New year, new art. Here are 10 must-see exhibitions in Hong Kong to start the year off strong with a touch of culture: from the brand new David Zwirner gallery opening to captivating abstract paintings by Xiao Bo to Alex Prager’s meticulously staged and mind-boggling scenes.
7 December 2017 to 25 January 2018
Through an ongoing collaboration with Manila’s Silverlens Gallery, ‘Choruses’ brings together the work of four artists in an effort to explore how things change and evolve, creating altogether an almost synesthetic environment with multimedia and multiple forms of expression. Genevieve Chua’s geometric shapes mimic geographical forms yet also exude musicality; Martha Atienza explores her dual heritage through a trance-like video of a festival and a superimposed beat. Maria Taniguchi’s black tiled pieces seem to enforce order in a world of disarray; and Hong Kong-based João Vasco Paiva casts ephemeral and temporary objects in concrete and black volcanic rock, in an attempt to extend their existence beyond their time.
Movements at an Exhibition
9 December 2017 to 18 February 2018
German author and art commentator Dorothea von Hantelmann once said that the purpose of live performance is to “make us aware that meaning takes place in the present.” This solo exhibition by artist and choreographer Manuel Pelmuș attempts to discuss live histories by enacting them through several means. By live dance performance, ‘bodily action’ and abstracting histories into new methods of portrayal, ‘movement’ is understood to give both musical and political meaning.
Invader at Harbour City
18 December 2017 to 11 February 2018
Anonymous French street artist Invader already enamoured Hong Kong with his 8-bit tile-bombing (or ‘Invading’) of empty walls and building corners since his first visit in 2015. His art has only become more covetable since, with one art piece recently snagging headlines with its HK$750,000 sale at a Sotheby’s auction to benefit the HOCA foundation. You may have noticed recently that the whimsical work has made its way to Harbour City, with sneaky scenes popping up on the mall facade as well as indoors. Though first surprised to have been tagged by the artist, Harbour City managed to reach out and are even collaborating on a limited edition umbrella that you can win just by posting a few photos with the works on social media. The contest may run until 11 February, but the artworks are here to stay. See if you can spot all 32 outdoors and 18 inside the mall.
WHY PRINT: A Modern Print Biennale by Marble, Print & Clay
19 December 2017 to 8 January 2018
With a custom ordered Conrad Printing Press in tow, two Hong Kong talents David Jasper Wong and Lam King Ting started print workshop Marble, Print & Clay (or MPC) in 2015, and have had their prints and etchings make appearances on anything from Moonzen Craft Brewery’s beer bottles to the veneers of espresso machines for their venue collaborator Sensory Zero. From creating their own pieces to enlisting independent print artists to participate, the two-year journey has led MPC to showcase their first biennale, exhibiting various commissions and creative pieces from 10 different independent groups and individuals across Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. For a glimpse of how print has surpassed tradition in the realms of illustration, calligraphy, ink and photography, you’ll want to check this one out.
The Art of Shen Ping: Compositions of Two Lands
22 December 2017 to 3 March 2018
In a world of excess photo documentation (just think about your overflowing phone data for a second), it feels wonderful to finally see realistic portrayals of vivid landscapes, carefully painted by hand. Showcasing 112 paintings by the fascinating Hong Kong artist Shen Ping, these lenses to the artist's eyes compare and contrast the colours of Hong Kong and Xinjiang, telling stories of living in the bucolic grasslands amongst camels and horses against the daily hustle and bustle on Hong Kong streets.
Living in Compassion: The Art of Chu Hing Wah (Part Two)
3 January to 20 January
A major retrospection for late Hong Kong legend Chu Hing-wah has been showcasing at Hanart TZ Gallery, including more than 60 masterpieces from the early 60s to the present. Chu’s unique colour palette, his enchanting portraits and endearing ensemble paintings reflect a delicate and observant eye -- and make for a cheerful and inspiring afternoon stroll through the galleries.
Kingsley Ng: After the Deluge
31 December 2017 to 6 January 2018
Last year, in one of the most moving pieces of art at Art Basel, Kingsley Ng took over an art tram, transforming one of Hong Kong’s most iconic modes of transportation into a pinhole camera. As the inverted shadows of the city floated through its darkened interior, voices told juxtaposing stories from two points of view. Ng explores yet another alternative venue this January, taking over the Tai Hang Tung Storage Tank -- Hong Kong’s first large-scale underground flood storage tank. For the first time ever, the Drainage Services Department is lending out the underground space for three weeks for guided tours. The site-specific work explores Ng’s fascination with how humans respond and interact with extreme weather and climate change. Don’t miss this rare chance to explore this normally off-limits location under the city.
12 January to 25 January
Formally trained as a figurative oil painter, Xiao Bo has changed up his methods since 2014 to create intricate abstract works, revealing innovative and expressive brushwork. One of the highlight pieces at his new solo show at Galerie du Monde -- which is set to showcase all-new works created in 2017 -- shows this off, using a vivid green and engulfing the viewer at 1.2 metres wide and 1.6 metres high. Another part of his new works is created by spray painting on top of a stark background and carefully peeling away paint to reveal abstract lines.
18 January to 17 March
Los Angeles-based Alex Prager has a very distinctive style of theatrical photography, and those who follow her work will be pleased that the artist is bringing a range of new works -- as well as her first-ever sculpture -- to Hong Kong’s Lehmann Maupin gallery. This round, she plays with scale and dimension to question the difference between fiction and reality, as well as shed light on how we typically navigate visual information in this day and age where we are being constantly bombarded by it.
27 January to 10 March
Monet and Degas reincarnated for the modern era, renowned Belgian artist Michaël Borremans will be exhibiting brand new paintings from his latest series, Fire from the Sun. More importantly, this significant exhibition will also be Borremans’ first solo show here in Hong Kong, opening the David Zwirner Gallery at the brand new H Queen’s building in Central.