application and balance of colour are central to the artist’s creative process. Stöhrer has created and continues to perfect his own personal alchemy of glazing. His hand, chemistry and kiln come together and hatch beautifully balanced, vibrant, unique sculptures with their own …

Sebastian Stöhrer / Caroline Chiu Studio, Hong Kong

March 23 – 29, 2019 Opening: Saturday, March 23, 2 – 6.30pm Artist Talk with Ilaria Maria Sala: March 23, 4 – 5pm  South Island Art Day: March 29, 10am – 6pmArtist Talk: 29 March, 5 – 6pm  Caroline Chiu Studio, in collaboration with Carl Freedman Gallery, is proud to present an exhibition of new sculptures by German artist Sebastian Stöhrer. The exhibition features 15 works inspired by the artist’s 2017 Travel Residency in China, which included glaze research and site visits in Jingdezhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Many of the works are inspired by ancient Chinese masterpieces, traditions and discoveries that the artist made on his travels.   Stöhrer’s quirky, colourful vessels take on various shapes and sizes, and are united by a fluidity that defies their weight. The application and balance of colour are central to the artist’s creative process. Stöhrer has created and continues to perfect his own personal alchemy of glazing. His hand, chemistry and kiln come together and hatch beautifully balanced, vibrant, unique sculptures with their own innate personas. Many of these new …