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10 must-see art exhibitions in Hong Kong in January 2020

Add a splash of colour to your January by checking out some exceptional art at these new and running exhibitions in Hong Kong.


Song Kwangik: Paperlogue

‘Paper Things #1’ (2018) by Song Kwangik.

When: Through 31 January

Over at Soluna Fine Art, Song Kwangik’s delicate paint-on-paper works are made from hanji, traditional Korean paper made from the paper mulberry tree, devoting energy and consideration to the plant-based canvas as material itself in his craft. Layering the hanji into honeycombs of infinite lines and planes, Song creates mesmerising matrices that demand close contemplation.

Soluna FIne Art, G/F, 52 Sai Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2955 5166


Next Wave: Modern Vietnamese Art

‘Capture of a US Prisoner of War’ (1969) by Hoang Tich Chu.

When: Through 24 January 

Bonhams Hong Kong is pioneering the category by presenting the world’s first ever selling exhibition dedicated to modern Vietnamese art. The existing spotlight on Vietnamese artists in the market shines mainly on first-generation artist graduates of Ecole des Beaux Arts, Indochine, such as Mai Thu, Le Pho and more, whereas this unique show introduces the breadth of Vietnamese modern art produced by later graduates who worked through the post-war era in Vietnam. More info here.

Bonhams Hong Kong, Suite 2001, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2918 4321


Ho Sin Tung: Swampland

Image Courtesy of the Artist and Hanart TZ Gallery.

When: 9 January–29 February

Swamps have long been associated with mysterious places lurking with unknown — even supernatural — dangers. In this new exhibition, Hong Kong artist Ho Sin Tung plays with the notion of swamp terrors, drawing on the setting as a symbol for the fear of the unknown. Previously known for her meticulous drawings and fake cinema posters that were attempts to illustrate her imaginary worlds; here, the swamp engages the viewer with broader history, culture and ideology dealing with the current state of the world.

Hanart TZ, 401 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2526 9019


Rose Wylie: Painting a Noun…

‘Glamour Girl Stereotype, Shades and Lashes’ (2019) by Rose Wylie
Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner.

When: 9 January–22 February

On first glance, Rose Wylie’s colourful paintings appear simplistic. As curator Clarrie Wallis writes, they are a kind of “visual shorthand” that elicits emotions, memories and thoughts in the viewer, even with the way she reduces form to a precise and essential vibrancy. Catch a new body of work at David Zwirner for her first solo show in Hong Kong.

David Zwirner Hong Kong, 5-6/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2119 5900


John Armleder: Clown’s Way

‘Chills,’ (2019) by John Armleder.

When: 10 January–7 March

Working as part of the Fluxus movement in the 1960s — the conceptual art group that gave way to modern-day performance art — John Armleder bended the genres of visual and sound representation by creating works based on scripts by American avant garde composer John Cage. With appearances at Art Basel each year, Armleder’s new solo show at Massimo de Carlo this month leads up to the art fair in Hong Kong with his latest body of work — large-scale canvases streaked with explosions of colour, glitter, styrofoam and found objects. 

Massimo de Carlo, 3/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2613 8062


Ryuji Tanaka

Installation view at Axel Vervoordt.

When: Through 1 Feb

The late Ryuji Tanaka was a former member of some of Japan’s most pivotal art groups in the post-war period in Japan, and this exhibition explores how he continually strived to free himself from conventions, in search of his unique style of expression. This exhibition explores the eclectic corners of Tanaka’s oeuvre, ranging from his time in the Pan-real Art Association (until his departure in 1951), as well as the Gutai Art Association when he joined in 1965.

Axel Vervoordt Gallery, 21F, Coda Designer Centre, 62 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong


Jeffrey Shaw: WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)

‘The Legible City’ (1989‐91) by Jeffrey Shaw, Dirk Groeneveld. Image Credit: © Jeffrey Shaw

When: Through 21 June

Osage Gallery presents new media art pioneer Jeffrey Shaw’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Recognised as an artist who “co-constructed the genre” of new media art, this show traces over 50 years of Shaw’s practices, creating an overview into the core technical, aesthetic and conceptual themes that he has delved into over the years, from developing new apparatuses for new modes of expression, as well as new opportunities for viewer participation within the pieces.

Osage, 4/F Union Hing Yip Factory Building, 20 Hing Yip Street Kwun Tong, Hong Kong


Sudo Reiko: Making Nuno Textiles

Hong Kong art exhibitions
Sudo Reiko, ‘Making NUNO Textiles, CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Hong Kong’ (2019-20)
(Image credit: CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile), Hong Kong)

When: Through 23 February

The Mills’ Centre for Heritage Arts & Textile presents acclaimed Japanese textile designer Sudo Reiko for its winter programme, investigating the unique creative process behind the artist’s nuno textiles, incorporating unconventional materials for cloth, such as washi paper, as well as alternative techniques such as heating and needle punching. The exhibition features sketches, drawings, material samples and design prototypes, while visitors will be welcomed with a large scale immersive installation of over 80 koinobori carp-shaped streamers made with Sudo’s fabrics.

CHAT, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong


M+ Sigg Prize Exhibition

‘Muted Situations #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th 2018’ by Samson Young.
Courtesy of the artist, Installation view, 2019. Image credit: Winnie Yeung @ iMAGE28, Courtesy of M+, Hong Kong

When: Through 13 April

The inaugural M+ Sigg Prize opened at the end of 2019 at the M+ Pavilion, presenting works of six shortlisted artists who were born in or are working in the Greater China region, with no age limitation. The prize aims to promote the diverse work and cultural dialogues taking place in the region and offer greater international exposure with a programme of exhibitions, talks and performances.

Artists such as Heilongjiang-native Hu Xiaoyuan pushes viewers to reexamine and reconsider everyday experiences, materials and relationships, while Lin Yilin investigates social dynamics, particularly in modern political and cultural systems, through virtual reality. Don’t miss seminal pieces by Hong Kong artist Samson Young, whose sound installations work to uncover and dissect the cultural status quo.

M+ Pavilion, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong


Ellen Pau: The Great Movement

‘The Great Movement’ by Ellen Pau.

When: Through 20 April

Hong Kong video art pioneer Ellen Pau draws from her background working as a radiographer at Queen Mary Hospital and investigates the human body in this exhibition, which takes its name from a 1997 work ‘The Great Movement: Red Stock’ which has been reformulated for this show. Plunging the viewer into darkness for the show, Pau works to engage the viewer’s senses of sight, sound, smell and feel to allow for further introspection and existential awareness.

Edouard Malingue, 6/F, 33 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0317

Evelyn Lok
Managing Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.