It’s impossible to walk around the colourful streets of Hong Kong without stumbling upon an art gallery or six. But with the overflow of options available, it’s extremely easy to miss out on the best of the bunch. Always with an eye out for something a little special, Localiiz scoured the streets to bring you our Top Three Unmissable Art Exhibitions this month.
No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia
Coming straight from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
in New York, No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia
brings a whole host of weird and wonderful works to Hong Kong’s Asia Society
, Admiralty). The varied collection of paintings, photos and sculptures is displayed in a huge stone explosives storage room used by the British Navy 150 years ago - reason enough to visit in itself.
The pride of the show is Tayeba Begum Lipi’s Love Bed, which at first glance comes across all shiny and nice. Upon closer inspection however we receive a stark summary of the beauty and bloodshed of Lipi’s birth country, Bangladesh, as we see this bed is made entirely out of stainless steel razor blades!
Also worth a little further explanation is Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s Enemy’s Enemy: Monument to a Monument, which makes a distinctly symbolic statement about how, just like religion, sport has the power to both unite and split communities. Nguyen binds the two together by carving a highly venerated Buddhist monk into a baseball bat, which was in turn was made by Hillerich & Bradsby, a company that provided the US Army with wood for rifles. This powerful piece leaves us with the lingering question, are the divisions within our society worth all the conflict?
What: No Country Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia
When: Until February 16th 2014
Where: Asia Society Hong Kong: 9 Justice Drive
Price: HK$30 for non-members, HK$15 for seniors and those with disabilities. Free for all Asia Society members, full-time students, under 18s, and on last Thursday of the month
We Can Start Over by Vivian Ho
There’s very few of us who haven’t enjoyed a cup of traditional milk tea from a ‘cha chaan teng’ or a freshly made meal in a roadside stall. But have you ever thought that such humble scenes could be the catalyst for great works of art? Having grown up in Hong Kong, emerging artist Vivian Ho gets her inspiration from the city’s common people and their lifestyles, highlighting the beauty of an ordinary life.
If you’re a true Hong Konger you’ll almost be able to smell the streets of Sheung Wan through Linger, with the paint, charcoal and ink background depicting everything from the local markets and the boutique shops to the colourful ad banners. Ho recreates the life of a local elderly housewife in the centre of the hustle and bustle, allowing her to be seen through an intensely romantic veil reminiscent of renowned Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-Wai.
What: Vivian Ho ‘We Could Start Over’
When: Until January 30th 2014
Where: Artify Gallery: Unit 7, 10/F, Block A, Ming Pao Industrial Centre, 18 Ka Yip Street, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Squint: Kinetic Light Installation by Kenny Wong
As much as this wall of 50 mirrors would be an ideal fit for any dressing room, the seemingly simple array of everyday accessory in Kenny Wong’s Squint Kinetic Light Installation is subtly absorbing. Wong’s spirited exploration of the nature of light really opens up the door to the imagination, as the sunlight bounces around Videotage
in To Kwa Wan, flickering across the audience’s faces.
The exhibition is one of a particularly playful nature. In fact, the illuminated round mirrors are strangely evocative of Disney’s Pixar lamp, leaving us half expecting them to whirl their heads around as they come to life. Although the audio-visual accompaniment of sound artist Dennis Wong (aka Sin:Ned) is already over, the installation itself is definitely worth the trip to the ‘Dark Side’.
What: Squint: Kinetic Light Installation and Audiovisual Performance
When: Until January 31st 2014
Where: Videotage, Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon