Sure Lehmann Maupin had their gallery opening at the Pedder Building on my birthday, but alas, I ended up choosing to celebrate the day with Thom Browne at the new Black Fleece Flagship Store instead.
Okay… so Thom Browne wasn’t there, but after New York, San Fransisco, and Tokyo, the Hong Kong flagship for the Brooks Brothers label is the 4th and only stand alone store for the brand in the world. I couldn’t miss this. So apologies to Lehmann Maupin, a Black Fleece Flagship in Hong Kong has been a birthday wish of mine for some time now.
The collection couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Menswear in Hong Kong is very hot at the moment. Guys in the city have been bold with their style choices lately, and for the most part, have been doing a great job styling themselves. The latest S/S 2013 collection by Thom Browne for Black Fleece allows men to be adventurous with prints, colors, and fabrics.
The bright prints, which could be found on jackets, trousers, and accessories, play with a pattern’s scale, making new motifs from classic madras for example, thus giving off a very iconic and resortique feel.
Readers of theWanderlister+ will now get a chance get to check out the first Official Affordable Art Fair (AAF) in Hong Kong next week via a Buy 1 Ticket Get 1 Ticket Free Deal. Simply click on the image above or this link to download your own form. Follow by filling out the form and bringing the form with you directly on the day of the fair from March 15th to March 17th.
+ AAF Presents Arty-Licous Evening, Friday March 15th.
Also on March 15th, the AAF will be hosting their version of a Vernissage with the Arty-Licious Evening, featuring live art talks, great music, and artworks from international galleries. You can speak with fair director, Camilla Hewitson at the Cafe at 6pm, listen to a talk by Will Ramsay, Founder of the AAF at 7pm, attend an art walk by Young Talent Hong Kong’s Leung Shiu Kee Eric at 7:30, and discuss the state of Contemporary Art in Hong Kong with Caroline Ha Thuc at 8:30 PM.
Check out our profile interview with Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong Here.
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.
Dreams and musings abound in a new exhibition about tomorrow’s design by 12 of Hong Kong’s most renowned and award-winning designers, curated as an original show for Asia Society Hong Kong. This, the first non-imported exhibit for Asia Society since opening it’s doors in Admiralty a year ago, is a big push towards highlighting Hong Kong as a “Design City”. While I believe we have a very long way to go before that is the case, the site specific works within a grand venue, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and the curation, by Fumio Nanjo, Director of Mori Art Museum in Tokyo gives the whole experience an added weight and legitimacy that is needed to further foster the works of these designers and to push their ideas further within a more international sphere.
The beautiful site, a building designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.
This amazing piece, a mixture of steel and LED lights, by Architect/Designer, Dylan Kwok, titled, Skyscrapers.
American Heritage brand, Sebago, a brand built on the reputation of its classic and traditional nautical footwear, has opened its first Hong Kong store at the new Mira Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The store’s design reflect the brand’s iconic past, an expression of New England past times such as beach getaways, sailing trips, and overnights in cottages.
We were recently invited to take a look at the Mira Mall Flagship store, located in Level 2 of The Mira Hotel’s podium.
The nutty team who first brought you Madam Sixty Ate (M68), which I covered on the blog in 2011, have now found a second home one year later right in Central on the corner of Glenealy and Wyndham Streets near Lan Kwai Fong and the Fringe Club. The new dining concept is not a rehash of M68, but a completely new character in the name of Sal Curioso. Madam Sixty Ate’s menu, branding, and interior design, was constructed as a narrative in collaboration between Chef Director, Chris Woodyard, Founder Bronwyn Cheung, and Hong Kong design firm, Substance, led by Maxime Dautresme. The end-product is an easy introduction into Woodyard’s realm of travel food deconstructed via molecular gastronomy but for a mass audience who needed a softer transition. This same team is at it again with Sal Curioso.
Behind Buttermilk Chicken, begrudgingly a signature dish (and a standout one), Chef Woodyard hard at work.
Strategically, the Sal Curioso branding ventured towards the same route with a character driven approach, which may seem new and different from Madam Sixty Ate on the surface, but judging from the use of imagery on menus like “Squidpop” and the “21st Century Imperial Shaker”, all signs point to Sal as Madam’s lab rat twin brother. In Chef Woodyard’s case, if it aint broke, why come up with new DNA?
While I was out checking out the Holiday deals at independent boutiques for men’s fashion this past weekend, I also saw some really cool things my girlfriends would love. In fact, earlier in the day I was out with Hana Alberts from HK Magazine at one of Tai Hang’s best kept secret boutiques which I’l share with you in this post. And over the course of the day I was able to visit a few more shops I hadn’t noticed before. Anyway this is my handy Holiday Shopping Guide for Ladies and Home that’s off the beaten track… ie. not at a Shopping Mall. If you do go and check any of these places out, let me know what you think about them by commenting below or Tweeting me @theWanderlister on my Twitter Account. Lets get started!
For those who spotted my Top 5 Holiday Gifts Guide for Guys for the chic Sassy Hong Kong Blog earlier this month, and want more gift ideas for the Holidays, this here is my epic post not necessarily on which gifts to buy, but the top places in the city to shop for yourself or the Gentlemen your life. That way you can head over to these Top 6 places around the city and take a look at what’s on offer. Trust me if you follow my trusty guide, there’s bound to be something for you off the beaten and obvious track from Hong Kong’s crazy malls.
It also helps that this past Saturday, I got a trusty shopping sidekick in Trey who was visiting Hong Kong for the first time from New York City via the W Hotels Hong Kong.
He was lucky that I gave him a rare and personal theWanderlister+ Shop Tour of the city. But worry not, it’s not a secret, and i’ll gladly share the list below. Let’s start with the obvious…
Hong Kong is getting a bit cooler now, but the sheer number of cultural events in the city keep everything pretty hot. In the last few weeks alone we’ve seen quite a handful of great offerings. Adrian Wong just launched a full show in Saamlung, for example, which we think is great. The fall auctions for Para/Site and the Asia Art Archives did pretty well in the past weeks. This weekend alone Hong Kongers had a chance to see some independent music on multiple stages at the Clockenflap Music Festival and see some independent design at DETOUR 2012. Next week international starchitects will be in the city to chat at BODW (Business of Design Week). Again, what cultural dessert?
To water the once dry dessert, Hong Kong’s outposts of foreign galleries have done quite well staging solo shows for artists abroad, something normal in every major city but new for us. White Cube cross cultivates by showing western artists here and eastern artists in the UK. Ben Brown Fine Arts in Hong Kong is exhibiting really great regional work so far. And last week we were able to meet acclaimed French painter, Bernard Frize, at Simon Lee Gallery, his first show in Asia. We had a chance to chat briefly, and pretty much mutually agreed that what Simon Lee and other galleries have been doing is giving a great platform for major artists to showcase their works for a new audience. Of course it benefits the artists to exhibit for emerging art markets especially in Asia, but also the presence of works here can only enhance the education for new artists in the city. To create new and better work, we have to learn from the masters. Bernard Frize is of course one of them.
In person, Frize is nice, friendly, and a bit media-shy, but for the first day of the show he was in good spirits. In person you wouldn’t believe Frize has had a successful 40-year career behind him. His works are defined by their formal abstract compositions in primary and secondary colors and its relationship to the white spaces in between. Frize usually works with Acrylic but recently he’s reunited with oil owing the move to enhance “the optical effect of the combinations of colour”, adding that this technique allows for, “the spatial effect of depth, (creating) the illusion of the differential reflection of light,”
The French born Frize splits his time between Paris and Berlin with works recently exhibited at the 2012 Bienal of Sao Paulo. His work is represented in public collections at The Tate Gallery in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the MOCA in Los Angeles, and the Museum fur Moderne Kunst. Most notably the paintings are all uniquely different, yet when you see a whole catalogue of works, everything is undeniably Frize. His method is all about the process and that one work is a continuation of the one before it, and will inform the one after. The ideas amongst works blend and evolve, with each new composition a preview of potential directions. Pieces now can easily be juxtaposed with any series many years before, and unlike other artists who work thematically, Frize’s work reads fresh, ie non-self-derivative… and ultimately devoid of time and context. We sit with the artist to ask him a few questions below. If you have time, check out a snippet of Frize at Simon Lee Gallery in Hong Kong. It will be on exhibit until mid-January.
theWanderlister+: Bernard, tell us about the importance of “process” in the work of an artist. And is it something that all artists young and old should prescribe to?
Bernard Frize: If a painting could exist in the snap of a finger, it would be very frustrating. I enjoy not only the process of making but the mental process which leads to making the painting. Sure, it is dirty, takes time, often nerve wracking, but at the end of the day when you see a little light, it looks very rewarding. The physical work feeds the mental work. Ideas have to find their “body” otherwise they don’t exist.
theW+: I find that your work belongs in its own space and time, and therefore not of this world. Process can potentially make it read “linear” if you want it to, but as the exhibition in Simon Lee HK shows… with the juxtaposition of new and older works, this is not the case.
BF: The most recent painting is a panorama in a single canvas. It is something of chaos, explosion in contrast to the 3 older paintings in front which are based on a system.
B.Frize, Plontols, 2012 / Oil on Canvas / 180x360cm
I hope that putting them together in the same space might make you think about what could be the organizing principal of this new painting.
B.Frize, Insulaire i,j,p, 2004 / Oil on Canvas / 150 x 132 cm each
But in fact, you find rules don’t apply. It is something like daily life - where we learn patterns and understand parts of the world, and then on the other hand we find surprises.
theW+: Your works are parts of a whole, like an atom belongs to a whole mass… an idea within an idea within an idea. What is the big “picture” in the work that you do? What do you aim to achieve?
BF: Often, there are no words to express it, sometimes I don’t even know why I painted a painting, and I am surprised. It is long afterwards that I can put words to it. Paintings are marks which indicate where, how, and who I am and which overall give evidence to my desires to meet them in person.
B.Frize, Phocion series, 2009 / Acrylic and resin on Canvas / 81 x 66cm
theW+: Your work is beautiful and with colors compositionally balanced to perfection. Is your aim to achieve beauty? Is this important?
BF: In real life, discriminating with colours is horrible, but, in painting it is the starting and functional point. Sometimes, it is necessary to adjust the number of colours to a topological situation. Most of the time, I avoid choosing colours. I use as many as I can and you see a multicoloured painting where none of the hues makes its own partition. I am not responsible for your taste, and colour is only one element among many through which to approach a painting.
theW+: Is every piece and composition an “end” in its own right? Or do you think you will eventually get to the “end”? Are you aiming for the complete picture?
BF: Does a work created in parts have a sense of “self”? With this in view, the different paintings of my work should be orientated towards a goal and should gradually reconstitute the magma of their origins. My failed paintings are as important as the successful ones; they open and close the same pathways. The work takes root in different magmas which evolve with passing time like my understanding of myself, of society, culture etc., which amounts to saying that, by representing the world around me, I am constructing the meaning I attribute to myself and the one I pass on to my work. This representation achieves a truth that is inexhaustible yet temporarily satisfied, with each successive painting. Maybe it is emptying a bottle?
SEE Bernard Frize: Fat Paintings at SIMON LEE Hong Kong @ 304 Pedder Building on 12 Pedder Street, Central. Now to January 15, 2013