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10 must-see art exhibitions in Hong Kong in October 2019

The autumn auction calendar is in full swing, bringing some of the most exciting showcases of international art and antiques to Hong Kong. Scroll through our list for the best exhibitions to check out this October.


Fine Art Asia, Ink Asia and the inaugural Masterpiece Pavilion

Cezanne, ‘La Vie des Champs’

When: 4–7 October
Price: HK$200 for two; HK$120 for one from HK Ticketing

Fresh off of Frieze London in the international art calendar, Hong Kong’s Fine Art Asia fair brings Masterpiece, the celebrated London art fair, to town as an annex for the very first time, swiftly branding Fine Art Asia as the city’s ultimate destination for cross-collecting art enthusiasts. Browse a stunning selection of Asian and Western antiques, jewellery, silverware, watches and clocks, as well as modern and contemporary art. Part of the fair is also Ink Asia — the world’s first expo dedicated to ink arts, returning for its fourth year. More information here.

Hall 3, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Asia Contemporary Art Show

Huang Cheng, ‘Happy Life’

When: 4–7 October
Price: HK$270 from HK Ticketing (admits two if purchased online; one only at the door).

The autumn 2019 edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show is here: Once again holding fort across three floors of the Conrad Hong Kong, the 15th edition of the hotel art show is popular with those preferring a more intimate experience for browsing and buying art. This season, look out for more than 1,500 intriguing pieces from artists such as Huang Cheng, whose most famous works feature hyper-realistic animals undergoing cupping treatment; natural mosaic master Christophe Dénoux; and Marie-Laurie Viebel, who creates 24k-gold artworks expressing symbols of femininity. More information here.

41–43/F, Conrad Hong Kong, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia, ‘Head #23’
(© Philip-Lorca diCorcia; Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner)

When: Through 12 October

Following a summer group exhibition at David Zwirner Hong Kong which introduced works by Philip-Lorca diCorcia to the Hong Kong gallery, the American photographer now presents his first solo show in the Greater China region. Coming from a generation of photographers in the ’80s who continued to experiment with the boundaries of the photographic medium, diCorcia specialises in meticulously planned, seemingly random ensemble shots that tease out the tension between the candid and heavily posed. This exhibition draws pieces from various iconic series of works, including ‘Hustlers’, featuring male and transgender prostitutes found around Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles; ‘East of Eden’, about the political climate at the end of the George W. Bush era; as well as Polaroids, street photography and editorial projects — altogether forming an illuminating overview of diCorcia’s career.

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

Café do Brasil

Archive of the People, ‘As the ice melts, the coffee loses its strength’
(Image courtesy of the artist and Para Site)

When: Through 24 November

Having expanded into a brand new ground-floor space, Para Site is holding a three-part group exhibition featuring 28 artists, groups and speakers. The title of the exhibition is named after a legendary harbour view café that was once located at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, and was frequented by the city’s most artistic minds in the ’60s and ’70s — it’s remembered as a place for exchanging social and political ideas. Curated by Qu Chang, this exhibition aims to be a congregation of ideas, on topics ranging from the individual to one’s role in existence. The ground floor begins by revisiting 1998 Para Site exhibition ‘Coffee Shop’, which is followed by a solo exhibition by Lee Kit (23 October–24 November). 

Para Site, G/F & 22/F Wing Wah Industrial Building, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2517 4620

Adam Beris: Daisy Chain

Art exhibitions in Hong Kong - Adam Beris
Adam Beris, ‘Eighty Eight’

When: 11 October–9 November

Los Angeles-based artist Adam Beris has created a hieroglyphic-like language, using icons often a result of paint applied straight from the tube. Vibrant little blobs reveal the artist’s fascination with symbology and codifying language with organised patterns. They, in turn, reveal the human obsession with categorisation and the need to make sense of titles, groupings, class systems and structures of differentiation to define our worth. Alluding to daisy chains, Beris uses repetition and pattern to study when and how close meanings begin to emerge.

Over the Influence, 1/F, 159 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong 

Leonardo da Vinci: Art & Science, Then & Now

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Codice Atlantico (Codex Atlanticus), foglio 860 recto. Ala meccanica mossa a mano con un apparecchio.

When: Through 15 December 2019 (closed on Mondays)

This groundbreaking exhibition is held in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, and also presented as a part of ‘Italia Mia’ — an Italian festival celebrating the country’s best cultural exports in Hong Kong this autumn. The exhibition displays 12 original drawings from the Codex Atlanticus, the largest of the surviving notebooks by the genius. The works exemplify the remarkable breadth of Da Vinci’s theoretical work, from his concepts solving many geometric and mathematical problems thought impossible; to his innovative flying machines as a catalyst to modern flight technology; to the art of war — when he was hired as a military engineer to create state-of-the-art weaponry.

CityU Exhibition Gallery, 18/F, Lau Ming Wai Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Sotheby’s Autumn Sales Previews and Selling Exhibitions

Zhang Daqian, ‘Pink Lotus on Gold Screen’

When: 3–7 October

As Sotheby’s autumn sales get under way this weekend, you won’t want to miss the exceptional pieces available for preview throughout the week. Leading the Modern Art Evening Sale in Hong Kong (5 October) is none other than Zao Wou-ki’s 21.04.59, as well as Sanyu’s striking masterpiece Nu Rose sur Tissus Chinois, the first time both are appearing at auction since creation — you’ll be able to catch the pair on preview from 3–6 October at the HKCEC (1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong).

Other gems on show include works by John Currin and Elizabeth Peyton from Marc Jacobs’ personal collection, and significant paintings from the collection of Luk Yu Tea House, which is one of Hong Kong’s oldest tea houses and often frequented by high-profile artists. 

John Currin, ‘The Penitent’

Three selling exhibitions round out the occasion at the HKCEC, with the largest solo exhibition of works by British sculptor Barry Flanagan (3–7 October); the inaugural old masters selling exhibition by Sotheby’s (3–7 October); as well as ‘Panorama: A New Perspective’ (3–7 October), which exhibits the most engaging artistic voices from the 19th and 20th centuries, from August Rodin to Andy Warhol, René Magritte to KAWS. 

Over at the Sotheby’s gallery (5/F, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong), through 9 October you’ll find works by Hsiao Chin in ‘Infinite Universe’, the largest solo show in Hong Kong of the modern artist. From 12 October to 9 November, the gallery space is home to ‘Zhang Daqian: The Master’, a large-scale public exhibition celebrating the artist’s 120th birthday anniversary, with support from the artist’s family and private collections around the world. More information here

Phantom Plane, Cyberpunk in the Year of the Future

Chen Wei, ‘In the Waves’
(Courtesy of the artist)

When: 5 October–4 January 2020

Tai Kwun’s latest art exhibition examines the year 2019: the year in which sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and Akira were set. We are stepping into the era where cyberpunk fictions have become an awkward reality: where society has bent to corporate greed, where cities have sprawled beyond imagination, and where our bodies have merged with our devices. This group exhibition explores the ways how this dystopian vision, developed through various streams of pop culture, has contended with our present. You also don’t want to miss the screenings of Akira at JC Cube on 10 and 12 October.

JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 100 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Mar Sáez

Mar Sáez, ‘Vera and Victoria’ series
(© Mar Sáez)

When: Through 23 November (closed Mondays and public holidays)

In her debut Asian solo showcase, Spanish journalist-turned-photographer Mar Sáez explores cultural identity across two bodies of work: Her ‘To the Travellers’ series features a visual diary of over 100 travel encounters with strangers, where she learned that many of us share the same worries, insecurities and sense of loneliness no matter our backgrounds. The monochrome series ‘Vera and Victoria’ centres on the love, intimacy, hopes, dreams and fears between a young couple, with shots portraying their daily life between 2012 and 2016.

F22 Foto Space, 5/F, Amber Commercial Building, 70-74 Morrison Hill Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Ernest Chang: Famous By Proxy

Ernest Chang, ‘The First Love’
(Courtesy of Ernest Chang and The Stallery)

When: 4–27 October

Hong Kong artist Ernest Chang’s last exhibition in November 2018 was named ‘Tear and Consume’ — aptly describing exactly how he invited guests to interact physically with his pieces. Returning this year with a brand new solo show at The Stallery, Chang’s works aim to provoke viewers once again with his playful aesthetic. Drawing from art history, popular culture, comic books and manga characters, ‘Famous By Proxy’ aims to create new canons of visual culture by blending multiple motifs — bringing forth truths that are equally valid whether derived from a Renaissance painting or McDull.

The Stallery, 82A Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

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.


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