Between Christmas and Hong Kong’s super chilly Chinese New Year weekend in late-January, the city’s local art scene was anything BUT dormant. There are only so many hours during the week and I’m not a full time Wanderlister, but proudly, i’ve done my share of seeing what art shows I COULD quickly attend within the busy weeks that lead up to the Lunar New Year.
In a previous post i’ve listed all the important shows that were unveiled in the past month, and it was quite difficult because most of these shows opened on the same night/weekend with friends and peers participating and showing in each of them. I’ve yet to catch J.J. Ngai’s work of pencils at Voxfire, but I did manage to take a sneak peak at an interesting tri-fecta of exhibits from OSAGE Kwun Tong which all launched on the same night as J.J. Ngai’s show on the 13th of January. Which reminds me, I also need to see SAAMLUNG’s show of King of Kowloon graffiti artist, Tsang Tsou Choi. If you haven’t seen it, please go, and let me know what you think of it! And on top of the shows above, fringe exhibits from the FONTANIAN Open House as well as the M+ Bamboo Theatre which also launched within the same week, my thoughts on both in the next post. So basically overall, Art-wise, Hong Kong was BUZZING. Now let’s get on to the latest happenings at OSAGE!
+ TROGLODYTE SEE THE LIGHT (Adrian Wong and David Boyce / in collaboration with A.Wong’s Affective Portraits Series)
(Photo via OSAGE)
Troglodyte See the Light, a solo exhibition by Adrian Wong (photo, right) in collaboration with David Boyce (photo, left) and Lee Weng Choy, was conceived as a structured means of exploring the boundaries and limitations of language.
Having undergone several prolonged periods of premeditated and situational isolation (via meditation, extended stays in remote areas, and acute bouts of agoraphobia), Adrian Wong became acutely aware of the increasingly fragmented nature of his internal monologue. These breakages from conventional means of communication highlighted the rarely attended-to nature of pre-linguistic thought, the subject of the present investigation.
In classic Adrian Wong fashion, animatronics are involved (anyone remember his Ducks and Dishes at the Louis Vuitton Foundation A Passion for Creation show several years back at the HK Museum of Art?). The piece above titled, Kaspar Hausar, Ramchandara, and Natascha the Dog Girl of Chita, 2011 had three animatronic creatures (turds?) popping up from speakers having a nonsensical human-animal eternal dialogue with each other on loop in one part of the first of two rooms that was his exhibit.
In the second room below, was a bigger version of the creatures speaking the same language as the other three, but was sited moving and shaking violently in the middle of the floor.
On the walls around the creatures is a collection of Affective Portraits depicting Hong Kong’s “whose-who” within the creative/arts community. The subjects sit with expressions that are anything but “happy”, but their various placement on the walls are unsettling and resemble the kind of “portrait shrines” that tend to line homes, of figures religious or otherwise.
The subjects chosen were carefully picked, and pretty much reflect the local art scenes main movers and shakers. For example, The Berger Family above featuring M+’s Tobias Berger and his wife, artist Yuk King Tan, and the Practitioners from MAP Office Below with their children.
As well as familiar faces, Nadim Abbas (whose show is located in the adjacent room), and Kapok Design Store’s Arnault with his partner in the photograph to the most right.
Artist/writer/blogger Xue Tan in the silver frame below.
This same show was actually exhibited last year at ltd Los Angeles, with most of the same major portraits hanging around the same animatronic figures. To me it’s still unclear if there is a direct relation between the two seemingly disconnected works, but for sure both are quirky in the way Adrian Wong works usually are, but with an overall sense of unease and unsettlement as to what message he is ACTUALLY trying to push through in this particular show in juxtaposing these portraits with the creatures.
+ NO LONGER HUMAN (Nadim Abbas, Erkka Nissinen, and Magdalen Wong)
(Photo via OSAGE)
Next up Magdalen Wong (photo, left) returns to Hong Kong for a short while to collaborate with artists Nadim Abbas (photo,right) and Erkka Nissinen (photo, on computer screen) for a group exhibition of new works conceived as an open dialogue concerning the conditions of being human and the “multiplicity of known and unknowable trajectories of human development”.
In the exhibition space, viewers are confronted with Nadim Abbas’ alien landscape, It’s Afternoon in Utopia 2012, a terrain populated by familiar structures that look both formal and organic, a scale model for some b-movie sci-fi film, or an anthropological construct of communal settlement from history, who knows. It’s new. It’s fresh. And quintessentially a true Nadim Abbas piece.
Installation by Magdalene Wong gives us a false sense of escape.
Construct with video Installation, titled Polis, by Erkka Nissinen.
And me, having a toast and drink with Nissinen… via online video chat.
+ HOW TO SET UP A ROOM FOR JOHNNY (Lee Kit)
The only show actually 100% hosted by Osage Kwun Tong is How To Set Up A Room for Johnny by Osage represented artist, Lee Kit (photo, below). (The other shows are collaborative / shared space shows.)
(Photo via OSAGE)
As Lee Kit stated about the piece, “Moving house and looking for a house… always feels like a hotel once you move in, it feels temporary but intimate. Somehow you don’t know when you need to move out. But you need to settle down, and construct your life there, because a lot of things are happening outside.”
This same exhibit was presented within the Art Statements section of Art Basel in 2011. And to create this piece of a typical apartment (size accurate to the general size for a bachelor in Hong Kong), Lee Kit filled the flat with a living room, toilet, bedroom, and small pantry kitchen. Hanging throughout the flat are various hand painted props of exterior scenery, and generic bath and kitchen items, all pastel, all faded, and a barely there objects that make the whole scene seem fleeting as if the room was undergoing a process of erasure.
The placement of this “set” within the gallery’s enormously huge dark space makes the work better appreciated from a distance (ie. photo below) in its totality within the context of its overall scale. Which I think for those who were lounging around within it, on the couch, on the bed, and sitting on the kitchen table, I wouldn’t say lost the point completely, but would have just had a slightly different reading of the whole work.
In any rate, I do appreciate the objects and other knick-knacks that went into the creation of the work, but I appreciate these objects more as blots of color within a provocative pastel canvas, details that are only essential to help complete the overall composition (ie. dont spend time focusing on looking only at the dishes, hand lotion, and chairs for example.)
Spotted at the show, artist/photographer Jeremy who was showing at Fontanian this month with Kitty Wong and designer architect, Tong Hao.
Also spotted Elaine Young wearing a piece of her own collection from her brand LAB-yrinth, an interesting clothing line with a very distinct aesthetic and style which I’ll cover in future posts on this blog.
Don’t miss this show. You have until February 12th.
Osage Gallery Kwun Tong / 5F, Kian Dai Industrial Building, 73-75 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon / Exhibition Dates: 14 Jan - 12 Feb, 2012 / (852) 2793-4817 / Mon-Sun and Public Holidays : 10:00 am - 7:00 pm / OSAGE ONLINE
All comments moderated. To get more info on comment moderation for this personal blog project, please visit http://www.wanderlister.com/DISCLAIMER