Hong Kong has been freezing and wet as of late, but that hasn’t kept the public away from supporting and taking part with Public Art Initiatives, in fact in the week that lead up to the Chinese New Year, above exhibitions by private galleries, the city played host to two very special large scale events that made it obvious just how starved for culture everybody is in this city… Hello!? Can M+ arrive any sooner???
The first of the two events I’m posting about is actually an annual initiative by the artists residing in the aging Fotan Industrial Areas to open their studios for Hong Kong’s general public. The other event, is a pleasantly cool public relations initiative by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority to give the public a taste of what kind of fun things we can expect from West Kowloon in the decade to come.
+ FOTANIAN Open Studios 2012
Me and some designer friends decided to finally check out this year’s open house of studios at Fotan. Had I known it was this massive, I could have visited the Annual Event years ago! Alas, i’m late, but at the very least, I heard from the grapevine that this year’s showing/participation was the biggest it has ever been for the Open House which were located in two buildings within the sprawling Wah Luen Industrial Centre. Literally in the middle of nowhere/fringe.
If some of you feel that Ap Lei Chau and Cha Wan galleries are far… well those districts are basically close neighbors compared to the trek to FOTAN. That said, it’s the distance that keeps spaces here (fairly) artist-friendly and affordable. I have no clue what the Hong Kong Government actually thinks or feels about these studio/offices, but anything to boost Hong Kong’s creative cred must be cool with them (I assume).
Going to the open house, you really get to witness a whole array of works, like this “performance art” below of models dressed up for a make believe runway show. This one is called It is Not a Fashion Show Fashion Show, 2012 by the Alternatif Gallery.
Once inside, you really have to get your bearings. We started all the way up and wanted to work our way down each floor via the Fire Stairs. But since we didn’t know where we were going, we started out here… oops.
We bumped into our first studio, the Mountain Loft which was shared by six artists. As soon as we walked in, there was already a demonstration present. I love it. This is what events like these are for… to engage and education people outside art circles.
I believe that only through engagement can ones work be made valid.
The next studio we visited was laiyan projects to meet up with its owners, a partner team of Peter Benz and Cornelia Erdmann who showed a sample of her latest work which hangs proudly in Rocco Yim’s newest building for Legco in Admiralty.
Works by Cornelia Erdmann, a sample of her work The People, 2011, a site specific wall sculpture hanging now at Legco.
I felt that their studio was the most gorgeous and spacious one of all the studios.
More works. Billy checking out the Lightstructure, also by Cornelia.
Annie Chau munching on the Schokoladen.
Very interesting food art by Cornelia!
The other shows I was most impressed about, was the gallery of a furniture designer, Danny Fang at Fang Studio LTD. It had a bit of a DWELL Magazine vibe, and a very live/work feel about it.
Danny’s furniture looks very light, but in fact besides the wicker seat, the base is all galvanized steel or very dense polycarbonate, so its very sturdy in the end with plenty of weight. (Heavy furniture is what you want especially after living years with IKEA Floppy pieces.)
Gradient Collection, 2008.
Gepetto (Top Shelf left), 2010 and Rockefeller (Top shelf right), 2009
The third most impressive work was the sound installation of water droplets within a cave from speakers hanging from the ceiling. It was technology mirroring the organic.
In the adjacent room, this beautiful metal piece.
Both works by Danny Lee Chin-fai whose works can be seen in the corridors of SWIRE’s Tai Koo Shing Complex.
Two other works I enjoyed; BLUEPRINT From Choi Yuen Village to Causeway Bay (LAYER 3), 2011 by Edward.
and works found at Galerie de charbon.
+ West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre
At the Osage show for Nadim Abbas, I was able to bump into M+ curator, Tobias Berger who invited me to check out their latest fun event to help publicize the West Kowloon Cultural District to the overall Hong Kong audience. If there was ever a question by the public as to “How does West Kowloon Affect Me?”, well for one, this construction of the classic Bamboo Theatre and the further incorporation of works by Contemporary Artists, Gaylord Chan and Michael Wolf throughout the site seeks to bridge the old with the new as a unique experience that can be explored and enjoyed by all.
The West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre marked the launch of the design and construction stage of the district. During its run, it provided a combination of traditional Cantonese opera and contemporary visual art installations at the future site of the Xiqu Centre.
Inside the Bamboo Theatre… impressive right?
And around the theatre, beautiful flags by Gaylord Chan.
As well as portraits of Cantonese Opera singers by Michael Wolf.
And tents which served an unlimited amount of Local Fare, like Hong Kong Peking Duck!!!
And yum two of my favorite Cantonese dishes!
Spotted, artist Gaylord Chan and Tobias Berger.
LAB-yrinth’s designer wearing her own pieces, Elaine Young.
Standard Vintage’s Andy wearing a vintage Burberry coat.
Chaiwanese’s, Jehan (right) with Zon So.
Jeff with Rowena of Liquid Interiors.
Louise wearing a modernized Vietnamese Hat.
I love the bamboo… everywhere.
Hong Kong is way on the right track.
Fang Studios by Danny Fang / Wah Luen Industrial Ctr. Block B, Floor 12, Unit 16 15 Wong Chuk Yeung St. Fo Tan, Hong Kong / www.fangstudio.com
Laiyan Projects LTD. with Cornelia Erdmann and Peter Benz / Wah Luen Industrial Ctr. Block B, Floor 16, 15 Wong Chuk Yung St. Fo Tan, Hong Kong / www.laiyanprojects.com
Elaine Young of LAB-yrinth / www.LAB-yrinth.net
CHAIWANESE / www.facebook.com/chaiwanese
LIQUID Interiors / www.liquid-interiors.com
Standard Vintage / www.standard-vintage.com
West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre / www.bambootheatre.wkcda.hk
All comments moderated. To get more info on comment moderation for this personal blog project, please visit http://www.wanderlister.com/DISCLAIMER