Month: August 2017

Various artists

Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs Para Site Hong Kong Mar 18 – Jun 11, 2017 Caroline Ha Thuc The scope of this ambitious exhibition is very wide, in geography, in time and in the multiple issues that are addressed. Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs refers to the land as a physical territory but also as a receptacle for human memory, mythologies and history. Recent accelerated development in Asian countries has triggered deep and sometimes violent changes among people and also landscapes, leading to massive flows of migration, uprooting of longstanding traditions and land grabs, not to mention the depletion of natural resources. New ideologies and discourses are emerging from the urgent need to adapt to this new context, from nationalism to historical revisionism and critical alternatives to dominant Western ways of thinking. In their curatorial statement for Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs, Cosmin Costinas and Into Guerrero highlight the global feeling of anxiety that also dominates Asian societies today, and underline the general loss of certainty and the violence generated by this shifting geopolitical order. Soil is the fabric of a nation, and dealing with soil inevitably leads to boundaries …

David Lam, Carrie Koo, Paul Chu, Josh Hon

Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong  Artists in Vancouver Vancouver Art Gallery Mar 4 – May 28, 2017 Elliat Albrecht Pacific Crossings: Hong Kong Artists in Vancouver (March 4–May 28) was one of three exhibitions organised by the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the territory’s handover from the UK to China in 1997. Presented on half a floor of the gallery, an authoritative-looking former courthouse in the centre of the city, the exhibition was staged by the VAG’s Institute of Asian Art and comprised archival documents and art works by Paul Chui, Josh Hon, Carrie Koo and David Lam, who all emigrated from Hong Kong to Vancouver during the uncertain years leading up to the handover. Curator Diana Freundl positioned the show in the catalogue as illustrating the early stages of abstract and modern landscape painting in Hong Kong in the 1960s, as well as the performance and installation art of the 1980s. Freundl argued that with the growth of globalisation and commercialisation in the second half of the 20th century, Hong Kong’s artistic developments matched …

Rachel Kneebone

Ovid in Exile By Diana d’Arenberg Parmanand British sculptor Rachel Kneebone forges the human condition out of clay. The great meta-narratives of humanity – creation and destruction, life and death, renewal, love, suffering, heaven and hell, the limitations and possibilities of the human body – are all tackled in her sculptures. It is a biblical, monumental endeavour. Aptly named, Kneebone creates architectural structures of white porcelain resembling towers or sculpture-like crypts of small bones, or tangles of roots or vines. The violent entanglement of limbs might be ripped straight out of Dante’s Inferno. She turned porcelain – a material associated with the decorative figurines and tea sets of the bourgeoisie – into the boundary-defying installation 399 Days at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London this year. The colossal sculpture, her largest to date, is a towering, epic explosion of limbs, flowers, spheres and genitalia. Fragments of the human body are intertwined, clambering and cascading down. They recall Rodin’s The Gates of Hell – her work was exhibited alongside the artist’s in 2012 at the Brooklyn Museum – or an erotic Tower of Babel, …