All posts tagged: Katherine Volk

Huang Yongping, Shen Yuan

Hong Kong Foot  Tang Contemporary Art Hong Kong Dec 20, 2017 – Jan 27 Katherine Volk Huang Yongping and Shen Yuan don’t avoid provocative subjects, and their work often creates controversy. Late last year, for example, Huang’s work was topical when his piece Theatre of the World, featuring lizards consuming insects as a metaphor for human violence, helped provide the title of the exhibition Art and China after 1989: Theatre of the World at New York’s Solomon R Guggenheim Museum. After arguments between animal cruelty activists and proponents of artistic freedom, his work was ultimately pulled from the show. Neither did the pair shy away from contemporary discourse in the four works they made specifically for the opening of Tang Contemporary Art’s new space at H Queens. The title, Hong Kong Foot, refers to the fungal infection more often known as athlete’s foot, which was historically a common local condition among settlers, missionaries, soldiers and refugees. As Huang says, it has now been redefined as the way Hong Kong infects those who come to the city with its characteristics. Central to the exhibition was Huang’s …

Liang Ban

Diary of a Pioneer  de Sarthe Gallery Hong Kong Jan 27 – Mar 17 An unearthly purple glow fills the room as a rumble of thunder emanates from the back of the gallery. Consisting of four new works, Liang Ban’s immersive first solo exhibition at de Sarthe Hong Kong questions our relationship to wilderness and the absurdities of human civilisation. The source of the glow is Neon Wilderness: Nazca Lines (2018), which as the name suggests alludes to the Nazca Lines in Peru, geoglyphs scratched into the earth nearly 2,000 years ago that have survived due to the area’s dry climate and minimal human interference – until a truck driver damaged them by driving across them the same week Liang’s exhibition opened. The depictions of animals, plants and shapes went largely unnoticed until they were discovered in the 1920s by a hiking archaeologist, and became increasingly famous with the growth of aviation. Through his use of glowing paint, Liang recreates the symbols on the gallery walls, commenting on the mystery of how they appeared. Though widely thought to be created …

Alex Prager

Lehmann Maupin  Hong Kong Jan 18 – Mar 17 Katherine Volk For Alex Prager’s second solo exhibition in Hong Kong, the Los Angeles-based artist demonstrates through staged film and photography that a familiar truth lies beneath fiction. To the left of the entrance sits Prager’s sculpture Hand Model (detail) (2017) of a bent finger with a long, red-painted nail. Next to the manicured finger is Hand Model (2017), a framed, enlarged image of a whole outstretched hand against a muted background. The cropping from body to hand, and from hand to finger, is reminiscent of advertising practices of enlarging and editing to fit ideals and specifications. Advertising is further emphasised when the same image is used in Star Shoes (2017). Hidden in the corner of the large-scale photograph, an advertisement appears on the back of a model’s magazine prop. It questions the importance of imagery and detail in our daily lives and how the smallest image or the biggest billboard can have an effect on our consciousness. In the other portion of the gallery, Prager’s single-channel video Applause (2016) plays against the white-walled backdrop. …

Annie Wan

By Katherine Volk  Hong Kong artist Annie Wan is known for her conceptual approach to ceramics and moulding. Her exhibition Zan Baak Fo, part of the Jockey Club New Arts Power programme, and an extension of her 11th Gwangju Biennale presentation Everyday a Rainbow (2016), took place across two Hong Kong locations: a grocery store in Ping Shek Estate, Choi Hung and an old art gallery in Sheung Wan. In Choi Hung Wan displayed the ceramics alongside real supermarket items, while in Sheung Wan they were on clean shelves in a white-walled gallery. The two contrasting venues played with the idea of the value of art, with pieces sold in both locations at the price of the original moulded item. The title of the exhibition comes from the Cantonese phoneme zan, which can mean both precious and authentic. Wan’s work has been acquired by private collectors and institutions including the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Burger Collection and the UK’s University of Salford Art Collection. She has had residencies in …

Toshio Matsumoto

Everything Visible is Empty Empty Gallery Hong Kong Sep 9 – Nov 18, 2017 Katherine Volk Visitors to the new Toshio Matsumoto (1932-2017) show at Empty Gallery were immersed in the artist’s experimental visuals as soon as the elevator doors to the gallery opened. Pulsating, coloured waves radiated from a central void and filled the opposite wall, while the entrance space was filled with cosmic sounds. White Hole (1979) simultaneously startled and mesmerised, taking the viewer on a journey into the void. This captivating start to the exhibition was only a taster of what was behind the next door. The gallery consulted with the late artist’s archive to present a retrospective of his newly restored work. The dark space, enclosed between black walls, ceilings and floors, was the perfect setting to display the dynamic aesthetic of the post-war image maker. Empty Gallery brought together a selection of the artist’s documentaries and short experimental films from 1960 to 1979, each featuring drastically different subjects, but connected through their enquiries into the complicated conditions of a changing Japanese society. Phantom (1975) and The Song of Stone (1963) …