10 must-see exhibitions in Hong Kong this May 2018
Updated on May 3 2018
As the big-ticket international gallery shows first brought out to wow art fair-goers in March finally draw to a close, we turn our focus back to homegrown talent being brought into the limelight once again, with multiple group and solo shows popping up around town. With the annual Le French May arts festival also taking place, there’s a host of important French art making the rounds, not to mention plenty of vibrancy and colourful art to enjoy just in time for summer. For the top 10 must-see art exhibitions in Hong Kong this May, look no further than our list below.
On the lookout for fresh young talent? This exhibition at Artify explores fleeting moments in our present-day society, as expressed by five up-and-coming Hong Kong artists, all urging people to embrace the present. Artworks presented vary from cathartic landscapes painted to ease frustrations about living in Hong Kong; fragmented glass paintings with blurred images evoking childhood; fantastical reimaginations of daily life events; tiny collections from nature; and even odes to Hong Kong’s verdant, uninhabited back gardens.
Artify Gallery, 10/F, Block A, Ming Po Industrial Centre, 18 Ka Yip Street, Chai Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3543 1260
Tue–Fri 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
7 April to 26 May
With widening appetites for European art in Asia, a new, ongoing partnership between Rossi & Rossi and Italian dealer Giovanni Martino is inaugurated by a presentation of works by postmodern master Aldo Mondino. Influenced by avant garde movements such as Surrealism and Dadaism, while also working firmly in the age of Arte Povera where the movement shone a spotlight on using everyday objects, you’ll find that Mondino’s works are brimming with a fondness for unusual materials: marshmallow, chocolate, coffee and seeds, as well as vibrant works on linoleum — Mondino’s most used medium. This exhibition showcases the Italian artist’s unique methods of stretching the limits of painting in times of political and social upheaval. Deeply influenced by his travels, through his painting you’ll be able to see through the eyes of an artist enamoured by the exoticism, the otherness and the emotion of his subjects found in other cultures.
Rossi & Rossi, Unit 3C, Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, +852 3575 9417
Tue–Sat 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Photography in Southeast Asia (II): My Surname is Ng
14 April to 27 May
Over at Lumenvisum, a photography-centred non-profit located at the JCCAC arts centre, is the second leg of an exhibition series placing the lens on Southeast Asian photographers, curated by Singaporean researcher and curator Zhuang Wubin. This exhibition looks at the work of Indonesian artist Ng Swan Ti, based in Jakarta. Through her work, Ng has been most notably exploring her religious identity as an Indonesian Catholic, but her 2016-2017 series “My Surname is Ng” was her chance to delve into her Chinese heritage, and how the shifting politics of Indonesia and China has shaped her father’s -- and her own -- life.
Lumenvisum, Unit L2-10, 2/F, JCCAC, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei, Hong Kong, +852 3177 9159
Tue–Sun 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Tue–Sun 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
19 April to 19 May
One of the participating events within the Dutch Days in Hong Kong Arts Festival hosted in April was a solo exhibition by Dutch artist Merijn Kavelaars, who unleashed his creativity and penchant for exuberant colours throughout the space at Lucie Chang Fine Arts. Kavelaars paints with ample references to great masters such as Pablo Picasso and Keith Haring, and has even created a Chinese ink painting performance for the exhibition’s occasion. Step into his enchanting world of brightly coloured animals, graffiti scrawls and alien shapes, showcasing recent oil paintings, murals and paper works.
Lucie Chang Fine Arts, 26 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2546 8128
Mon–Sun 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Kwok Hon Sum
27 April to 31 May
Galerie du Monde pays homage to the late Hong Kong artist Kwok Hon Sum, who studied under the father of modern Chinese ink painting, Liu Kuo-sung. This is the first commercial exhibition since the artist passed in 2003, and features his earlier works “The Majestic Cliff” and “The Mystic Temptation of Cloud and Snow” as well as later pieces. Delve into his mesmerisingly detailed landscapes, which are imbued with Chinese and Buddhist philosophies as much as they are filled with the magic and whimsy of colour -- all finished with his signature gold leaf.
Galerie du Monde, 108 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2525 0529
Mon–Sat 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Hiroshi Mori: Laughing Quietly to Myself
28 April to 26 May
Influenced by video game and manga culture, new technology and icons of art history, Hiroshi’s works are humorous, whimsical collages blending symbols of popular culture from the east and west. Featured previously at Art Experience Gallery’s booth at Art Central, the Japanese artist now gets his solo spotlight throughout the month of May.
Art Experience Gallery, Room 2009, 20/F, Cable TV Tower, 9 Hoi Shing Road, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2110 9928
Mon–Sat 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
10 May to 21 July
Puerta Roja’s summer show is a collaborative effort with Parisian gallery Galerie Denise Rene, which was instrumental in propelling the op and kinetic art movements -- characterised by art with oscillating colours and forms that involve the viewer as active participant -- with its historical 1955 exhibition Le Mouvement. This group exhibition features masters such as Carlos Cruz Diez and Victor Vasarely, as well as contemporary Latin American artists who have continued to evolve the practice for today’s world.
Jane Lee first captured global attention when her monumental installation “Raw Canvas” was displayed at the Singapore Biennale in 2008; as one of the few Asian artists producing such large scale sculptural paintings, she steadily became one of the most sought-after Singaporean artists in the art world. At this mid-career presentation, not only is the colour red the dominating motif for her new body of work, its seemingly endless spectrum of shades also refers to the myriad connotations brought forth by the colour -- from auspiciousness to passion, cultural and political associations. From tactile sculptural works created by manipulating dried paint, to structures that she’s punctured, poked and peeled apart to reveal vibrant colours, this show is a taut arena for Lee to display her true versatility and endless innovation in redefining paint.
Pao Galleries, 4–5/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, +852 2582 0200
Mon–Sun 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Hong Kong Dimensions
12 May to 16 June
In a true love letter to Hong Kong, this group show pieces together four visions of the city via four artists and their distinct mediums. Step into a moving world that waxes poetic about each overlooked corner of Hong Kong, featuring the gritty romance of the city as shot by photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze; pulsing three-dimensional street collages by Alexis Ip; a celebration of Hong Kong’s back alleys by architect Daphné Mandel; and an exploration of the city’s urban identities through pen and paper by Pete Ross.
Blue Lotus Gallery, Unit 1606, 16/F, Chai Wan Industrial City Phase 1, 60 Wing Tai Street, Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Tue–Sat 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
17 May to 30 June
With the whole town buzzing over Francophile events for Le French May, Opera Gallery has rounded up an exceptional collection of works by French masters with works created between 1949 and 2017. Gathering 27 pieces from 10 artists, the show will give a varied overview of the styles and mediums characteristic of Gallic paintings from the post-war period onwards. Artists include Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Chu Teh-chun, contemporary artists Andre Brasilier, Pierre Soulages, Robert Combas and more.