All posts tagged: Margot Mottaz

Do Ho Suh

Passage/s Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong Mar 20 – May 13, 2017 Margot Mottaz Every now and then you encounter an artist who resonates so deeply with you that they become a reference against which you assess all others. Do Ho Suh is one of them for me. I first discovered his work at his first Hong Kong solo exhibition, here at Lehmann Maupin, when his ongoing Specimen Series, small apartment fixtures and appliances replicated in translucent nylon, were displayed there in December 2013. Many artists tackle questions of home, displacement and personal space, but few do it with as much finesse, simplicity and beauty as Suh. Initially as a result of his move from his native South Korea to the US in the 1990s, his work seeks to apprehend the fundamental question of belonging and by extension identity. Now based in London with his family, his endeavour has remained the same but the premise has developed to include the complexity of fatherhood. His daughters played a key role in the creation of each work in …

Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo Qiang

Director: Kevin Macdonald Cast: Ian Buruma, Cai Guo Qiang, Cai Wen You, Cai Wen Hao, Ben Davis, Jeffrey Deitch, Phil Grucci, Thomas Krens, Tatsumi  Masatoshi, Orville Schell, Jennifer Wen Ma, Hong Hong Wu, Zhang Yimou US, 76 minutes By Margot Mottaz Connecting the Earth to the rest of the universe was Cai Guo Qiang’s childhood dream. When he finally realised it in 2015 after 20 years and three failed attempts, a majestic 500-metre ladder of gold light ascended into the night sky over the Huiyu Island harbour, not far from Cai’s hometown in Fujian province. A touching gift to his ailing 100-year-old grandmother, who watched the spectacle unfold on FaceTime, Sky Ladder is a striking metaphor for Cai’s artistic ambitions. The eponymous documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Wendi Murdoch, offers a captivating look into Cai’s life and work, heavily premised on the shock of the Cultural Revolution, which Cai experienced as a little boy, and his move to Japan and later New York. Narrated by the artist himself, his close friends and family, as well as prominent scholars of …

Maria Taniguchi

Solo show. By Margot Mottaz Philippine artist Maria Taniguchi estimates that she has painted a few hundred thousand bricks since 2008, when she started her ongoing series of untitled brick paintings. Shown alongside a fountain installation at Galerie Perrotin this winter in the artist’s first solo show in Hong Kong, these minimal, solemn paintings have become Taniguchi’s signature pieces, through which her practice – video, sculpture, pottery and installation – is often understood. Large in format (on average 250 x 120cm) and repetitive in design, the paintings consist of small graphite rectangles carefully filled with black acrylic paint. The result might look mechanical but each brick has been painted individually in a laborious operation. The bricks, uneven in tone, with some darker than others depending on the ratio of paint to water, form abstract patterns that reflect the artist’s hand. Still, the series’ overall uniformity purposely belies Taniguchi’s labour-intensive, time-consuming efforts. This is perhaps a subdued comment on the undervaluation of manual labour in our post-industrial, globalised world, a topical subject in her homeland and …

Switched On

By Margot Mottaz Cities buzz. Like giant batteries, they store energy and release it; their air is electric. They are fuelled by the intangible networks, both human and digital, that run tirelessly through their tall skyscrapers and narrow back alleys. In an attempt to reveal these imperceptible forces that make up urban environments, Human Vibrations, Hong Kong’s fifth Large-Scale Public Media Arts Exhibition, explores the relationship between technology and city dwellers. Through site-specific public works by eight new-media artists, both local and international, the exhibition looks on notions of time, transience and ephemerality, as well as how people relate to each other and to their environment. Taking centre stage in the exhibition is Fly High – Time Flies (2016) by Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer, in which swarms of flies smother the ICC’s facades as they would cattle on a hot summer day. The randomly generated mass aggregates, crowds the building on all sides and dissipates again. The tower, suddenly filled with life, becomes akin to the city it looks over, bustling with millions of …