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10 must-see exhibitions in Hong Kong this August

For a dose of playful and whimsical art this summer, we’re spoiled for choice. Whether you enjoy peeking into particularly groundbreaking slices of art history, or experiencing installations that aim simply to bring joy and colour into our lives, August is a vibrant month for art exhibitions in Hong Kong. Take a look at our picks below for the best places to engage with creative art this summer. 

Millions of Bubbles

exhibitions in Hong Kong - Millions of Bubbles
Surround yourself in endless bubbles at Harbour City this month.

When: 2–20 August (Every Friday to Sunday)

We’re a sucker for large scale public art, and this month, Tsim Sha Tsui will play host to Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki and his travelling exhibition ‘Millions of Bubbles.’ The work is essentially that: an installation and flash performance at Harbour City of his ‘Bubble Machine,’ which will produce 10,000 bubbles per minute using non-toxic soap. According to the artist, bubbles are one of the simplest ways to bring people into a state of childlike joy. Twenty bubble performances will be held at the Ocean Terminal Forecourt, with 45 bubble machines installed at different levels. Bubbles will be made at 2:30pm and 6:30pm each day, from Friday to Sunday.

Ocean Terminal Forecourt, Harbour City, 3-37 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Desiring — Post 97 Hong Kong Ink Art

exhibitions in Hong Kong - Desiring
Fang Zhaoling, “Hong Kong’s Return to the Motherland” (1997), Chinese ink and colour (detail view); Photo courtesy of Alisan Fine Arts

When: Through 31 August

If you’re a lover of ink art, this group show co-curated by Daphne King and Eric Leung is one not to miss. As one of the city’s longest established professional gallery of Chinese contemporary art (having celebrated its 35th anniversary last year), Alisan Fine Arts is a natural authority on the development of the ink art scene over the decades. During this show, you can appreciate the innovations in ink art from the post-97 era, slowly removing itself from literati style and taking on more modern concepts and experimenting with technology. The works of 10 artists are featured, including Fang Zhaoling, TC Lai, Lui Shou-kwan and Wucius Wong.

Alisan Fine Arts, 21/F Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2526 1091

Acts of Transgression

Joana Vasconcelos, “Florence Nightingale,” (2014), Viúva Lamego hand printed tiles, handmade woolen crochet ornaments, polyester, MDF, iron, 237 x 124 x 60 cm; Photo courtesy of the artist and Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore

When: Through 31 August

Nine international contemporary artists are shown at Pearl Lam Galleries this month in a group show all about going above and beyond various limits: of identity; of artistic language; of material; of technology; and predisposed dialogues. From fantastical and elaborate installations to energetic paintings to works in beeswax, this exhibition is sure to inspire you and leave you hungry for more. Artists exhibited include Andy Dewantoro (Indonesia), Inci Eviner (Turkey), Ren Ri (China), Carlos Rolón/Dzine (USA), Yinka Shonibare (UK), Sinta Tantra (UK), Thukral & Tagra (India), Joana Vasconcelos (Portugal) and John Young (Hong Kong/Australia).

Pearl Lam Galleries, 601-605 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 1428

The Collaborations

exhibitions in Hong Kong - The Collaborations Above Second
Wilfredo Feliciano (BIO), Nick Walker and John Matos (CRASH) collaborate for Above Second’s summer show.

When: Through mid-September

Three street artist legends band together at Above Second for a highly anticipated collaborative show. Featuring master graffiti writers CRASH and BIO from the Bronx and Bristol stencilist Nick Walker, new canvases are created: with the bubblegum colours and eyes from CRASH’s works mixed with BIO’s heart motifs and cameos of Nick Walker’s ‘gentleman vandal’ mascot, these synergistic works demonstrate how artistic barriers can be broken even further — even in the disruptive and dynamic world of street art.

Above Second Gallery, 9 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong +852 3483 7950 

Fast Taste

exhibitions in Hong Kong - Cathlove Fast Taste
Catherine Grossrieder, “Goddess of Grease,” (2009), Acrylic on canvas, 76 x 102 cm

When: 11–31 August

Dedicated to radical contemporary programmes, Over the Influence Gallery’s ‘Greater China Summer Program’ summer shows are imbued in fun and playful vibes. Last month saw the solo exhibition of Taiwanese artist Reach, where his works enveloped the gallery in a wash of millennial pink. This month places a spotlight on Hong Kong illustrator and graffiti artist Catherine Grossrieder, also known as Cath Love. ‘Fast Taste’ offers a more tongue-in-cheek expression of the world’s fast food cultures: from sexy Colonel Sanders to googly eyed cartoons poking fun at stigmas and stereotypes associated with the culture of greasy deliciousness. If you worship fried chicken, this will be the show for you.

Over the Influence Gallery, 1/F, 159 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2617 9829


exhibitions in Hong Kong - Axel Vervoordt Markus Brunetti
Facades by Markus Brunetti (installation view)

When: Through 26 August

German artist Markus Brunetti has been researching collecting photographic images of the facades of European cathedrals, churches and cloisters since 2005. Covering sites of varying architectural styles, from Moorish to Renaissance, he has assembled the individual images into coherent and brand new, fictional facades — likening the process of the forgotten craftsmen who left their mark on history by building these sites.

Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Unit D, 15/F Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2503 2220

Sui Jianguo

exhibitions in Hong Kong - Pace Gallery - Sui Jianguo
Sui Jianguo, “Earthly Force” (installation view)

When: Through 24 August

Pace Hong Kong’s summer show is a solo presentation of paper and sculpture works by Sui Jianguo — his first show in Hong Kong in nine years. Sui is widely viewed as an avant garde pioneer in the world of contemporary Chinese sculpture, and many may recognise his Mao suit and red toy dinosaur sculptures which propelled him into international recognition. For this exhibition, new paper works created in 2017 are shown next to his 1992 work Earth Force, one of his more well known pieces consisting of 20 boulders each wrapped in a web of ribbed steel to demonstrate the resistance of force between the two materials. It’s a look back at how the artist’s sensitivity to material has matured over the two decades.

Pace Hong Kong, Shop 15C, Entertainment Building, 30 Queens Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2608 5065

One Second Ago

exhibitions in Hong Kong - one second ago
“one second ago,” (Installation View) Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong, 2017; Photo courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery

When: Through 26 August

Sensual, delicate and poignant, Edouard Malingue Gallery’s latest exhibition is a deep dive into the poetry found in the passing of time — as well as the awareness of the inevitability of it. The gallery invites five international artists to offer their takes: He Yida and Tao Hui from China, Handiwirman Saputra from Indonesia, Jeremy Everett from America, and Phillip Lai from Malaysia and the UK.

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

Sweet Summer

exhibitions in Hong Kong - Osamu Watanabe past exhibition
Resin cream works from a previous Osamu Watanabe exhibition at Whitestone’s Karuizawa gallery.

When: 4 August–10 September

The best way to remedy this sweltering heat is to dig into a bowl of shari shari shaved ice dessert, or devour the biggest gelato cone you’ve ever laid your eyes on. After sating your stomach, you’ll want to feast your eyes on Osamu Watanabe’s works at Whitestone Gallery this month. A forerunner of the Kawaii movement in Japanese contemporary art, the ‘Prince of Sweets’ of the art world is bringing more than 20 of his sugar-inspired, ‘resin cream art’ pieces to Hong Kong.

Whitestone Gallery, UG/F, Lee Roy Commercial Building, 57-59 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2523 8455

Points of Departure

Gao Ludi, “TT-2,” (2015), acrylic on canvas, 30 x 20 cm; Courtesy the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong, and White Space, Beijing LM25742

When: Through 9 September

Through the lens of three Chinese painters and photographers — Gao Ludi, Lu Song and Xie Nanxing — this exhibition examines the evolution of painting, particularly exploring the appropriation art that was common in America in the 80s that used found imagery for topical social commentary. From small scale oil sketches to humorous painting done over landscape photographs to paintings of artificial light, it’s a mesmerising collection that’s worth an afternoon of musing.

Lehmann Maupin, Unit 407, 4/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2530 0025

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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