theW+ x CuriousFiend: Trailblazers at Above Second Gallery HK

The first in a collaborative series of art, design, and exhibition posts in Asia of note via our friends at Curious Fiend and Fiend Projects.


Last Thursday I was invited by my friends at Above Second gallery to document their new exhibition ‘Trailblazers’ and the private view of the show.

Curated by Coates and Scarry the exhibition featured a great selection of new contemporary artists including the stunning ink drawings of Carne Griffiths, amazing photorealistic paintings by Nigel Cox, and some classic graphic work from British artist D*Face (as well as some prints of his recent sculpture/taxidermy works).

Coates and Scarry for their first show in Asia brought with them a fantastic array of work from these and plenty of other artists (check the photos) which absolutely provided something for everyone.

Coates and Scarry at Above Second Coates and Scarry at Above Second Coates and Scarry at Above Second Coates and Scarry at Above Second Coates and Scarry at Above Second Coates and Scarry at Above Second Coates and Scarry at Above Second

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Last Thanksgiving, my friends Jiki and Kester cooked an amazing Turkey feast at their new home in Discover Bay. Aside from having the chance to devour a great home cooked meal, I had the pleasure to meet for the first time a friend of theirs Mr. Andre Eichman, who turned out to be a very talented and seasoned photographer whose 25 year experience ranges from fashion editorial, and extending to portraits and architecture in and around China.

We got to start chatting about his personal projects at the moment, the most exciting being an on-going series of work titled, Post Cards from the Concrete Jungle, where he takes snapshots of Hong Kong, writes notes on each shot, then mails the work to himself as a postcard, when once received, he then scans them and uploads each every card to his blog here. 

Andre’s second most exciting personal project (not any less exciting than the first of course) is now a book, titled The Chairman and I, a collection of intimate Mainland Chinese portraits with statuettes of Chairman Mao. 


A few works from this vast series will be on display at Above Second in Sai Ying Pun, May Wong’s fringe gallery known more for her curated exhibits of “street art”. A fringe photographer himself, Andre’s personable and humble nature is not reflective of the thorough and somewhat obsessive attitude he puts in towards the literal documentation of “everyday Hong Kong” in the postcard series and the sheer effort of collecting stories/portraits across the Mainland for The Chairman and I.


I truly recommend Mr. Eichman’s show at Above Second. Definitely something not to be missed.

Andre Eichman’s work has appeared in the Sunday Times Magazines, the Royal Geographic Magazine, Wanderlust, Vogue, and W Magazines. Globally, he’s exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, and California.

PHOTOGRAPHY The Chairman and I: Original Photographs by Andre Eichman at Above Second. 31 Eaastern St. Sai Ying Pun 


Women, Enshrined: Shows in Hong Kong by Hung Liu and INSA

The best Friday nights are always the ones when I get to go to an art opening or two after a long hard day’s work. Two weeks ago, my friends Andy, Roberto, and Inge were able to accompany me to two openings that couldnt have been further apart, both in location (10 Chancery Lane in SOHO and Above Second in Sai Ying Pun), but also in context of the works, one is by a very established Chinese female painter, and the other an English graffiti artist from London. Yet the subject matters were generally similar to the point that one can actually make comparisons of each artist’s works in relation to each other as if they were contemporaries. Okay, this may be a step far, considering they each have completely different backgrounds, but really both shows are contemporary depictions of female pop-iconography, idolized, enshrined, and fetishized.

Hung Liu’s Exhibit of Resin Paintings

Versus, Graffiti artist, INSA’s own works.

Hung Liu’s largest work in the show. A shrine.

INSA’s work from the same night. Feet with imaginary heels as the focus point of the space.

Okay this is about as far as I’m going to go about this. But I guess I just thought it was interesting. Personally, it means plenty more to me to be able to go to more than one show in the same night, and be able to create a dialogue between them (for myself at the very least). It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s great when I can find a connection.

+ Hung Liu / 10 Chancery Lane, Central

Hung Liu paintings have historically delved into China’s history to help inspire her current works. Subject matters are derived from old photographic source materials, this coupled with her own life’s experiences living abroad enable her to re-imagine once dormant subjects in new, and possibly more profound ways. The works at 10 Chancery Lane share the space with Wang Keping’s “Eternal Smile” series. I do agree the resin process adds a bit of luminosity in each piece.

Spotted that night, OSAGE’s Jade with partner.

And writer/cutator Vivi Ho with Andy

Architect Douglas Ho, with artist, Chloe Ho

The scene from outside.

Wang Keping’s show ends on August 31st. You may catch Hung Liu’s Resin Paintings until September 17th. 10 Chancery Lane Website.

+ GLOSS by INSA / Above Second Gallery, Sai Ying Pun District

After having left Chancery Lane, we all loaded a taxi to check out the goings on at Above Second. They were opening an exhibit for a London-based graffiti and conceptual artist, INSA. I was half expecting a ridiculous crowd, but once we got there it seemed alright. (We were also two hours late.) I was really worried I wouldn’t get a chance to check out all the works in the show, but there was enough room to go around to really appreciate the prints and photographs on display.

I liked his “around-the-world” collection of girls from different cities, standing adjacent to his Graffiti works the best. As it turned out, the Hong Kong print on the lower right hand corner was the best of the bunch. And that was done last minute.

There were 10 copies of each available. And I wanted the Hong Kong one, which was taken in front of YUMLA.

I thought the model, Naomi was quite gorgeous. She’s from Montreal. As I was about to leave, she walked in. I had to introduce myself and take a shot.

Also spotted, brothers Dom and Charles.

Roberto and Inge.

Lorrie, TRE, Peter and Rocky.

May on the chair, and “some random dude”. :)

It was a fun night overall.

Love this pic.

And before we headed off to have some of that famous BBQ, someone took our shot.

And here it is. Not too accidental.

Graffiti. Chain Link Fence. And Angst. It feels like the 90s again.

You have until September 16th to catch this show at Above Second. All prints are completely reasonably priced. Above Second Website.


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Your Art Agenda This Week, Wanderlisted 11.08.18 / Hung Liu, INSA, and SCM in Hong Kong

This weekend we’ve got three art exhibits in Hong Kong that are quite noteworthy, two of which will open with a big bang tonight.

+ Hung Liu 8.18-9.17.11 / 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

Beijing Artist, Hung Liu’s resin paintings, a hybrid of the printmaking and painting process will be on display starting today at 10 Chancery Lane. These paintings are composed of many alternating layers of resin and oil-based pigment causing a glass like metallic surfaces. In all, the complex paintings bear a three-dimensional aspect and depth to images that are deemed of as classic representations of women in early chinese portraiture.

Further on her long-standing exploration on courage and strength of women in her paintings, Liu continues to delve into social, political, historical aspects of China’s past regimes as “subject” for her works, using old photographs as source material.  As a bi-cultural citizen, she is in a position to re-present and re-examine Chinese culture, past and present, while combining images from her own life experience.

Fairyland, Mixed Media.

Hung Liu was born in Changchun, China in 1948, grew up in Beijing – where she was trained at the Central Academy of Fine Art - and moved to California in 1984.  Her work is included in the collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco – M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, Los Angeles County Museum, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., to name a few.

Blue Blouse, Mixed Media. / Opening hours Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. Address: G/F, 10 Chancery Lane, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong

+ Gloss by INSA 8.18-9.16.11 / Above Second

London Street and Pop take a dive into Hong Kong starting today, with an exhibition by London-based grafitti and conceptual fine artist, INSA with works which consist of a multimedia mix of large scale canvases, photography and limited edition prints, and his signature “Graffiti Fetish” pattern prints.

‘Success – Somewhere Between Two Golden Sphincters’
Medium: Spray-paint, 3 walls, floor and ceiling, naked woman, baby oil
London 2010

INSA’s work, contrary to some at first glance, speaks to an inquisitive and informed viewership. His beautiful women flaunting oiled skin and high heels or brand named sneakers serve as modern icons and symbols of our lavish and unsustainable, even unhealthy, lifestyle. The works deal with our obsession with sex, consumerism, and the female body, therefore using the inherent “want” of humanity in this most modern context to show that it isn’t really about any of that.

INSA x Tate Britain Heels, Homage to Chris Ofili, mixed media + Elephant Dung / Above Second, 31 Eastern St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

+XII SCM Grudates’ Showcase 8.13-8.24.11 / Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre

In XII SCM Graduates’ Showcase 2011, outstanding works by this year’s 60 graduates from the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong will be on display from August 13-24. Projects will be presented in a wide range of media ranging including photography, video, interactive installation, interdisciplinary, media application and more. 2D and 3D animations, documentaries, narrative and experimental films will also be shown in the screening sessions. This show has historically been a platform to offer the arts and media industries a glimpse of dynamic young talents poised to make their mark within their respective fields.

Sexucation, Tse Shing Hin, Oliver 謝承軒 , Photography

Colorblindness 1.5, Riddick Douglas Ning 寧炫聲, Film

Sub Zero, Li Sui Pong 李緒邦 & Li Wai Lim 李偉廉, Animation

This year, the showcase features two parts and is held at new exhibition venues: an art exhibition at a brand-new gallery, Room 502, and screening sessions at the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, the new permanent home of the School of Creative Media, designed by internationally renowned architect, Daniel Libeskind.

RELATED ARTICLES: City U Leaps Forward With Daniel Libeskind

Date :14-24.8.2011 
Time :11am-8pm
Venue:Room 502,
Unit 502, Wah Wai Industrial Centre, 30-40 Au Pui Wan Street, Fo Tan, Sha Tin, N.T. / 沙田火炭坳背灣街 38 – 40 號華衛工貿中心 502 室

Date :14-15, 19-21.8.2011
Time :11am-8pm
Venue :3/F, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre
邵逸夫創意媒體中心 3 樓
(Room M3017)
Address:18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong (located on Cornwall Street) 九龍塘達康路18號 (座落於歌和老街)


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Charles Munka’s “EPISODES” Show Sets Stage in Sai Ying Pun

The more these big name galleries open up in Central, the more art enclaves expand west and east of the Center. As I mentioned in the previous post, Art Island East in Chai Wan (the end of the blue line) has become a go-to hotspot for art and artist studios, but also popping up in Sheung Wan are your design shops (Konzepp 33 and Signed-by) and in Sai Ying Pun, you’ve got Jasper Wong’s above second (as in Second Street) art space, specializing in unsigned and new graphic artists, and as of late, street/non conventional art. 

On June 24th, above second played host to the opening of the Charles Munka solo show, titled “EPISODES”, a series of graphic prints and illustrations on canvas and paper.

A completely graphic window designed by Charles Munka greets visitors at entrance.

The work, black pen and ink on white paper, are large scale reproduction of pages from the artist’s notebooks.

Charles Munka, also known as QUES, is a member of the French art crew, LCP United, and has made a name for himself within Hong Kong and globally through his exhibitions and live collaborations with the likes of Andrew Meza’s BTS and Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder collective.

From above second:

Munka’s style is strongly influenced by hip-hop and the progressive L.A. beat scene. Using mixed media, Munka’s work captures a new style of art that blends more traditional aspects of graffiti and his identification with contemporary and historical imagery from film, video games, and pop art.

At the end of the gallery space you’ve got this amazing piece, which I feel is really the highlight of the whole exhibition.

I personally felt that the work above reminded me a bit of this:

And maybe a bit of this, Picasso’s Guernica:

With a bit of texture much like Basquiat’s work:

So basically I just mentioned to him that I liked his work because it was a bit Mayan, a bit Picasso, and a bit Basquiat. Im not sure what he really thought me of when I mentioned Guernica and Basquiat to him… but he completely got the Mayan reference.  As in it really was his influence.

The artist, Charles Munka

Also spotted, Musician ReBEARTH Chuckles and Model + Kapok Ingenue, Chris

Graphic Designer, Emilie Sarnel and above second’s Jasper Wong

and MC Yan of, wearing a shirt he’s designed. I have one from him in English I got from the Kapok Naihan-Li Exhibit.

“Episodes” by Charles Munka / Above Second, 31 Eastern Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong / p: 852.3483.7950 / e: / above second website

Charles Munka / e: / p: 852.6647.9402