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7 art shows not to miss in Hong Kong this December 2023

By Ashley Siu 13 December 2023

Header image courtesy of De Sarthe Gallery

The meeting of Eastern and Western cultures in Hong Kong is an allure that both local and foreign artists draw upon, birthing works that are unique to this place, and today, Hong Kong serves as a platform where art from all over the world can be appreciated and revered. This December is no exception: Here’s a list of art shows and exhibitions happening in the city during the last (but not least) month of the year.

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Photo: Pearl Lam Galleries

“Mr Doodle in Space”

We’ve all done our fair share of doodling as children, day-dreaming about the adventures our little scribbles go through. British artist Mr Doodle takes doodling one step further, creating full-fledged narratives through doodle-based pieces. This December, Pearl Lam Galleries takes on the role of a landing pad for Mr Doodle’s spaceship as he brings his space adventures to art enthusiasts and dreamers in the city. Look closely at his works to find that the colours are comprised of a whole host of doodles. The doodles have even taken over the walls and floor of the gallery! Will Mr & Mrs Doodle make it back to DoodleLand before Mr Doodle’s evil twin completes his mission? Visit “Mr Doodle in Space” to find out!

When: Now till 20 January 2024

Where: Pearl Lam Galleries, 601–605 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central

Photo: Villepin

“Whispers of the Soul”

A soul has no voice of its own, but if you listen closely, the whispers might just turn into works of art, and that’s how the soul speaks. “Whispers of the Soul” highlights the work of Australian-born American painter Lawrence Carroll, interacting with pieces by Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Cy Twombly, and photographer François Halard. Carroll’s paintings walk along the border between silence and whispers through neutrals, whites, and sometimes complementary colours. The exhibition considers the beauty and subtleties of ordinary life while looking at the legacies of the included artists, shedding light on how they saw space, architecture, and objects. Join the artists in examining the identities that lie in the human soul.

When: Now till February 2024

Where: Villepin, 53–55 Hollywood Road, Central

Photo: De Sarthe Gallery

“Possible World”

Art is often the portal to a second world, where impossible things are realised. “Possible World” is Seoul-based artist Jung Jin’s attempt to bring this second world to life. Through abstract depictions of fairy-tale scenes that highlight commonly understated anxieties, the artist argues that the seemingly idealistic second world is not as perfect as it looks. The interconnected works and juxtaposing shapes reflect the dynamics between trauma and transformation, and that perhaps one cannot exist without the other. Why does the human race continue to live despite suffering? You may just find answers among the works of Jung Jin.

When: Now till 23 December

Where: De Sarthe Gallery, 26/F, M Place, 54 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang

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Photo: White Cube

"Signs"

Marvel at the contemporary works of late Dutch-born Belgian artist Bram Bogart for an experience beyond visual this month. This artist is well-known for his use of paint in a sculptural manner as well as his refusal to conform to any genre, and “Signs” is testament to that. Bogart’s signature, if you will, features shapes embedded within thick painted surfaces, along with the use of strong but minimal colours. Eventually, Bogart even liberated himself from the constraints of the frame, with paint spilling over the easel. Explore the potentials of the three dimensions with Bogart’s work.

When: Now till 6 January 2024

Where: White Cube Hong Kong, 50 Connaught Road Central, Central

Photo: Axel Vervoordt Gallery

“Acts and paintings”

Some of us might think of paintings as stationary, a slice of time frozen in space, but not Angel Vergara, and “Acts and Paintings” is his proof of such. Paintings can be seen as a play on words, as a nod to the continuous verb “painting” and art as a constantly moving form (yes, even the seemingly static paintings on canvas). This series features pieces that started out as abstract shapes in the artist’s Brussels studio, then metamorphosed as Vergara visits the nature and city that make up Hong Kong’s landscape with his canvases. Witness the key role of movement in Vergara’s work.

When: Now till 16 March 2024

Where: Axel Vervoordt Gallery, 21/F, Coda Designer Centre, 62 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang

Photo: Gagosian

“Stirrings of a Polymorphous Bloom”

As American artist Alexandria Smith’s debut solo exhibition in Asia, “Stirrings of a Polymorphous Bloom” is the artist’s exploration of selfhood and identity. Inspired by autobiography, fiction, and collective memory, this series of Smith’s works feature ambiguously gendered and exaggerated features like eyes and limbs that stretch, divide, and multiply, symbolising physical, spiritual, and emotional growth. The pieces, represented in this exhibition by paper in custom frames, incorporate painted wood and 3D-printed shapes that extend beyond the flat surfaces and frames. Join the artist in a journey of self-discovery, and emerge renewed by elements of genesis, light, and growth.

When: Now till 13 January 2024

Where: Gagosian, 7/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central

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Photo: David Zwirner

“Field Signs”

Known for his realistic yet dreamlike approach to painting, “Field Signs” features German artist Neo Rauch’s new works. His paintings are often described as surreal with a hint of divergent and overlapping locations and forms, which are mysterious and cryptic while hinting at bigger narratives and histories, yet link with the artistic traditions of realism at the same time. An example of such works is the titular Feldzeichen (“Field Signs”), consisting of not only iron signs that typically serve as emblems in ancient Rome, but human figures that ambiguate the narrative. The depth of each piece’s significance at “Field Signs” may just surprise you.

When: Now till 24 February 2024

Where: David Zwirner, 5/F–6/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central

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Ashley Siu

Writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Ashley has always been captivated by the city and how its bustling heart coexists with flora and fauna. While writing is her passion, you might also find her relaxing with a cosy video game, feeding horses at a local riding school, or checking out climbing gyms in the city.

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