Nov 22, 2012|
Hong Kong’s art scene continues to grow, with a new gallery opening seemingly almost every time we turn our backs. The past few months alone have brought a number of impressive and diverse new galleries, from transgressive exhibitions and educational programming in an industrial warehouse in Chai Wan, to an appointment-only space showcasing works from European masters such as Hirst and Warhol, there’s something to satisfy art enthusiasts of all stripes.
Set to open December 6, this creative outpost aims to exhibit a variety of different kinds of printed works, ranging from ink drawings and sketches to block and silk printing. Working at the forefront of the contemporary art of printing, Artify intends to collaborate with emerging artists and provide them with access to new production methods and technologies.
In the industrial setting of a warehouse in Chai Wan, expect a very contemporary art space if you visit. The large windows looking out over the colorful harbor and Kowloon are in stark contrast to the clinical white walls and black iron beams. It is a versatile exhibition space that can be converted into nine partitioned rooms or used as a whole.
For its grand opening, Artify is organizing Malaysian artist Eiffel Chong’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. For this show, entitled “This Used To Be My Playground,” Artify reintroduces some of Chong’s work and also introduces five new Hong Kong-specific pieces. This exhibition also forms part of the artist’s ongoing series to chronicle abandoned spaces and to represent the persistence of human advancement, destroying the old and decayed to build anew (A familiar concept in our city, where developers are given precedence above everything). The images in “This Used To Be My Playground” address not only the desertion of the buildings but also the distress within the junk that people leave behind there. Given the preoccupation with the Freudian notion of death that runs through all the artist’s works, expect thought provoking, engaging pieces but not works that will lift your spirits. The exhibition runs until January 24, 2013.
Artify’s ambitions extend beyond merely curating art works. It also plans to run educational programs with talks, screenings and workshops, all to reach out to the local community in Chai Wan as well as a wider Hong Kong audience. Future exhibitions will include a Japanese artist specializing in block printing inspired by photographs, and a famous Beijing artist who has been commissioned to create a new collection with paper and print materials.
Block A, 10/F, Ming Po Industrial Centre, 18 Ka Yip St., Chai Wan, 2140-9386, www.artifygallery.com. Open Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-3pm.
A striking newcomer to Sheung Wan’s vibrant gallery scene, Studio Rouge is hard to miss—in more ways than one. With a bright red, double-height entrance that bathes in the glow of a large neon cross on the church next door, it is not very difficult to find. Despite already being firmly established in China with two galleries in Shanghai, Studio Rouge views a presence in Hong Kong as essential. Likes its others, the branch here will specialize in emerging Chinese artists and European-born artists now based in China. Working with young Chinese artists allows the works available to suit a range of budgets, so some pieces are surprisingly affordable. Studio Rouge also works alongside the Island 6 artist collective, located around the corner in Sheung Wan, so there will often be art displayed from very close to home.
Its inaugural exhibition, “Mr. & Mrs. Huang in the Humble Administrator’s Garden,” encompasses the fine art photography of Huang Xu and the sculpture of his wife Dai Dandan. The inspiration behind the exhibition is the actual Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou, which, in true Chinese style, tells the story of a fallen bureaucrat. Underpinning the collection are allusions to many Confucian ideas. The director of Studio Rouge, George Michel, has put together a series of exquisite photographs by Xu, complemented by sparkly, dolled-up scholar rocks—a typical landscaping feature of traditional Chinese gardens—made by his wife Dai. The two elements jive together well; some photographs of frayed plastic bags are eerily reminiscent of the rocks themselves. This exhibition runs from now till November 30.
Other fun and engaging exhibitions will follow suit. A solo exhibition, “Gold,” which showcases the work of the British painter and printmaker Wayne Warren will run over Christmas, and next year Studio Rouge will host an exhibition of the works of Chinese artist Jiang Weitao. A small, light and airy space, this is welcoming and accessible art gallery with no airs and graces.
236 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan, 9757-9869, www.studiorouge.cn. Open daily 10am-6pm.
This gallery has organized exhibitions all across the world, but decided to open an actual gallery here in Hong Kong due to its fast-growing art market and the owners’ desire to discover local artists from China and Hong Kong. The goal is to introduce international contemporary artists to its Sheung Wan branch, with a special emphasis on China, Russia and Europe, to a Hong Kong audience, but they also hope to represent local artists down the line. For now, they are prioritizing more established artists who work in mediums from paintings to photography, planning to move on to emerging artists in the near future.
The gallery has a simple, spacious décor that fits its location in the old-fashioned yet trendy Tai Ping Shan Street area. As the owner is based in Moscow, the gallery began by showcasing a Russian contemporary painter and sculptor named Zorikto Dorzhiev whose work is rooted in the culture and tradition of eastern Russia.
After a quick renovation, a second exhibition is up and running—“Touched: Faces & Masks,” by Armenian artist Sonya Suhariyan will run till December 15. The exhibition features mixed-media works that combine a number of traditional visual arts. For example, Suhariyan might first draw a picture, turn it into a print, and then paint over the print with oil and acrylic paint, creating multiple layers of images. Reality clashes with fantasy in some of her pieces where the artist shows familiar objects in unknown surroundings that makes us question what we see.
AP Contemporary’s exhibitions change monthly—next up is a photography show by Shanghai-based artist Nina Chen.
28 Tai Ping Shan St., Sheung Wan, 3105-2118, www.apcontemporary.com. Open Tue-Sun, noon-8pm.
With galleries in Sydney and Singapore, Collins & Kent launched their first gallery in Hong Kong in September. Their reason for opening in Hong Kong, according to regional art director Troy Sadler, was simple: its vibrant environment and the rapid growing number of art enthusiasts. Located on the main drag of Hollywood Road in a commercial building, its location is a mirror of the gallery’s mission, which combines art and investment. In addition to showing and selling artwork, mostly by European masters, it also offers investment opportunities for clients by renting out clients’ artwork.
Its minimalistic but grand showroom is split into two halves, one side with a wooden floor bearing paintings on clean white walls, and the other with a carpet and sofas to make you feel warm and comfortable. There is generous floor space, enough to hold events such as dinner parties—which is another service it offers. Situated high up on the 23rd floor, you can look down into Central through the large windows.
Collins & Kent specializes in print-on-paper from well-known artists such as Picasso, Miro and Warhol. Beyond traditional European painters, it has plans to invest in up-and-coming contemporary Chinese artists. Until the end of the year, Collins & Kent is playing host to a Picasso exhibition, alongside with a collection of works by Damien Hirst that recently went on the auction block for charity. The exhibition features a range of prints of Picasso that were archived and kept by the artist’s granddaughter. Since Collins & Kent isn’t open to the public, it is organizing guided tours of “Picasso on Paper” each Saturday during the exhibition’s run.
After this show, it will display a selection of artwork from its large portfolio of artists before another solo exhibition. While visiting the gallery is by appointment only, staff are friendly and welcome interested parties. Collins & Kent often hosts special programs, so sign up for a Picasso tour or get on the mailing list for upcoming events by writing to email@example.com.
Suite 2301-03, 2/F, Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Rd., Central, 3695-5200,
www.collinskentint.com.hk. Open by appointment only.