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10 must-see art exhibitions in Hong Kong this April

From paintings that explore mysticism and fables to an intimate one-on-one dance performance, there’s a lot happening in the art world this month.

Ah, spring… the season of vivid blooms, irritating allergies and disgustingly humid air — in Hong Kong at least. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about the weather, so while you wait for the sun to surface again, why not check out these new exhibitions in town?

Pick your favourites and have a day trip around the city.

Hong Kong art exhibitions to see this April 2022

HKartsFestival@TaiKwun

Glasshouse, Photo: HKartsFestival@TaiKwun
Glasshouse, Photo: HKartsFestival@TaiKwun
Stillness, Photo: HKartsFestival@TaiKwun
Stillness, Photo: HKartsFestival@TaiKwun

When: End of April

The HK Arts Festival is back for its 50th run, bringing with it a range of programmes by local and international artists. Particularly of interest is the segment held at Tai Kwun. Despite interference of the pandemic, two programmes, Glasshouse and Stillness, can be viewed online.

The collective effort of composer Daniel Lo, scenic designer Travis Ying and sound artist Lawrence Lau, Glasshouse is a virtual installation with a maze-like passageway that encourages the audience to interact and immerse themselves in music. With several set routes that the audience can choose from, the installation challenges the notion of free will and perspective through the sound arts.

Stillness, meanwhile, is a one-on-one live encounter with dance artist and choreographer Wayson Poon. The dance performance is reserved for one viewer at a time, making it highly personal and extra immersive. Poon has choreographed the dance to create a spiritual connection with the audience and to encourage them to communicate with and confront their own bodies.

View Glasshouse and Stillness online here

Basquiat, Haring, Scharf

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Opera Gallery (@operagallery)

When: 1 April to 30 April

Opening on 1 April and running until the end of the month, Opera Gallery is holding a large-scale group exhibition “Basquiat, Haring, Scharf” to celebrate the works of three American artists: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf.

Known as the “three musketeers” of New York’s East Village, each artist has, in their own way, tackled figuration. The outcome is three distinctive styles that are more complementary than one might think at first sight. Through their works, highlights of which include Botox Jungle and For Honda, they tackle societal ideas and illustrate their own and share struggles.

Opera Gallery, Shop G08-09, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 1208

Half of a Yellow Sun

art exhibitions
Photo: White Cube

When: 8 April to 14 May

Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama’s debut exhibition in Hong Kong and Greater China, “Half of a Yellow Sun”, features a selection of new fabric paintings to explore the history of commerce and cultural identity. Inspired by the 1970s songs of Fela Kuti, the Pan-Africanist musician and political activist, Mahama draws up an African story, “with ideas of freedom beyond the chaos”.

Playing a significant part in Mahama’s art is the process by which he processes his materials. The collaged cloth materials in his work were collected over the years from traders in markets throughout Ghana. Colourful and densely patterned, these cloths were known as ‘Dutch wax’ cloths and were traded by Dutch companies around West Africa in the 19th century. Eventually, they become synonymous with African design and culture within everyday wear.

White Cube, G/F, 50 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2592 2000

I Know What You Did Last Summer

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Over the Influence (@oti.official)

When: 25 March to 7 May

In South Korean artist Hyangmok Baik’s second solo show with Over The Influence, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, he explores the utopian narrative of pre-pandemic times. Diving into the pleasures and happiness of the times before 2020, Baik paints a fresh and contemporary view and challenges the concept of utopia itself. Many of his works depict symbols and animals, like tigers and unicorns, to create a mesmerising collective within one canvas.

Over The Influence, G/F & 1/F, 159 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2617 9829

Romancing Relevance

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Woaw Gallery (@woawgallery)

When: 31 March to 14 April

Curated by entrepreneur, cultural influencer and gallery owner Kevin Poon, “Romancing Relevance” is a thematic group exhibition bringing together artists who share an obsession with paint and its possibilities. A nod to romanticism, the literary and artistic movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, the exhibition delves into the concepts of mysticism, fables and the human psyche. “Romancing Relevance” is on view from 31 March to 14 April.

WOAW Gallery, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2965 2799

DEVILROBOTS 25th Anniversary Exhibition 2022

art exhibitions
Photo: Shout Art Hub & Gallery

When: 15 April to 16 May

Collectors, take note: DEVILROBOTS, a design team from Japan, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an exhibition at Shout Art Hub & Gallery. The team is known for its graphics and cartoon characters, the most famous being To-Fu Oyako. True to style, the new show features original drawings, digital prints and special figurines of the well-loved character.

Asides from 20 original canvas paintings of the To-Fu family, “DEVILROBOTS 25th Anniversary Exhibition 2022” also showcases original artwork and prints of EVIROB and BOXY. Finally, to wrap it all together, DEVILROBOTS has drawn up a special piece, “DR 25th Anniversary”, to commemorate its 25th year.

Shout Art Hub & Gallery, Harbour City, Shop OT308A, Level 3, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 7 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2503 1222

Jazz Improvisation through Abstract Shanshui

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Art of Nature 天趣當代藝術館 (@aon_contemporary)

When: 7 April to 16 May

Ah, the free spirit of jazz music in visual form. That’s what returning artist Clement Chan is trying to capture in his latest exhibition, “Jazz Improvisation through Abstract Shanshui”. Influenced by Cubism, American Abstract Expressionism and Neo-expressionism, Chan paints with the poetry of Chinese shanshui, in vague and implicit brush strokes. With no definite direction or heaviness in his brushwork, he evokes a range of free emotions… just like jazz music.

Art of Nature Contemporary Gallery, Room 2101-06, Mega Trade Centre, 1 Mei Wan Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2416 3632

Ghosts of Empires

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ben Brown Fine Arts (@benbrownfinearts)

When: 22 March to 14 May

Curated by Ghanaian-American writer and curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, “Ghosts of Empires” is a two-part group exhibition running until 14 May. Held at Ben Brown Fine Arts and bringing together contemporary artists from African and Asian diasporas, the exhibition examines themes of slavery, migration, colonialism, sovereignty, trade and imperialism. “Ghosts of Empires” features a range of media including painting, photography, sculpture and textiles, used by the artists to explore their unique and rich cultural histories.

Ben Brown Fine Arts, 201, The Factory, 1 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2522 9600

Pure Heart Shopping Street

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Blindspot Gallery 刺點畫廊 (@blindspotgallery)

When: 26 March to 7 May

Until May, Blindspot Gallery is showing local artist Sarah Lai’s first solo exhibition, named “Pure Heart Shopping Street”. Incorporating new installation techniques involving the use of lightboxes, videos, oil paintings and other sourced objects, she fabricates scenes of Japan’s shopping streets in the 1980s and 1990s.

Lai’s works go against the overabundance of imagery available on the internet in today’s world, with the artist sourcing her visual references from vintage archives. The result is a collection of rarified moments and distanced spaces, a new way to present figurative paintings. For example, Blue Sporty Shorts shows a woman in blue shorts riding a bicycle saddle, with her thighs and buttocks dominating the composition.

If you want to see more, Blindspot Gallery is also showing the third solo exhibition of Hong Kong artist Trevor Yeung’s newest works in the same space, titled “Not everything is about you”.

Blindspot Gallery, 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong, +852 2517 6238

The Dust of a Long Journey

When: 25 March to 23 April

Chinese artist Chen Yingjie’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong is being held at Whitestone Gallery in H Queen’s until 23 April. Titled “The Dust of a Long Journey”, the show puts on display the artist’s recent philosophical thinking, namely in the “Gravity” and “Shangri-La” series. With over 20 works, as well as his video materials, viewers are given a look into Chen’s thought process in unprecedented pandemic times. Here, he contemplated the relationship between man and nature; ecology and civilisation; and self and other.

Whitestone Gallery, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2523 8001


Note: Due to pandemic-related restrictions, availability of events may be subject to change. Stay tuned to Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong for updates.

(Lead image: HKartsFestival@TaiKwun)

Charmaine Ng
Editor
Charmaine enjoys eating steamed broccoli and knocking back cups of spearmint tea, all in the name of health.
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