Last Saturday brought a balmy and drizzly Spring evening to Hong Kong, but at the Wong Chuk Hang Industrial District, it was all smiles and pleasant conversations as the arts community rallied around Spring Workshop’s latest artist-in-residence, Qiu Zhijie, one of the mainland’s most celebrated artist and thinkers of his generation.
Inspired by Spring Workshops’ delightfully expansive and flexible space, Qiu began making full use of the large areas of of wall and floor for a very specific mapping exercise which only can be accomplished in such a site.
The neutralness of the walls and the beige floors allowed Qiu to think of them as a blank canvas, a datum in which ready-made objects, “found, made, free, and confined”, can be categorized and mapped, with a help of students from all of Hong Kong’s schools and universities, namely the University of Hong Kong, City University, Baptist University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts School, HKICC/Jockey Club Ti-ICollege, Diocesan Girls’ School, Hong Kong Academy and Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College.
And when we went there last Saturday… he was close to completion…
But more was left to do. The exhibit officially starts on May 23rd.
Also a work in progress, but in a completely different scale, is the work of Eric Shuldenfrei and Marisa Yiu of Eskyiu in the back garden area, titled, Industrial Forest.
Below, Marisa sits within her work as she takes photos of me taking photos of the landscape. Behind her stands Laurent Gutierrez of map office, another celebrated mult-disciplinary architectural studio doing great work in / for the city.
The Industrial Forest is a forest composed of metal “bamboo” rods securely placed on artificial topography. This synthetic nature comes alive, the rods swaying back and forth, with the affect of use and natural weather conditions. Imagine a typhoon!
You can find the scale model of the project in the office.
… As well as the architectural drawings.
So many friends and supporters were there that night to rally around the artists as well as founder, Mimi Brown's non-profit arts initiative. Also spotted were Art Basel Hong Kong's Director Asia, Magnus Renfrew (Check out our interview with him last year), art patron and writer Alex Seno, restauranteur and creative Alan Lo, art muse Xue Tan, Art Basel Hong Kong’s VIP coordinator Deborah Erlich, creative consultant Louise Wong, write and curator Christina Li, artist/educator Leung Chi Wo, and my pals Katrina, Jason S, Jason R, and Susan.
Dinner was served on the beautiful lawn and deck area outside.
There’s a map on the table…
Balls on the floor can be kicked around to create new word structures, concepts, ideas… the purpose of which to create a more dynamic version of mapping which involves the user and the space, via the propositions of the artist.
Can’t wait to see more from Spring Workshop? Go take a look for yourself. The doors are now open.
Non-profit Art organization, Asia Art Archives (AAA) ultimate aim is to raise $6.5Million US for their endowment in order to continue their core work in Hong Kong, which is to archive and accumulate works, stories, and idedas as it relates to Asia’s contemporary art in the new millennium.
85% of their archive is donated material, and whether it be online or their physical space in Sheung Wan, all materials are free and open to the public to access. Starting today you too can support AAA as well as own a piece of work by any one of Asia’s hottest contemporary artists to date via the Archives’ Annual Fundraiser 2012. Proceeds of the pieces at auction can be bid online or bid live depending on the block for each work. All pieces for auction go on exhibit starting today at Sotheby’s One Pacific Place from 10AM to 5:30PM. Preview ends on the 23rd and live auction is this Saturday, November 24th.
Check out my Top 5 Favorite works on the Auction block.
+ Dream 2007 No. 8 / JING Kewen / Lithograph, 65 x 65cm (SILENT LOT 37)
Jing Kewen’s works have been exhibited prominently in Europe and the United States. Primarily using Oil as his main medium, Jing Kewen’s very formal approach to painting often depict young figures amidst city scapes and architectures, using old 1950s photographs as a jumping off point. It’s not really political as it is aiming towards iconic romance.
+ Lanwei20 Tomorrow’s Resort Taipei, 2009 / anothermountainman (Stanley Wong) / Archival Inkjet Print / 109.2 x 174 CM (LIVE LOT 9)
Lan Wei reflects Stanley Wong’s obsessions with mankind’s abandoned construction projects when the economic bubble bursted in Asia in the mid 1990’s. This study, which began in China in 2006, has spread to documentation of other equally haunting ghost sites in the region such as Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.
+ Al Gubaiba, 2012 / Joao Vasco Paiva / Acrylic and Offset Print on Canvas / 60 x 60 x 2 CM (SILENT LOT 68)
Joao Vasco Paiva is a Portuguese artist who has actively been producing great work from Hong Kong since he moved to the city in 2006. This particular painting reflects his formal studies in 2D and 3D which lean towards symbols, shapes, and topographies with an architectural implication. For example he took the Al Gubaiba (DUBAI) Subway Map and removed it of lines, text, and content, whats left is an alternate reading of the same subject matter via new form. His aim is to create or reveal a new facet of information from his urban studies.
+ Gloucester & Gloucester, 2001 printed in 2012 / LEUNG Chi Wo / C-Print / 35.5 x 55cm (SILENT LOT 47)
Co-founder of Para/Site Art Space, Leung Chi Wo is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent independent art figures. Leung Chi Wo usually works with Hong Kong as the main subject of his works, questioning history and identity through text and photography. This work is an offshoot of the artist’s Colour Series (1999-2003) and deals with perception of the urban space through the photographic capture and subsequent tweaking of the composition.
+ Light Year No.9, 2006 / LIU Wei / Oil and Acrylic Paint on Metal Plate / 80 x 80cm (LIVE LOT 11)
Beijing born Liu Wei was recently named Artist of the Year in 2007 via the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards and showcased at Art Basel Miami Beach and the Lyon Biannial in 2007. Since then Liu Wei has shown in the Shanghai Biennial and exhibited his first show in London via White Cube Gallery this year. Liu Wei works with multiple mediums from sculpture, to film, to installation, to print. His works touch upon the human and social condition via dream figures and fantastical narratives.
Do you see a common thread in all the work above? Anyway, curious to know what your favorite pieces are in the auction. Check it out at the preview, and let me know!
SUPPORT AAA Fundraiser 2012 / Preview 20-23 November and Auction 24 November at Sotheby’s 5F One Pacific Place, Admiralty HK.
Supporters of the arts were out to celebrate the launch of Robin Peckham’s newest commercial gallery space Saamlung in downtown Central Hong Kong on Friday. The press release did state that the exhibition opening for a much awaited solo by João Vasco Paiva, was supposed to be a softer launch, but in fairness to the turnout it ended up turning into the opposite of “soft”. Saamlung was big enough, and the ceiling heights incredible, but if people were spilling out into the hallway, no amount of aircon was available to turn down the heat emanating from the event. Nasty evening rain couldn’t keep the crowds away either.
The artist, João Vasco Paiva, with Leung Chi Wo.
The works, a series of paintings, a sculpture, and a video installation, all deal with symbols, signs, wayfinding, codes, and armatures, inspired by Hong Kong’s relationship with the MTR, the city’s subway system. Joao works with all media in an effort to expand on his subject matter from all possible angles. All subjects seem familiar, but at the same time devoid of their original context, because the figures depicted are stripped entirely of text and number, making the piece of work completely new and foreign to the viewer, despite its familiarity.
The paintings complimented the sculpture and vice-versa, with the all white space completely perfect for the minimalist art.
Spotted: Tangram’s Ignacio Garcia (left), Robin Peckham (center), and Jehan Chu of Vermillion and Chaiwanese (right), with a friend.
I’m a big fan of art editor/author/blogger, Xue Tan (middle). She was really down to earth which I love, here chatting with MAP Office’s Valérie Portefaix.
Other funny spottings, Valerie’s son within a wall gap serving drinks to guests. It was a bit performance art. Valerie proudly snapping shots of her son below.
Osage’s social media guru and #HKFashionBlogger Sybil Kot with the multi-tasker/Asia Art Archive/Saamlung Gallery Manager (i’m sure i’m missing something), Natasha.
Other cool peeps at the show. I love her glasses.
Xue Tan’s friend.
And me and Xue.
This was some really great work by João. Also kudos to Robin for an amazing gallery space. It really reminds me of the kind of galleries you see in New York. Additionally you REALLY should check out Xue Tans website, The Creators Project, right now. Its the kind of content I’d love to do if I did blogging full time. She works on it in conjunction with Intel and Vice. Her latest article is about China as the World’s Architectural playground.
MVRDV’s China Comic and Animation Museum below.
Hope to collaborate with Xue Tan in the near future.
RELATED ARTICLE: Saamlung Pre Opening, Works João Vasco Paiva
João Vasco Paiva: Palimpseptic / Saamlung, 26/F Two Chinachem Plaza, 68 Connaught Rd. C., Central District, Hong Kong / http://www.saamlung.com
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