All posts tagged: Howie Tsui

Howie Tsui

Parallax Chambers / Burrard Arts Foundation / Vancouver  / 10 Jan – 7 Mar, 2020 / Elliat Albrecht / Two years ago, while passing by Aberdeen Fish Market after it had closed for the night, Howie Tsui wandered inside to consider the tanks in the dark. As the artist stood there alone, he noticed inky liquid steadily sloshing over the market floor and into his shoes, later realising that it was part of a nightly ritual in which stagnant water is flushed out of the aquariums. A similar teeming tank is a recurring motif in Tsui’s exhibition Parallax Chambers at Burrard Arts Foundation in Vancouver, where Hong Kong-born Tsui is based. The centrepiece of the show is the fantastical animation Parallax Chambers (2018-), made from scans of hundreds of Tsui’s ink-and-marker drawings. Projected against one wall in a darkened room, the work features spectral imagery inspired by the wuxia martial arts fiction series Legend of the Condor Heroes, Hong Kong cinema and a grisly fish in a tank with a fluctuating water level. Various haunted-looking characters are seen impaled by …

Howie Tsui

Parallax Chambers /Art Labor Gallery / Shanghai / Nov 10, 2018 – Jan 8, 2019 / Nooshfar Afnan / As the martial-arts fiction community mourns the recent death of well-known wuxia novelist Jin Yong (1924-2018), it is refreshing to see his characters and stories live on in the works of Vancouver-based artist Howie Tsui. The artist grew up consuming endless hours of old Hong Kong martial-arts movies, including video adaptations of Jin Yong’s books. In retrospect the artist has realised that they were a lifeline to his cultural roots in his birthplace, and still provide a rich source of inspiration.  Tsui’s first solo show at Art Labor in Shanghai follows on the heels of his exhibition opening at Ocat Museum of Contemporary Art, Xi’an. The Xi’an exhibition showcases his giant, 20-metre-long, scroll-like video installation Retainers of Anarchy, originally commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Set in the fabled and now demolished Kowloon Walled City, it depicts in minute detail the lives of ordinary residents and martial-arts practitioners in the self-ruled community. The show at Art …

Howie Tsui

Retainers of Anarchy By Elliat Albrecht There was a time when lawlessness was king and opposing forces lived, plotted, colluded and fought out their differences without the intervention of authorities. Virtue was valued but bravery and resourcefulness were crucial above all else. Such an anarchic atmosphere was characteristic of both the now-levelled Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong and the stories of wuxia, known in Cantonese as mou hap, a genre of fiction centred around martial-arts figures in ancient China. Hong Kong-born, Vancouver-based artist Howie Tsui drew from both for his solo exhibition Retainers of Anarchy at the Vancouver Art Gallery. His was one of three presentations in Vancouver by Hong Kong artists that marked the approach of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from the UK to China in 1997; in addition, the Vancouver Art Gallery also hosted group show Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong  Artists in Vancouver, and Tsang Kin-Wah presented three public works around the city. The centrepiece of the exhibition was the eponymous Retainers of Anarchy (2017), a 25-metre-long digitally animated scroll …