It’s a whole new world of possibilities as we step into the new year. The same goes for the art gallery scene; from topsy-turvy, mind-bending sculptures to curiously intricate paintings, to elaborate retrospectives of pioneering artists, here are 10 art exhibitions to catch in Hong Kong this month.
This group exhibition at Pékin Fine Arts brings together five Hong Kong and Chinese artists who look at the ways we adapt to chaos, with photo collages, ink paintings, ceramic and stone sculptures expressing the unease that comes with contending with the chaos of our everyday lives.
This exhibition of American artist Roni Horn takes advantage of Hauser & Wirth’s full length windows, where the weather and sunlight fully interacts with the pieces on view — glossy sculptures that subtly change in the look of its colour, weight and perceived solidity throughout the day. It’s the artist’s expression on the mutability of identity.
Hong Kong’s new media art darling gets her first retrospective show at Para Site. Ellen Pau co-founded Videotage, the city’s earliest and one of the most influential artist-led institutions for new media art in the region. She also founded the annual Microwave International New Media Arts Festival, and also served on M+’s interim acquisition committee in 2014. But beyond that, Pau is recognised as one of Hong Kong’s most innovative pioneers in the realm of moving images. Curated by Freya Chou, this exhibition of video works and archival material presents a timeline of Pau’s evolution: through ever-changing technological media and its relationship with civic political affairs and her personal life.
This solo show features the work of award-winning Hong Kong painter Kan Chi-hung, a student of acclaimed ink painter Poon Chun-wah. A prolific ink artist versed in the language of grandiose Chinese landscape painting, this exhibition focuses on the mystical quality of Lantau’s mountainscapes. Works are very much entrenched in locality, while giving the viewer a sense of calm and contentment in Hong Kong’s great outdoors.
With the currently ongoing US-China trade disputes, perhaps you’d like to shed some light on the history of Sino-American trade since it began in the late 18th century. Symbolic of China and the United States, The Dragon and the Eagle is an exhibition curated by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum tracing the earliest trading ships to the east, showcasing valuable antiques and artefacts, documentative paintings, nautical instruments, and fascinating archival materials of our shared history between two nations.
LA-based French artist Claire Tabouret brings a selection of intimate narratives to her first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Presented by Perrotin, each portrait in the show reflects stages of an unspoken romance — a couple in warm embrace or in heated fight — each vignette standing still in time in undetermined order.
It’s the beard that makes the man: Artist duo Gilbert & George’s latest exhibition — held concurrently in Hong Kong and Seoul — is perhaps their maddest yet, baring their mantra of “art for all” by incorporating the dark iconographies representing the subjects that unify humanity — from taboos and fetishes to political upheaval and bodily functions. These portraits, using symbols to replace their beards, become allegories for the contemporary world.
New York artist Ellen Altfest is exhibiting her first solo presentation in Asia at White Cube. Altfest takes meticulous observation to an almost meditative concentration in her paintings: luxuriously concentrated closeups of natural phenomenon. From a painting of lichen (hence the exhibition title, “Green Spot”), to folds of kimono fabric against bare skin, her works exude an attractive sensuality and a keen eye for miniscule detail, verging on abstraction.
High fashion lovers will be able to catch a glimpse of 100 iconic pieces by 40 of the world’s most important fashion photographers, from Peter Lindbergh to Miles Aldridge; the opening ceremony will also celebrate the talents of Nick Knight. There are also lunchtime forums, guided tours, and a slew of immersive dining events inspired by the artwork on show, with a menu curated by Mike Bagale, of Chicago’s three-Michelin-starred Alinea.
Spreading across two gallery spaces, Pearl Lam Galleries (at H Queen’s and Pedder Building) is presenting a large scale examination of the famed Abstract Expressionist, Robert Motherwell. Displaying a selection of his seminal “Open” series of paintings, as well as related collages, this exhibition is a chance to trace the artist’s five decade oeuvre in the context of his peers. H Queen’s will be showcasing Motherwell’s works from the 1940s to 1970s, while the Pedder Building gallery will show works from the 1970s through the 1980s.