All posts tagged: Hong Kong

Marcel Dzama

Crossing the Line / David Zwirner / Hong Kong / Jan 22 – Mar 9 / Katherine Volk / If artists are historians of our times, Marcel Dzama represents the present. Canadian-born, New York-based Dzama references the contemporary climate in the US under Donald Trump’s presidency; this was paired with influences from elsewhere, in particular Hong Kong, for his recent show at David Zwirner, which spanned both floors of the gallery. Dzama departs dramatically from his earlier approach of sparse characters on plain paper, with his style morphing into colourful, large-scale works that are bold and chaotic but meaningful. The new approach was influenced by the work and looser approach to creation of his friend Raymond Pettibon, as well as Dzama’s time living in and visiting large cities such as New York and Hong Kong, and the vibrancy and crowded energy of these places. The neon lights of Hong Kong aren’t Dzama’s only inspiration; the city’s iconic horse racing also features as a prominent theme across multiple works, including Ghost riders (or Watch out he don’t fall on …

Rei Hayama, Takashi Makino

Katherine Volk / The Pearl of Tailorbird / Memento Stella / Empty Gallery / Hong Kong / Dec 15 – Jan 26 / Katherine Volk / Two solo exhibitions, The Pearl of the Tailorbird by Rei Hayama and Memento Stella by Takashi Makino, took over the entire two-floor space of Empty Gallery. While both employ film, they provoke vastly different feelings and reactions. Spread across two floors, The Pearl of the Tailorbird took viewers on a journey. Winding through the top floor of the gallery’s iconic dark void were walls spiralling inwards like a maze; as visitors navigated the barriers, it felt as if they needed Ariadne’s silver thread to guide them out of the miniature labyrinth. This searching and disconnection are symbolic of Hayama’s exploration of the human condition alienated from nature. The layout itself was a structure within a structure, where perceptions were altered, and the spiral also alluded to other manmade or mythical cultural constructions of disorder, such as the Tower of Babel, from a biblical tale in which God punishes people’s attempts to build …

Chen Danqing

By Diana d’Arenberg Parmanand / Shanghai-born artist Chen Danqing was only 14 when he started painting Mao propaganda posters in the 1970s. “I painted more than 100 portraits of Chairman Mao on the street walls in Shanghai and its suburbs and also on factory iron sheets,” he says. “During that time, there were millions of amateur and professional painters in China who painted millions of portraits of Mao Zedong.” Sent to live in the countryside in Jiangxi province for five years as part of a nationwide programme of forced collectivisation during the Cultural Revolution, Chen painted what was prescribed in the socialist realist style. The posters were part of a progression in a career that would eventually earn him accolades as a painter in China. After the Cultural Revolution he was admitted to the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1980 and staying on to teach until he moved to New York City a couple of years later. It was during this period that he painted his series of seven Tibetan paintings, which would …

Free to Express – Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival

By Karen Chu / The impact of dementia on a family; a straight-A student’s struggle with a speech impediment; kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of repairing ceramics; premature ejaculation; prostitutes, rappers and farmer-robbers – the 2019 edition of the Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival is a kaleidoscope of youthful creativity. Alongside an international selection, a Japanese and Taiwanese talent showcase and the opening gala premiere of feature film The Pluto Moment by Chinese sixth-generation director Zhang Ming, the festival’s heart is its local competition, where 20 short films by aspiring Hong Kong filmmakers compete for four awards. Now in its 13rd edition, Fresh Wave was launched by renowned Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To. Its aim is to discover and nurture new talents in Hong Kong, where the film industry has struggled to sustain its rich legacy since it suffered a downturn in the 2000s while mainland China-Hong Kong co-productions bloomed, siphoning off established directors and creative talent northward. During the heyday of Hong Kong cinema in the 80s and 90s, Hong Kong actors and directors were …

Raimund Girke at Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Hong Kong

Jun 15 – Sep 28, 2019 / Opening: Saturday, Jun 15, 11am to 7pm / Axel Vervoordt Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition, Raimund Girke: The Silent Balance at their new space in Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong. Following In Between White, in 2015 (Hong Kong), and Dominanz des Lichts in 2018 (Wijnegem, Belgium), this will be the gallery’s third solo presentation of the late artist’s work.  The Silent Balance builds on the gallery’s exploration of Girke’s monochrome paintings and work from the last two decades to highlight various aspects of his complete oeuvre. The line is a constant in the selection of artworks—as a motif that recurs both in his early large-format work and in his later, darker and more intimate paintings. axel-vervoordt.com

Irving Penn

Irving Penn / Pace / Hong Kong / Jan  25 – Mar 7 / Christine Chan Chiu / Irving Penn at Pace not only highlighted the artist’s accomplishments in fashion photography, portraiture and still lifes, thanks to a long, illustrious career at Vogue, but also revealed and celebrated his first love, painting. The first show in Hong Kong dedicated solely to Penn, it was an accurate if concise retrospective of a brilliant artist who sought to find beauty in everything he portrayed, and whose creativity extended beyond the lens. The audience was able to trace Penn’s path as it evolved and to appreciate the many facets of his practice. Works such as Large Sleeve (Sunny Harnett) (1951) and Black and White Fashion with Handbag (Jean Patchett) (1950) attest to his keen eye for fashion styling, zooming in on his talent for capturing sculptural form and detail in fabric, magnified by the stark black-and-white contrast of gelatine silver prints. They were displayed alongside ethnographic portraits from Morocco and nudes that convey softness and suppleness. Past the main salon were individual portraits of …

Chen Danqing at Tang Contemporary Art Hong Kong

May 24 – Jun 29, 2019 Tang Contemporary Art is pleased to present Chen Danqing: Disguise and Paintings from Life, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Chinese-American artist Chen Danqing. The show marks Chen’s first major solo presentation in Hong Kong and his first exhibition with the gallery. Curated by Cui Cancan, it showcases Chen’s latest figure paintings from live models.  Chen Danqing is one of the most important painters in the history of Chinese contemporary art. Born in Shanghai in 1953, he created propaganda posters as a teenager depicting the feats of Mao Zedong. He took an interest in painting at a young age, constantly studying works by Western artists to improve his technique. Chen was particularly influenced by the works of the Realist painter Jean Francois Millet whose works were featured in the group exhibition Exhibition of French Rural Landscape Paintings from the 19th Century at the National Art Museum of China in 1978. In 1976, Chen visited Tibet and painted Harvest Fields Flooded by Tears that earned him early recognition. His growing interest in Tibetan people and their life …

13th Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival

Jun 6 – 22, 2019 The 13th Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival will be held from 6 to 22 June 2019, with 55 local and overseas films to be screened at Broadway Cinematheque, MOViE MOViE Cityplaza and MY CINEMA YOHO MALL. Tickets are now available at broadway circuit. 10 Themed Programmes  To Observe the Nature of Humanities19 local and 23 international short films are to be screened and make 10 themed programmes. Each programme, namely “Having as Losing”, “Love vs Duty”, “We are Family”, “A Comedy of Errors”, “Multiple Sex Choices”, “Who Invented Work?”, “Vain is Hope”, “Men and the City”, “The Marginal”, “Read and Done For”, consists of 4-5 local and international short films and accompanied by sharing sessions with the local directors. By appreciating and comparing the works of both local and international filmmakers, we reflect upon and rethink about our relationship with society and the world, so as to understand ourselves better and open up further possibilities. 6 Must-watch 1 Opening Film The Pluto Moment: Directed by Zhang Ming, one of the “6th generation” filmmakers from …

Various artists

Contagious Cities: Far Away Too Close / Tai Kwun Contemporary / Hong Kong / Jan 26 – Apr 21 / Diana d’Arenberg Parmanand / In 2003, the SARS outbreak led to a shutdown of Hong Kong. The virus infected 1,755 people in the city, killing 299. Fear of the epidemic led many, mainly expats, to flee. Those who didn’t leave avoided public spaces. A housing estate was put under quarantine, public transport and public areas were deserted, and schools were closed. At the height of the SARS crisis, iconic Hong Kong actor and singer Leslie Cheung jumped to his death from Central’s Mandarin Oriental hotel, adding to the trauma, gloom and anxiety that were already consuming the city. The crisis impacted Hong Kong physically, psychologically and economically, and like epidemics before, it shaped the city and its habits, policies and people. Contagious Cities: Faraway Too Close at Tai Kwun Contemporary, a group show with works by 10 local and international artists, attempts to explore the psychological and emotional dimensions of disease and contagion. Presented by the Wellcome Trust, a biomedical institution …

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 …