Author: Artomity Magazine

Tang Kwong San, Kwong Man Chun, Apple Wong Hiu Fung

Long to Belong  / Contemporary by Angela Li / Hong Kong / Nov 21 – Dec 14, 2019 / Valencia Tong / In a city divided by prolonged social upheaval, three young emerging artists from Hong Kong contemplate their place in the world and what it means to belong. A common thread that links the works on view at the exhibition Long to Belong at Contemporary by Angela Li is a hazy sort of nostalgia, which arises from these individuals’ deep, dream-like introspection. Amid the prevailing anxiety that lingers like thick fog over the city’s uncertain future, the show, part of Hong Kong Art Week’s Art Gallery Night, draws a large crowd. To the left of the entrance, Kwong Man Chun’s oil painting Huang Cen Ling and Tenement House (2017) captures the artist’s journey of retracing his roots while simultaneously juxtaposing scenes of the past against those of the present. He flattens both space and time as they collide into the depiction of a single interior space, visualising his transition from a rural setting in mainland China …

Shirley Tse

Stakeholders, Hong Kong in Venice / La Biennale di Venezia / Venice / May 11 – Nov 19, 2019 / John Batten / “Butterflies stir a breeze and the ripples flow unceasingly: far away the cyclones swirl. It’s a whole, connected world. Oh, Gaia!” * Shirley Tse’s tactile, predominantly hand-crafted installations at last year’s Venice Biennale were a unique offering. Her Stakeholders presentation in the indoor ground-floor rooms and adjacent outdoor courtyard of the three-storey residential building in the Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale was not whizz-bang technology or smart-idea-as-art; nor was it not big-so-I-must-be-noticed or I’m-backed-by-a-big-gallery. It was refreshingly uncomplicated, using found and natural objects, unconsciously recycled and studiously repurposed. It allowed contemplation and a place for the public to rest and consider: the artist installed a row of simple aluminium bleachers; elevated, rowed seating usually found next to a sports court. Directly in front of these seats was an imagined abstracted game of badminton, Playcourt. Inside, glimpsed from the courtyard through open doors was the sprawling installation Negotiated Differences. Thinking was encouraged at the Hong Kong …

The 3rd Jockey Club New Arts Power Presents: Borrowed Scenery & Flâneur

Dec 14, 2019 – Jan 12, 2020 12 to 7pm Unit 12, Cattle Deport Artist Village63 Ma Tau Kok RoadTo Kwa Wan, Kowloon Multimedia exhibition Borrowed SceneryThe multimedia exhibition Borrowed Scenery is exploring urban development issues in the 21st century. The participating artists include C&G, Ko Sin-tung, Kong Chun-hei, Vvzela Kook, Sarah Lai, Lai Lon-hin and Ocean Leung.  Through installation art, video, photos and other media, the partaking artists illustrate their imagination generated by the urban space, interpret their observations and feelings of the city, and reveal their expectations for the liberation of public realm and the civil rights. The artists also look at the current issues from their unique perspectives and, in the process, explore and examine the way in which art reflects and responds to the urban phenomena. Extended outdoor performance FlâneurPresented as an extended performance of the exhibition, curators André Chan and Jing Chin-yin Chong collaborate with choreographer Sarah Xiao to create the 30-minute outdoor performance Flâneur deliberately for busy downtown Tsim Sha Tsui. The name of “Tsim Sha Tsui” was recorded in the classics as early as in the Ming Dynasty. Subsequently, …

Ellen Pau

The Life of an Image / By Ysabelle Cheung / “I’m trying to make poetry, not a film,” Ellen Pau said to me, somewhat enigmatically, during the opening hour of her latest solo show. For the previous 20 minutes she had been describing, in elliptical phrases and brief anecdotal vignettes, the processes of her three-decade investigations into varied media. Yet walking around the darkened, hermetic space of Edouard Malingue Gallery, which featured early and new works clustered around the restaged focal piece Great Movement (1996/2019), I found I had more questions. The slow, creeping organ notes emanating from the speakers: had I heard them before? Where were the faceless figures that were being shown on the thermal video screen? And what was that unidentifiable aroma permeating the room? Pau’s work and practice have always been somewhat ambiguous, but she places the responsibility on the viewer to understand the implications of this ambiguity. In most if not all of her works, there are layered, buried double meanings, framed by her explorations into metaphors around the body and technology and, more recently, our psychological, …

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 …