Check out the most fascinating and eye-catching art exhibitions in Hong Kong this month.
1. Vanni Cuoghi: The Eye of the Storm
When: Through 7 September
Former theatre set designer Vanni Cuoghi’s ongoing series ‘Monolocali’ features cut-out paper dioramas of characters playing out a semi-autobiographical narrative. It’s more apt than ever to go see in particular his 2019 Typhoon works — a whimsical response to his experience through Typhoon Hato in 2017 — now that we’re fully in the eye of typhoon season.
Rossi & Rossi, 6 Yip Fat Street, 3/F Yally Industrial Building, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, +852 3575 9417
2. Sean Raspet: New Molecules and Stem Cell Retinoid Screen
When: Through September 7
Art is no longer just catered to the visual senses: Sean Raspet’s first solo show in Hong Kong explores ephemeral art that comes in the form of artificial flavours, fragrances, and his own nutritional supplements. Consumed, absorbed, and eventually becoming part of the viewer’s body, Raspet pushes the boundaries of physical art and goes where no other artist in Hong Kong has gone before.
Empty Gallery, 18-19/F, Grand Marine Center, 3 Yue Fung Street, Tin Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2563 3396
3. Madsaki: If I Had a Dream
When: Through 17 August
Osaka-born Japanese American artist Madsaki presents his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong (third with Perrotin), and is bringing along with him an iconic Hong Kong series. Known for his graffiti-style twist to iconic Warhol artwork, movie scenes and popular cartoons, his Hong Kong series is not to be missed — featuring Cantonese film classics from Wong Kar-wai and Stephen Chow, transformed with his own Madsaki frown.
Galerie Perrotin, 17/F, 50 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 3758 2180
4. Mandy El Sayegh: Dispersal
When: Through August 24
London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh brings fresh new works to her first solo exhibition here in Asia. Inspired by the systems in place in our world — from global finance to media — El-Sayegh makes art by assessing and exploring how we derive our identity, worth, create meaning and culture in our globalised world.
Lehmann Maupin, Unit 407, 4/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2530 0025
5. To See the Forest and the Trees
When: Through 8 September
Part of the ‘Hidden Forests’ summer arts programme at Asia Society celebrating the local ecology and biodiversity, this art exhibition is a multisensory group show featuring 10 local and overseas contemporary artists: South Ho, Vvzela Kook, Frank Tang, Post Tree Lifestyle, James Prosek, Haley van Oosten, Trevor Yeung, Sally Bunker, Natee Utarit, and Allora & Calzadilla. The ‘Hidden Forests’ programme also includes a chamber music series, community workshops and nature tours throughout the Asia Society grounds, as well as a tea set paying homage to forestry at Ammo (available through 5 September; HK$428 for two). Check here for more information.
Chantal Miller Gallery, Asia Society, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2103 9511
6. N. S. Harsha: Gathering Delights
When: Through 3 November
Indian artist N. S. Harsha gets an expansive retrospective at the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (CHAT), with over 20 works spanning more than two decades of his career. Paintings, sculptures, participatory work, and community programmes with one of India’s first organic farmers will be showcased to offer a glimpse of how nature can inspire creative thinking and art. Using textiles and sewing machines often in his works as key motifs, his art reflects on the increasing integration of technology. Make sure to see ‘Nations’ (2007–2019), the monumental installation of flags of United Nations’ member states and 193 sewing machines, conveying the message that industrialisation as a key driver for developing nations. CHAT is closed Tuesdays.
CHAT, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, +853 3979 2300
7. Alexis Ip & Stefan Irvine: Reconstruct
When: 9 August – 15 September 2019
This duo show by Blue Lotus Gallery features Alexis Ip and Stefan Irvine, both artists who work with photo collages — one via analogue techniques and the other digital. Alexis Ip works with hand-cut collages of humble Hong Kong street scenes to create 3D ‘Fotomo’ collages, while Stefan has been working on a photo series titled, ‘The Last Tong Lau’ — restitching images together to create surreal visions of an imaginary Hong Kong with its disappearing architectural gems. Check out an artist talk with Stefan Irvine on 17 August, 4–6pm at the gallery; or if you’re looking to get into the world of photo-collages yourself, join a workshop with Alexis Ip on 7 September, 4–6pm (HK$350 per person).
Blue Lotus Gallery, G/F, 28 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 6100 1295
8. Elements of Transcendence
When: Through 31 August
Each of the four artists featured at this summer group exhibition explores spirituality through their distinct artistic practices. Miya Ando is best known for her metallic canvases forged from the steel of Bizen swords — she is a descendent of these ancient sword makers — and this time she takes her knack for altering materials to explore the changing atmospheric conditions in nature. Kitty Chou captures eclectic subject matter in her photographs in semi-abstract compositions. They are chance encounters, and her three pieces chosen for the show embody her own Buddhist philosophies. Hyon Gyon looks at powerfully charged themes, from shamanism to grief to cultural identity to sexual politics through rather violent ways — such as soldering and burning traditional Korean silk with an iron. Finally, a bi-cultural artist living in New York, Lucy Liu uses ink and calligraphy to explore religion and identity through eastern and western experiences.
Ben Brown Fine Arts, Unit 301, 3/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 9600
When: 8–30 August
10 Chancery Lane Gallery’s annual presentation of work by young Hong Kong art graduates is now in its eighth iteration. Always a fascinating turnout to explore the new generation of local contemporary artists, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for homegrown talent to connect with the local and international art community. Expect a diverse array of work spanning painting, photography, video and installation art, all from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Art School and Hong Kong Baptist University.
10 Chancery Lane Gallery, 10 Chancery Lane, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0065
10. Six Briefcases
When: 10–31 August
Several years in the making, this group show at Karin Weber Gallery presents six up and coming Hong Kong artists: Andio Lai, Carmen Ng, Joyce Lung, Leo Wong, Tom Chung-man, and Tung Wing-hong. Each selecting a vintage briefcase, the artists were given carte blanche to create their own pieces using the prop, in turn exploring the ideas of memory, obsolete objects, travel, as well as a wider metaphor for Hong Kong society.
Karin Weber Gallery, 20 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2544 5004