While the city is a flurry of red lucky charms and hearts ahead of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of vibrant colours taking over the city’s galleries. Take a look below at the best art exhibitions to check out this February — from showcases of work by fashion photography luminary Irving Penn to group shows about local Hong Kong village life.
Presenting the first solo exhibition in China by painter Matthew Wong, Massimo de Carlo’s walls are ablaze with colour. Large scale canvases fill the gallery, each one of a pair of fictional landscapes depicting the same location at daytime and at night -- creating a dreamy sense of the passage of time through Wong’s painting through memory and feeling rather than replicating reality. There are more representative landscapes ranging to fully monochromatic abstracted works.
Matthew Wong: Day By Night
As Hong Kong’s longest-running contemporary art gallery with a history stretching back to 1974, for its 45th anniversary, Galerie du Monde presents a group show based on 1971-established ink art collective, One Art Group, which was born from the philosophies of ink artist Lui Shou-kwan. This exhibition surveys the iconic works of 11 Chinese artists whose work was transformed by the movement in varying ways: Irene Chou Lu-yun, Kan Tai-keung, Carrie Koo Mei, Leung But-yin, Leung Kui-ting, Ng Yiu-chung, Poon Chun-wah, Wong King-seng and Yeung Yick-chung.
Bright ocean blues, ectoplasmic seafoam and the vastness of the rolling hills against a cerulean sky: this group exhibition examines the various views of village life in Shek O by 24 Hong Kong artists. Featuring artists such as Auyeung Chun, Konstantin Bessmertny, Hilda Chan, as well as a rare glimpse of works by the late Hong Kong art luminary Luis Chan, the newly commissioned works offer a fascinating survey of this slice of sublime in Hong Kong.
French-Chinese artist Feng Xiao-min exhibits in Hong Kong for the first time, bringing a collection of vibrant, meditative abstract landscape-inspired pieces. Feng’s east-meets-west aesthetic takes his inspired locations from bright hazy dawn to rueful and romantic dusks. A contemporary of fellow abstract artist Zao Wou-ki, this exhibition also features an artwork by Feng honouring the French-Chinese art master.
Feng Xiao-min: Inspired Resonance
Canadian-born artist Marcel Dzama is a frequent exhibitor with David Zwirner: this is his ninth solo presentation with the gallery and his first in Greater China. His playful paintings draw from a mix of folk vernacular and art history as well as contemporary influences, weaving fantasy worlds on his canvases that look at the relationships between human action and motivation, the real and the subconscious. His new works feature drawings, dioramas, and a film.
Marcel Dzama: Crossing the Line
Thirty photographs by one of the world’s most celebrated photographers Irving Penn are now on show at Pace Gallery Hong Kong -- the first showcase of the Vogue photographer in Hong Kong. Ranging from fashion photography to portraiture, nudes and still life, the photographs will be accompanied by two mixed-media paintings by Penn -- a rarer glimpse into his work as a master printmaker.
This group exhibition at Rossi & Rossi features six US-based artists who trace their roots to India, Pakistan and Iran. While varying in mediums, the artists find commonality in their drive to create via a strong focus on process-based materiality, communicating their identities in visceral manners. Whether through magical realism, through homages to traditional art forms or surreal paintings, they’re vibrant, loud and playful expressions to speak about complex existential anxieties.
Hosted by the UK’s Wellcome Trust, Tai Kwun’s latest exhibition looks at the complex and fascinating issue of how diseases how shaped the city in myriad ways. Traversing the globe with stops in New York, London and Geneva, this research-based exhibition has its Hong Kong edition curated by Ying Kwok, with works sourced through collaborations with Art in Hospital, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Oi! Street Art Space, Tai Kwun and The Common Core. Tracing the pandemic history of the city from the plague during the 19th century to the SARS outbreak in 2003, the exhibition is equally informative as it is aesthetic -- with commissioned artworks featuring eight Hong Kong artists, Oscar Chan Yik-long, Eastman Cheng, Enoch Cheng, Cheuk Wing-nam, Gayle Chong Kwan, Chou Yu-cheng, Firenze Lai, Angela Su and Wang Sishun.
Contagious Cities: Far Away, Too Close
The Mills, the former textiles factory and cotton mill owned by Nan Fung Group was opened to the public last December -- now transformed into a 264,000 sq. ft. culture and design hub with retail shops, business incubators and cultural pop-ups occurring regularly. One much anticipated exhibition ahead of the official opening of art heritage conservation project CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) in March is none other than the first posthumous exhibition of works by beloved Hong Kong comic artist and calligrapher Ar Chung (also known as A’Chong). The late artist was venerated for his insightful yet down to earth quotes, paired with colourful and whimsical illustrations -- making this one of many reasons for you to check out the new arts hub in the Tsuen Wan West area.
Ar Chung and His Arithmetic Exhibition
With landscapes bombarded with the glow of Hong Kong neon lights and claustrophobic architecture alike, Desmond Lo’s cityscape renderings take the viewer on a journey through a Blade Runner-esque cyberpunk universe. Like a glimpse into a parallel world, it’s a dive into Lo’s dreamlike subconscious, filled with recognisable but strange new landmarks. The exhibition is hosted by curator and creative director Karen Chan (aka Ceekayello).