Author: Artomity Magazine

Lam Tung Pang

Fragmentation Chambers Fine Art Beijing Jun 24 – Aug 20, 2017 Nooshfar Afnan Broken pieces of oversized Chinese bowls, apparently haphazardly strewn around the courtyard of Chambers Fine Art, constitute the first of several works by Lam Tung Pang that force us to contemplate the show’s title Fragmentation. Being Disappeared – Disappeared Hong Kong Art (3) (2013) is made up of pieces of a work originally shown as part of a public installation in Hong Kong in 2013 but shut down after 24 hours, due to a dispute between the venue and the organisers. It was returned to the artist in the broken pieces that form the current work. Lam felt profoundly impacted by this turn of events but could also sympathise with both parties. The artist realised that he could simultaneously hold two contradictory views, a condition that he terms the “fragmented self”. For his inaugural solo exhibition in Beijing, curated by Abby Chen, Lam presented objects, sketches, paintings, installation works and two videos. For any Hong Kong artist exhibiting in mainland China, it is …

Chow Chun Fai

By Elliat Albrecht “I want my identity back”, “China is not ruled by Chinese anyway”, “History can be changed”, “Our city changed irrevocably” and “You think a Hong Kong triad can outlive a Mainland businessmen?” make up a few of the subtitles of the paintings of film stills for which artist Chow Chun Fai is known. Chow’s politics are hardly concealed in these works, for which he skilfully recreates mises-en-scene from Hong Kong and mainland Chinese films, including snippets of dialogue that allude to aspects of the Sino-Hong Kong relationship. Isolated, removed and rendered in paint, the subtitles lay bare their connotations of authority, nationalism, localism and fear, ringing in the ears and revealing the filmic medium as an expression of both social concern and soft power. Active in performance, Chow is also chairman of the Fotanian Artist Village. Five years ago he made an unsuccessful run in the Hong Kong Legislative Council election in the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication constituency. His works were recently on view in Tale of the Wonderland at Blindspot Gallery (September 19 to November 11, 2017), a group exhibition …

M+ Matters REORIENT: Conversations on South and Southeast Asia – Open for Registration

REORIENT is M+’s first public event to focus exclusively on the region of South and Southeast Asia. From its early stages of formation, the M+ collection has encompassed works by South and Southeast Asian artists and makers, but the region(s) have yet to feature prominently as part of the museum’s public programme. With REORIENT, M+ “reorients” attention southward by bringing together key practitioners, curators, researchers and thinkers from the fields of visual art, design and architecture and moving image, and from various locales in South and Southeast Asia, to present and discuss critical issues and multiplicities related to their practice, institutions and contexts. Designed to inform Hong Kong audiences about the important work being done by individuals and institutions in the region, REORIENT also seeks to examine affinities and intersections between cultural practices in Hong Kong and the global south. Comprised of one-on-one conversations, short presentations and panel discussions, REORIENT is a three-day event designed as a platform to explore views across geographies (from Bangalore to Bangladesh, Yogyakarta to Ho Chi Minh City), disciplines (from visual art, design and architecture, and …

Interior Materialism[s]

By Gerhard Bruyns One of the most daunting challenges of all design endeavours is the material expression of ideas and intentions. Historically, the very first attempts at materialising ideas have in some way been challenged. First, designers consider the technical skills needed to express the idea. Second, they question the material at hand to give the idea a form or body. And third, they search for the stylistic language most suited to the idea. For the ancient Greeks, the challenge was to achieve material perfection in either architectural or human form. Architectural perfection lay within the classical orders of the Doric or Ionic orders that guided the way that building facades had to be designed. The composition of each facade, the elements it contained and the proportions of each section of a facade were the driving concerns. The geometric simplicity of the Doric order’s column capital influenced a specific material composition compared to the Ionic order’s curvatures and edges. Each Greek temple was devised in a similar order, where the perfection lay in the proportional orders of the plan: usually in a 1:3 ratio between the main entrance …

The Un/Safe Reading of Spectrosynthesis – Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now

By Anthony Leung Po Shan Spectrosynthesis – Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei in September proclaimed itself to be Asia’s first “LGBTQ art” exhibition at a state-owned museum. In addition to being the icing on the cake after Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage, it also marks the homonormative order finally gaining acceptance in its political, economic, social and cultural aspects. Although successful in its scope and accessibility, the exhibition failed to explore a more creative/destructive gender imagination, and inevitably felt too safe to an audience familiar with gender issues. The exhibition took three years to prepare, with curator Sean C S Hu classifying all artists that belong to the politically marginalised or the non-heterosexual mainstream as “tongzhi”, a collective term that usually encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The inclusive definition of the term was an attempt to efface the question of who does and doesn’t qualify, plus some works of unspecified gender orientation also helped to dilute the stereotypical image of “tongzhi art”. Although the 44 works from 24 …

Prominent Artists Headline Bonhams Hong Kong Modern And Contemporary Art Sale This November

Lot 10 – Kishio Suga (b. 1944), Inside and Out of Lattice, oil paint and wood panels,149 x 133 x 8 cm, 1990. (HK$300,000 – 500,000) Zeng Fanzhi, Zao Wou Ki, Hsiao Chin, Key Hiraga, KAWS and Kishio Suga are among the line-up of sought after artists featured in Bonhams 39-lot sale for Modern and Contemporary Art on 21 Novemberin Hong Kong, created to appeal to the global artworld.  The cover lot is a rare piece by Kishio Suga (b.1944), a leading member of Mono-Ha, a group of Japanese artists prolific during the late 60s and early 70s that aimed to challenge the traditional concepts of art. In this post Mono-Ha piece, Inside and Out of Lattice, painted in 1990 (estimate HK$300,000 – 500,000), the work reflects the spirit of this movement as the artist’s interest in using every day materials to explore a dynamic relationship between the materials and the negative space around them. Lot 22 – Zao Wou Ki (1921 – 2013), Dordogne, oil on canvas, 46 x 61 cm, 1954. (HK$ 4,000,000 – 6,000,000) A strong …

J. Park: Embodiment 2017 | Ben Brown Fine Arts Hong Kong

Ben Brown Fine Arts is pleased to present J PARK: Embodiment 2017, our first solo exhibition of artist J. Park at the Hong Kong gallery.  J. Park is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work includes painting, sculpture, photography, video and installations.  This exhibition presents a group of recent paintings as well as two video installations. J. Park addresses many social and political themes in his work, including surveillance, communication and social order, all through the framework of omnipresent technology.  J. Park’s paintings are comprised of elaborate arrangements of dots and bars evoking complex computer coding, microchips, braille, barcodes and myriad other technological associations.  J PARK: Embodiment 2017 15 November 2017 – 6 January 2018  Opening: 14 November 2017, 6 – 8 pm Ben Brown Fine Arts 303 Pedder Building 12 Pedder Street Central Hong Kong Email Web Mo-Sa 11am – 7pm Image: Maze of Onlookers by J. Park, Acrylic on canvas, 227.3 x 181.8 cm, 2016.  

An Empty Apartment. A Painting. Afternoon: Law Man Lok at Things That Can Happen

By Michele Chan Opening with the starkest, barest of scenes – “A country. A tree. Evening.” – Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot sends viewers on a reflexive rummage for revelation and meaning. There is an analogous barren yet expectant vacuity in the closing exhibition at things that can happen in Sham Shui Po: the door opens onto an empty Hong Kong apartment, its walls painted deep grey, and the eye falls on a sole painting hung near the far right corner in which Dumbo, wraith-like and ethereal in orange pastel hues, hovers mid-flight against a background of electric yellow. The only other work in the room, displayed on the wall opposite, is the diptych He-Man & She-Ra (2015), two garish superhero murals executed in the shabby vintage style signature to Hong Kong artist Law Man Lok, aka Lawman. A sense of stagnant expectation pervades, Beckettian with a whimsical twist: He-Man and She-Ra are frozen mid-transformation; Dumbo is trying to fly; and Things’ two-year-old space in Sham Shui Po is set to close, while its founders, artist Lee Kit …

Art for the People

Building a future audience: why should people care about your art? By Vivienne Chow Most people hate the truth – and this is articularly true in the art world. At both the recent Museum Forum staged by the Maritime Museum and the annual Cultural Leadership Summit organised by the Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association, questions were raised regarding building a future audience. The government, the media and the education sector were all blamed for not providing an environment that allows more youngsters and other members of the public to experience arts and culture. The question that wasn’t raised was whether artists, exhibition organisers, curators and promoters bear responsibility for building and attracting an audience. It raises the further question of why people should care about art in the first place. This is an incredibly uncomfortable question to ask; it sounds like a blatant attack on the culture of artistic excellence art professionals strive to pursue. It suggests that the shows they present, be they visual or performing arts, are so irrelevant that only a small percentage of the population are interested in …

Caroline Chiu & Paul Aiello

Caroline Chiu, RTHK Radio 4 presenter and art critic with her husband Paul Aiello, discusses three of her favourite pieces from their collection. Chiu saw Chris Huen Sin Kan’s solo exhibition Out of the Ordinary at Gallery Exit in 2015. His ease with painting on a large scale, his sense of allowing white space to exist, without having to fill every inch of the canvas up, exuded confidence. In that show, there was a painting where his girlfriend, now wife, was sitting on Shek O beach. Chiu fell in love with the abstractness of it, but it had already sold. Chiu had bought and renovated an old village house in Shek O and was living there with her family. Falling in love with the location, she began to think about commissioning Hong Kong artists to explore it as an art subject. She visited Shek O Headland with Huen in spring 2016, showing him the most southeasterly point of Hong Kong island, a small outcrop of rock surrounded by the roaring sea. Chiu visited Huen’s studio in July …