All posts tagged: Valencia Tong

Justin Wong Chiu Tat

Normal Life / A Concept Gallery / Hong Kong / Feb 13 – Mar 14, 2020 / Valencia Tong / Philosophers, artists and musicians often contemplate the meaning of life, asking why we exist and whether there’s a higher purpose for what we are doing. Aristotle’s well-known reflection on how to live a good lifeinspires many people to see the eudaimonia he advocates as something worth achieving. On the other hand, some perfectionists embody Sisyphus in his never-ending quest to pushing a rock up a mountain. While all these manifestations of the desire for self-actualisation can be cliched, the exhibition Normal Life at A Concept Gallery is surprisingly refreshing, as it unshackles itself from the burden of maintaining a facade of such lofty ambitions. Prompting us to consciously re-examine and re-engage with our experiences in daily life, comic artist Justin Wong Chiu Tat’s illustrations offer us an alternative to what he deems “distorted human nature”, which arises from our culture of maximising everything. Instead, he takes a down-to-earth approach, presenting a sincere investigation of what normal life is. On entering the dimly …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Various artists

Algorithmic Art: Shuffling Space and Time / Hong Kong City Hall / Dec 27 – Jan 10 / Valencia Tong / As I casually strolled into the dimly lit space of the group exhibition at City Hall, I considered a number of issues: the relationship between art and technology; how artists explore contemporary issues through the use of technology; whether machines can be creative – and whether machines that can think will threaten human existence. The sale of an art work generated by artificial intelligence at Christie’s in New York for almost US$500,000 sent shockwaves across the art world, as it tried to grapple with what the identity of an artist meant. So the exhibition Algorithmic Art: Shuffling Space and Time, curated by Hong Kong Arts Development Council 2017 Artist of the Year in Media Art Linda CH Lai, was a timely one. Coinciding with the exhibition, scholars and artists from around the world gathered at the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong, known for bridging art and science to foster creativity, for …

Park Seo-Bo

Ecriture 1967−1976 / White Cube / Hong Kong / Nov 23, 2018 – Jan 5, 2019 / Valencia Tong / The father of the Korean Dansaekhwa movement, Park Seo-Bo believes that art is an act of emptying. Through repeated hand movements he creates meditative works that are deeply rooted in Taoist and Buddhist philosophy. At his exhibition at White Cube in Hong Kong, the early works of the artist’s Ecriture series, which began in the late 1960s, embody the notion of emptying the mind. The Korean War in the 50s was a traumatic period for many local artists, whose works became more introspective following the unrest in the country. In the next decade, the post-war generation of artists embarked on the spiritual journey of Dansaekhwa, the Korean monochrome movement, with an emphasis on the process of art-making. Park’s work explores existential conditions but is firmly rooted in the Korean cultural tradition. He regards the resulting art pieces that we see as the residue of the process of his spiritual exercise, as if he had been chanting prayers …

Robin Moyer

My China (1976 – Present) Pékin Fine Arts Hong Kong Jun 23 – Oct 1, 2018 Valencia Tong Upon entering the gallery, it is as though the viewer has stepped into a time capsule. The black-and-white photos of various sizes, some framed and some unframed, are the work of award-winning photojournalist Robin Moyer from a career spanning over five decades in Asia. They showcase the transformations of mainland China and Hong Kong from 1976 to the present day. Steps at #24 Caine Road Hong Kong features a strong diagonal composition, with an advertisement printed at the side of the stone steps. The ad for Two Girls, a cosmetics brand with which generations of Hong Kong citizens have been familiar, evokes a sense of nostalgia. Bicycles is a snapshot of the daily life of ordinary citizens in mainland China in the 1980s, featuring what for a long time was China’s most popular mode of transport. The crowd in the foreground is juxtaposed against uneven shadows in the background cast by trees, adding to the depth of the image. This photograph not …

Hank Willis Thomas

My Life is OursBen Brown Fine ArtsHong KongSep 20 – Oct 27, 2018Valencia Tong American conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas is known for examining issues of identity, race, intolerance and protest. For his first solo exhibition in Asia, at Ben Brown Fine Arts, he reinterpreted archival photographs he found of protests in Hong Kong and mainland China from past and present to highlight theuniversality of recurring themes of oppression across history. The artist also explores the notions of materiality and audience engagement, deliberately screen-printing the images onto retroreflective sheeting, which is usually used to make road signs visible in the dark. On top of that, painterly brushstrokes sit on the outermost layer, giving it the illusion of abstraction. It is only when the images are manually activated by light, such as a camera flash or a torch, that the full details of the historical images come to view. Since the appearance of the works keeps changing, mirroring the constant state of sociopolitical flux in the world at large, the viewer is literally and metaphorically invited to look closer and dig deeper, beyond what is …

Mark Bradford

Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong Mar 27 – May 12, 2018 Valencia Tong Spanning the 15th and 16th floors of H Queen’s, the newly built luxury art and cultural hub, Hauser & Wirth’s brand new Hong Kong space was inaugurated by an exhibition by US artist Mark Bradford. The US representative at the 2017 Venice Biennale, the Los Angeles-based abstract artist brought to the Hong Kong show some of his newest works, which feature a map motif. At first glance, the viewer is greeted with a scene of overwhelming tranquility, surrounded by turquoise-blue paintings against the stark white walls of the spacious gallery. The bright blue colour of the majority of the paintings evokes the feeling of being immersed in a vast ocean. However, on closer examination, the images provoke anxiety; they do not depict nature and freedom, but aerial views of a claustrophobic, restrictive urban reality. It is as if the viewer assumes the perspective of an overhead surveillance camera that sees where all the boundaries and borders of urban geographies lie, and these separations divide populations into communities according to …

Chen Tianzhuo, Chen Wei, Double Fly Art Center, Hu Weiyi, Lu Yang, Sun Xun, Carla Chan, Chris Cheung, Tang Kwok-hin, Morgan Wong

#You #Me #OurSELFIES  Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre Hong Kong Jan 6 – 22, 2018 Valencia Tong The hashtag has changed the way we communicate in the digital age. In the exhibition One World Exposition 2.2: #YOU#ME#ourSELFIES at Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, artists from mainland China and Hong Kong born in the 1980s and 90s show us how the language of technology, the internet and social media infiltrates the aesthetics of art. The title suggests a radical change in how art is experienced, especially by the millennial generation. Gone are the days when security guards in museums yelled “No photos”; instead, audience members are now encouraged to document their participation and interaction with the art works by generating content themselves, usually in the form of a selfie on social media, democratising the consumption of art across time and space. The exhibition showcases how media art can engage with contemporary issues through a selection of multidisciplinary works. Hu Weiyi’s The Raver compares our consumption and production of information to being strapped to electric chairs used during executions. We are forced to react incoherently to the bombardment of images, sounds and …