All posts tagged: João Vasco Paiva

Crossing Hong Kong’s Harbour

By John Batten The very first art objects mass-exported from China to buyers in Europe, Asia and the Ottoman Empire were designed-to-order, ceramic and porcelain chinoiserie items, often purely utilitarian: crockery dinner sets, jars and storage urns. In the 18th century worldwide trade expanded due to growing demand, sturdier ships and established trading routes. Canton, as Guangzhou was then known, was China’s only port open for foreign trade, and encouraged by the success of the porcelain trade the earliest China Trade paintings were created there. This established the practice for visiting European traders and military personnel to buy or commission a painting as a souvenir of their visit or an export product. Executed by Chinese artisan painters, China Trade paintings were completed in a western landscape painting style, often naive and using rudimentary perspective. The paintings focused on depicting Canton life, including factories, trading houses, foreign diplomatic quarters, landscape scenes and visiting ships – subjects that appealed to Europeans. The monopoly on British trade with India and China held by the British East India Company for more than two centuries ended …

Mina Park

Para Site director and arts patron Mina Park discusses her favourite works from her collection. Lee Kit was the first young Hong Kong artist Park heard of before she moved to Hong Kong in 2010; when she moved here she sought his work out, after first seeing images of it in the book for the 2009 show Younger than Jesus at New York’s New Museum. In some ways her relationship with his work tracks her relationship with Hong Kong. In 2011 she visited his solo show at Osage Gallery in Kwun Tong, and remembers vividly spending the entire afternoon with gallerist Jade Ouk, learning more about the pieces in the show and talking about how they had both adjusted to life in Hong Kong. In 2013 Park visited Lee’s exhibition when he represented Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale, and saw his paintings on wood, in this case small ones, for the first time. There is an often-discussed residual quality to his work that is very palpable to her; some of his pieces refer to a presence that is no …

João Vasco Paiva

Benches, Stairs, Ramps, Ledges, Ground By Richard Lord The work of Hong Kong-based, Portuguese-born artist represents a formal investigation of how urban environments are affected by human use – and how those environments in turn affect those humans. Even by his standards, however, his latest work, Benches, Stairs, Ramps, Ledges, Ground, shown after a three-month residency at Jacob Lewis Gallery in New York, is a particularly direct interpretation of this mission, with urban materials that depict aspects of urban environments subjected to the stresses and strains typical of those environments. While in New York Paiva contacted people who make skate ramps, covered those ramps with satellite images of urban areas, depicted in ink that would run readily, and got skateboarders to do their thing on them. “I’m very interested in not controlling the final outcome, and so I wanted to work with these images but I wanted not to control them,” he says. “Street skateboarding is interesting – it’s a repurposing of urban space. It’s about which parts of structures they find interesting and use. …