#ARTBASELHK13: Joao Vasco Paiva and Nadim Abbas Form-Scapes

What’s refreshing about having artists like Joao Vasco Paiva and Nadim Abbas (and to an obvious extent Adrian Wong) “perform” during Art Basel week in Hong Kong, is that these shows are not meant to be packaged in a nice frame and offered for sale as closed works, but rather meant to posit new ideas and paradigms to the global fair audience in town here to do “Business (capital B)”. If that’s what you’re looking for, neighboring galleries are doing retrospectives of established or dead artists, and there’s the convention center for everything finished and ready to go.

The Paiva and Abbas shows, exhibiting at the Goethe-Institut (with patronage from Edouard Malingue Gallery) and CL3 Studio respectively, offer not final ideas, but the beginning of one or at least an idea in transition. These two shows… one on top of the other (literally, one is on the 14th floor and one on the 15th floor of the HK Arts Centre across the street from Art Basel in the HKCEC), go bolder than a JJ.Abrams Star Trek fick, seemingly going warp speed somewhere, but in fact are just reflective studies of the familiar. Paiva extracts forms, surface, and texture from Hong Kong’s built urban surfaces and creates substance. Plainly speaking, his forms are molds created to preserve an urban texture… like tires, roads, or even the reflected concrete triangular waffle ceiling of the gallery space. Meanwhile Abbas obsesses over the parts that make us and magnifies the microscopic world. “Bodies” which reference viruses (HIV?) are carefully placed all over the floor and on fragments of mattresses while a poster of a rocket launching hangs eerily on a corner. 

No matter how far we look out there in the universe, the new form-scapes by Paiva and Abbas show us that we’re not done yet discovering the WHY’s of what we make and what makes us here on Earth, with plenty of uncharted territory left for them and us to explore together.

Exhibitions in association with Saamlung Gallery.

VISIT Joao Vasco Paiva: Objects Encrypted . Goethe-Institut Hong Kong 14F Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road Wanchai 20 MAY - 08 JUN 2013 10AM-8:30PM M-F 1PM-6PM SAT . FREE / VISIT Nadim Abbas New Works . CL3 Architects 15F, Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Road Wanchai 20 MAY - 25 MAY 2013

JJ.

#ARTBASELHK13: theW+ TOP 5 ‘OFF-Basel’ Guide to Shops, Parades, Drinks, and Exhibits

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It’s that time of year again. Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) arrives for the first time in our great city with tons of buzz. For those who are new to all this, all you need to know that this art fair in Hong Kong is the 3rd largest art fair in the world, third only to Art Basel in Basel and Art Basel in Miami. Before the Art Basel brand took over this year, the fair was dubbed ART HK (see all my ART HK posts here). The fair grew so successful since its inception in 2007 that ART BASEL officially became the major stakeholder of the fair in 2011.

This year there wil be 245 galleries from the around the world with over 50 percent coming from Asia and Asia-Pacific.  Of the 245, 48 galleries will mark their first appearance at a fair in Hong Kong. The show will be presented in four sectors: “Galleries” for general work, “Insights” for Asia based works made for the HK Show, “Discoveries” for works by emerging contemporary artists globally, and “Encounters” for site specific works exhibited beyond the booth around the floor and curated by Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

Before we get further into the fair, so much is happening around the city with “OFF-Basel” (Official and Unofficial) Activities in the build up to opening night this Wednesday for VIP Members and Thursday for the General Public.

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Here is our TOP 5 ‘OFF-Basel’ Guide to (Official and Unofficial) Events and Exhibitions Outside Art Basel Hong Kong:

+ ‘PAPER RAIN’ A Public Parade by Arto Lindsay

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This multi-media parade built around the idea of cinema, unspools along the Victoria Harbourfront and on the Star Ferry. Contributions from Nadim Abbas, Haegue Yang, Angela Su, João Vasco Paiva, Korakrit Arunanodchai, Alice Ma, Enoch Cheng, Otomo Yoshihide, Cedric Maridet, Kung Chi Shing and Shane Aspegren, as well as more special guests to be announced.

Art Basel Hong Kong is eager to invite the public to take part and participate in this public event commemorating the first day of Art Basel in Hong  Kong. The parade begins with a choir performance at the HKCEC Expo Drive Entrance. Then officially commences from Central Pier No. 10 (ferry will take public from Wanchai to Central). Parade will take artists and public to the Victoria Harbourfront and will end with an electro-acoustic performance by Otomo Yoshihide.

23 MAY 2013, Thur 16:30 - 19:00 / Public Parade Begins at HKCEC Expo Drive Entrance and Ends at the Viewing Platforms at the Victoria Harbourfront / Free and Open To The Public / Weblink

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+ The Saamlung Three: Nadim Abbas @ CL3, Joao Vasco Pavia @ Goethe-Institute, Adrian Wong x Absolut Art Bureau @ Fringe Club

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The highly celebrated Saamlung may have ceased operations as a commercial gallery in January 2013, but its space-less expansive projects and works are going the non-commercial route with new shows for the week of Art Basel Hong Kong curated by founder, Robin Peckham

Expect new works by its core group of artists, Nadim Abbas, Joao Vasco Paiva, and Adrian Wong (under the Absolut Art Bureau curation)…in three spaces. Abbas’ animated GIFs and molecular structures will be exhibited in an architect’s studios at CL3. One floor below, Paiva continues his formal studies at the Goethe-Institut spaces, and supported by Edouard Malingue Gallery. Wong will have a very interesting “art bar” installation at the Fringe Club with animatronic jazz bands, geriatric lounge singers, Asian porn soundtracks, and surly waiters from a soy sauce steak joint. 

Nadim Abbas at CL3 Architects 20-25 MAY 2013, 15F Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Road Wanchai / Joao Vaco Paiva at Goethe-Institut Hong Kong 20 MAY - 8 JUN 2013, 14F Hong Kong Arts Centre 2 Harbour Road Wanchai / Adrian Wong Wun Dun Art Bar with Absolut Art Bureau 22-25 MAY 2013, BF Fringe Club 2 Lower Albert Road Central / Free and Open to The Public / Weblink

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+ MOBILES by Xavier Veilhan 

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Word on the street is that Xavier Veilhan may erect site specific MOBILES at Galerie Perrotin’s 50 Connaught Road  home. This week expect a group of recent and never-before scene mobiles of varying shapes and dimensions. Veilhan is known for his site-specific interventions in cities, parks, and living environments (most recently iconic Lautner homes in Los Angeles.) 

Veilhan, as a multidisciplinary artist, is “possessed by a highly personal artistic universe inhabited by a heterodox range of characters, objects and animals. Through these devices, the playful component emerges as a fundamental element in evoking a reality populated with symbols, metaphors and other semantic ambiguities.” These timeless studies a transformed into iconic objects that aim to communicate via a “POP” language.

Xavier Veilhan’s Mobiles / 21 MAY - 6 JUL 2013, Galerie Perrotin 50 Connaught Road Central HK / Free and Open To The Public / Weblink

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+ The Gift Shop by TANGRAM

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For the second year in a row, Tangram will make Hong Kong’s best independent art, design, and fashion available for all Art Basel guests to take a little something back from Hong Kong with them as gifts for themselves or their loved ones in the world. Yes, it’s the long awaited annual, The Gift Shop, a 2 day pop-up concept shop to be located in Tangram’s studios in Chai Wan Mei (the art and design spaces within Chai Wan’s industrial district.) 

Tangram’s newest collections will be on sale, but so will the rest of these amazing independent brands:

Stars & Tart (silk scarves) / Ferse Verse (paper products) / Hammer & Needle ( Leather Goods for Men) / Harlex (leather goods that can be personalized) / Gemma Hayden Blest (pressed plant collages) / 15SquareStreet (Men’s accessories) / TheYesterdaySkin (vintage and repurposed womenswear collection) / Or-Play (thoughtful children’s toys) / La Petite Mort Preserves and Jams (by Ashton Winkler, ex-Heirloom) / Teahka / MatterMatters (women’s accessories) / Tangram Loves Jaycow (bespoke headpieces with Jaycow Milliner) / Driftwood x Grafter by Michael Leung / Signed Prints By HK Illustrators Kitty Wong, Emilie Sarnel, Emilie Eldridge 

Although Tangram’s founder Paola Sinisterra is perfectly happy with the “Off-Basel” annual shop to stay in Chai Wan, something tells me that this initiative should be closer to the fair next year because it is a treat for guests from out of town to go to a one-stop-shop for all the “CURATED” independent and design goods from our city. And I say curated because that HKTDC Design Store at the Convention Center and Hong Kong Airport just DOESNT Cut it. NO Offense to Anyone.

The Gift Shop / 24 - 25 MAY 2013, Tangram Studio, Unit 1701 Chai Wan Industrial City Phase 2 70 Wing Tai Road Chai Wan / Free and Open To The Public / Facebook Page and Instructions for Transportation

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+ Wong Chuk Hang Art Night

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With the Chai Wan Mei galleries and design space unveiling open studio programs for Friday and Saturday, I’d like to highlight another new Art District on Hong Kong Island… the Wong Chuk Hang Art District composed of a group of gallery spaces with include Spring Workshop, Blindspot (annex), Rossi & Rossi, Pekin Fine Arts, Gallery EXIT, and Alisan Fine Arts.

This Thursday night will be their “Art Night” with exhibits by Qui Zhijie, Fang Lu, David Adamo, Christopher Orr, Yang Xinguang, and photographs by Ai Wei Wei, Gu Zheng, Han Lei, Zhao Liang, Qiu Zhijie, and RongRong to name a few. Should be fun. Plus the SPRING space is amazing. (See previous post.)

Wong Chuk Hang Art Night / 23 MAY 2013 Thur 17:00-23:00, 3F Remex Centre 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road (entrance Heung Yip Road) Aberdeen / Free and Open To The Public / Shuttle Bus Available at Art Basel Hong Kong Expo Drive Entrance Starting 18:00 / Weblink

I will see you at all these things… well me or my clones.

JJ.

Para/Site Moves Up With 2012 Art Auction

It’s Fall at the end of the year, and you know what that means… Art Auctions. Yes, we attended the Annual Para/Site Art Auction this year located at Lane Crawford’s very cool One Island South company digs and was hosted by Board of Directors, William Lim of CL3, Yana Peel, Executive Director/Curator, Cosmin Costinas, with live auctioneer, Jehan Chu of Chaiwanese. 

Cosmin and Jehan below. 

It was really interesting to attend this particular auction, especially because i’ve been going to Para/Site auctions ran by Jehan for so many years now. I still remember when the auctions were small and held at the KEE Club back in the day. And now it’s a full dinner affair with friends and supporters. Very neat to see how far Para/Site Art Space and its programs have evolved over the years.

Ignacio checks out works on display for Silent Auction.

Some of my favorite pieces include this abstracted architectural topography by Joao Vasco Paiva, titled High Tide (2012) which sold at live auction for 42K HKD. The work was graciously donated by the artist and Saamlung Gallery.

This metallic skateboard by Olafur Eliasson, Your Mercury Ocean (2009), was donated by Vitamin Creative Space, and sold for 100K HKD.

I really liked Lot 62, a selection of prints by Sunjung Kim, Anton Vidokle, and Nikolaus Hirsch.

This one I liked, a DVD by Ming Wong, called Honeymoon In The Third Space (1999).

A good seller, Heman Chong’s, muted geometric composition from Never Let Me Go (2011), caught my eye. This painting on canvas sold well at 50K, and is a donation from Vitamin Creative Space.

Are you cool on your island? I absolutely loved this work by MAP Office, titled Honeymoon Island (2011), which I hope found a great home via silent auction.

This print, Cheng Ran’s Still of an Unknown Film (2008), sold at 60+K HKD, and a donation by the artist.

And there was no way I can do a post about Hong Kong art, without a work by my favorite artist, Nadim Abbas. This piece, Chernobyl_Core.gif (2012), is a print donated by Abbas and Saamlung Gallery.

The work of emerging artist, Trevor Yeung drew plenty of fans. Here G.O.D.’s Benjamin Lau and Alan Lau admire Yeung’s work, Sleepy bed (Sao Paulo Hostel 1) (2012). Yeung photographs subjects, usually male, all around the world, and turns them into multi-layered compositions which involve the photographic image as well as an overlay of illustration.

Next to the work, Lot 30, is a piece by Antony Gormley. Body XI (2011), was the biggest seller of the night and sold at 160K HKD by an absentee bidder. The work was donated by the artist, and Vitamin Creative Space.

In attendance was artist, Adrian Wong, and Xue Tan. Adrian was actually working on the composition for his Fall 2012 Saamlung show with his rabbit. Dont Ask.

We also spotted Alex Seno and Lane Crawford’s Eliot Sandiford. Thanks Alex for the invite!

Great to finally meet Claudia Albertini of Platform China.

The room was full of super couples as well. There’s no art shindig without the following… Tangram’s Igancio and Paola who will soon be unveilinga new collection in December. Here they are channeling the work of Chow Chun Fai, aptly titled Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (2011), which sold at live auction for 75K HKD. Perfect.

Supercouple #2, FIOL Prosecco addict Pietro and Whitney of the Gagosian Hong Kong. 

Supercouple #3, Tim and Marc, here standing next to Yuk King Tan’s The Mandate of Heaven (2011). Love.

Supercouple #4, cool peeps Michelle and her husband, Varun. Great to see them here.

Twitter Supercouple Bonus, my gal, artist Yuk King in Tangram. Hello Yuk!

The tables at the canteen.

Whitney’s favorite works.

Pals on my table, Benjamin and Alan. Nice to meet you both!

Para/Site IS Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art space, the oldest, and most active. They exhibit, they publicize, they create discourse, and you wouldn’t think that based on their tiny space in Sheung Wan, that they are paving the way for many emerging artists. The point is, they’re moving spaces and adding curators, and they’re thinking big. Check out the works that were at auction here.

That said if you missed out on the Para/Site auction, but would still love to purchase work as well as contribute to a good cause, the Asia Art Archive Annual Fundraiser site is now up, and you can actually bid on your favorite work online. Yes. Contemporary Art at your fingertips. Many of whom had works that sold well at the Para/Site Auction. Good luck!

ART Para/Site

JJ.

ART HK12 (Part 3): theWanderlister+ Fair Map and Our 2012 Top 10 Galleries You Can’t Miss

In just a few days the fifth edition of the Hong Kong Art Fair, ART HK12, will be landing upon us at the Hong Kong Convention Center located in Wanchai’s picturesque and glorious Victoria Harbour. This year, as i’ve learned from my interview with Fair Director, Magnus Renfrew, there will be over 260 Galleries around the world to exhibit their best collection of new and historic works to collectors based within the Asia-Pacific.

That said, the shear number of works within the Convention Center alone will most likely take up all your four days starting Thursday, but on top of that, there are the talks, the satellite exhibitions, events, and if you’re not from around these parts, I’m sure you will also attempt to fit in the city’s sights, tastes, and of course the shops… and when I say shops… I mean The Gift Shop at Chai Wan Mei Hosted by Tangram.

This year as a Proud Media Supporter to ART HK12, we have put together the first official theWanderlister+ x ART HK12 Fair Map to break down for you our own choice Top 10 Galleries/Artists exhibiting… ie. a list of the galleries that you definitely cannot miss; a handy guide of what I would do and see if I only had about an hour to go check out the whole Fair (which of course I don’t have only an hour… I will be there for all 4 Days + the Vernissage!) Link to the Downloadable .PDF A3-Size Art Map is at the bottom of this post. I’d like to thank friends Natasha Kaye Whiffin and Xue Tan for helping me select a few of the galleries.

Please Note: This our own personal “rule-of-thumb” guide, and by no means reflect the view of Hong Kong Art Fairs / ART HK12. Please DO however see all the works and galleries on exhibit if you have the time to do so. It’s only once a year, so MAKE TIME! This article MAY NOT represent the actual final artists and works represented by each gallery at ART HK12.

+ TheWanderlister+ Asia x ART HK12 Fair Map’s Top 10 Galleries Guide

1_ ART FUTURES: SAAMLUNG (HK) Nadim Abbas + Jon Rafman . Booth AF24

Saamlung announces its inaugural participation in the Hong Kong International Art Fair. Exhibiting in Art Futures, the section of the fair focusing on young galleries and emerging art, the gallery will present a selection of related projects from artists Nadim Abbas and Jon Rafman. Both artists are concerned with the notion of machine vision and the interplay between the image and the physical object, and will exhibit a series of interrelated installations, sculptures, and prints created specifically for the frenetic and consumerist context of a global art fair in the Asian metropolis. (Text by SAAMLUNG)

2_ OSAGE (HK) Roberto Chabet + Louie Cordero . Booth 3A10

Osage Sigma Asia 1 in ART HK12 will showcase the work of 14 artists from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia, that show a particular curiosity towards the dark hidden facets in everyday contemporary life. An extension of the show, Osage Sigma Asia 2, will be exhibition concurrently at thier Kwun Tong Gallery in Kowloon. (Text by OSAGE)

3_ David Zwirner (NYC) Yan Pei Ming . Booth 3A07

Yan Pei Ming’s current paintings on exhibit at David Zwirner until June, relate to events in the recent and distant past which extend beyond the depiction of a singular subject to reference broad historical issues and, in the process, the gap that exists between the events and their visualization. Often taking a combination of mass media imagery and his own recollections of a motif as his starting point, Ming thus broadens a traditional understanding of the medium of painting: he refers to his large-scale canvases as “collages” of photographs and memories, while medium-specificity is further cast into question by the fluidity of the artist’s painterly technique, which at times resembles watercolor. While the historical significance of Ming’s chosen subjects is readily apparent, his works resist the traditional heroic connotations of history paintings. The artist’s aforementioned reliance on often blurry mass media source material and personal memory combine to present a sense of elusiveness that is underscored by exaggerated brushwork. Rather than documenting separate events, the paintings suggest an ongoing history in flux. (Text by David Zwirner)

4_ Lisson Gallery (London) Jason Martin + Ai WeiWei . Booth 1AS04

UK Based Jason Martin makes paintings about paint - its materiality, sculptural presence and transformative, alchemical nature. The energy of Martin’s process is palpable in a new series of rich, dark, monochromatic oil on aluminium works. Pushing the boundaries of painting is at the core of Martin’s creative process. These continuing investigations are evinced in a series of vividly intense, jewel-like pure pigment paintings. Taking a basic sculptor’s medium as his starting point, Martin has molded, scraped, and gouged the material to create a dense, turbulent, worked surface.

The exhibition will most likely also include ceramic work made by Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. Ai Weiwei’s ceramics were produced in 2006 during an intensive working residency in Jingdezhen, the heartland of Chinese ceramic production. The traditional techniques passed on to Ai Weiwei by local craftsmen sparked a radical new direction for the artist and were the genesis of his Sunflowers Seeds installation at Tate Modern. The historical and cultural significance of the materials and techniques Ai Weiwei uses are an essential element of almost all his sculptures. Much of his work with ceramics has involved ready- mades: adapting, painting and destroying valuable ancient urns and vases. In contrast the exhibition at Lisson focuses on sculptures he has created by hand from scratch.

Both Artists are currently exhibiting at Lisson Gallery London and Milan respectively. (Text by LISSON GALLERY)

5_ ShangART (China) Yu Youhan . Booth 3A09

YU Youhan is one of the main artists of Political Pop who emerged in the avant-garde movement in the 1990’s, fusing Chinese iconography and Western artistic expression. His work has had a major impact on the cultural scene, and influenced and inspired a generation of younger artists. YU Youhan’s earlier work is directly influenced by his experiences during the Cultural Revolution, with prominent imagery of political propaganda and socialist realism. He earned fame with his highly acclaimed Mao portrait series. He decorates the iconic images with flowers that blend into the foreground and background. It is not only a decorative gesture, but also an attempt to humanize the late leader. (Text by ShangART)

6_ Greene Naftali Gallery (NYC) Paul Chan . Booth 3A14

Latest Works by Hong Kong born, NYC-based artist; Paul Chan. Expect some works from his 2009 show at Greene Naftali, titled Sade for SADE’s Sake. (More information at Greene Naftali Gallery.)

7_ Silverlens Gallery (Manila) Patricia Perez Eustaquio . Booth 1A01

Patricia Eustaquio works with the idea of memory and nostalgia through painting and sculpture. Eustaquio uses diverse materials such as leather, crochet, ceramic and resin, to convey broken narratives within her varied installations. She has lately been toying with crossovers in design, craft and art, appropriating Dutch classical paintings onto elaborately shaped canvasses, and using crocheted lace for large sculpture. (Text by Pulse Art / Silverlens Gallery ONLINE)

8_ ART HK Projects; 10 New Site Specific Installation Works + Cedric Maridet’s Sound Art

Watch out for 10 new site specific installations made just for the Fair by 10 artists for ART HK12 Projects, curated by ART HK themselves. List of Artists, currently not released so it will be a surprise. Each work will get 100sq.m of Exhibition Space with 10 spaces total throughout Hall 1 and Hall 3 of Fair Grounds. That’s a total of 1000 sq.m. of leasable space donated by ART HK to emergent artists/works. In return each patron gallery will donate transportation and installation of each art work themselves. This is an added bonus to fair goers who are looking for an extra element of surprise/educational component to their visit. Last year the ART HK Projects works by Liu Wei and Nadim Abbas were the most memorable elements in the whole fair.

In addition an Audio Sound Installation by sound artist, Cedric Maridet, will be provided to Fair-goers.

Cedric Maridet’s le son de l’art (or the sound of art) is the result of wanderings in places for art. It demands first an act of refusal by visitors putting on headphones that block out the sounds of the Fair in situ. But this first act is but a preparation for the next entry: into places for art, sounding out within and without the confines of art. The sound of art series reveals the interest in the process of transformation of the work of art by the usually resonant architectural context; steps, soundtracks, voices, are collected during the drifts among the artworks. The interest also lies in the particular situation of the gallery and museum as a conditioning element for the behavior of the audience, through particular ways to move, to walk, to talk. (Text by Soundpocket)

9_ Asia One: Blindspot Gallery (HK) Pengyi Jiang . Booth 1X11

Currently Blindspot Gallery is exhibiting Jiang Pengy’s Luminant Series. Luminant are images of glowing luminance of modern skyscrapers by night in major mainland cities. Against the darkened cityscape, the skyscrapers stand glowing in intense brightness created by overexposure. Such overexposure instills a feeling of departure from reality into the picture, which seems to urge the viewers to contemplate the city’s over-development and the society of spectacle dominated by consumption and mass media. This and photographs from his Unregistered Cities Series will be shown at the fair. (Text by Blindspot Gallery)

10_ Asia One: Yavuz Fine Art (Singapore) Navin Rwanchaikul . Booth 3X09

Born in 1971 in Chiang Mai, Navin Rawanchaikul is an internationally recognised Thai artist of Indian descent who has developed a unique and vast body of works that rely heavily on team spirit and collaboration. Questioning modern systems of artistic production and presentation, Rawanchaikul seeks for ways to put art in touch with the lives of everyday people. Rawanchaikul started to engage in a process of exploring the negotiation between local circumstances and trends of globalisation. The artist is best known for dynamic art practices that involve direct public interventions, social commentary, and an innovative style of integrating community or individual experiences into eccentric fictional tales featuring recurring characters. His oeuvre has grown to encompass a broad array of media including performances, billboards, films, comics, games, merchandises and cocktails, and he has even formed his own party, the Navin Party that aims to bring together fellow Navins from different parts of the world. (Text by Navin Production / Yavuz Fine Art ONLINE)

+ Download theWanderlister+ Asia x ART HK’12 Fair Map for FREE.

theWanderlister+ x ArtHK12_Fair Map Download Link

See you at the Fair!

http://www.hongkongartfair.com

JJ.

HK’s Unique Architectural Identity, Reflected and Inspired

For a city with so many iconic towers (both by big name international and homegrown architects) and residential towers like no other in the world (as justly photographed by Michael Wolff), Hong Kong never has had enough time to really be able to reflect the state of the built environment because frankly, it’s all around us. I was watching Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight the other day (not the first time i’ve seen it) , and one scene that always leaves its mark on me is the way Batman’s silhouette glides effortlessly above the city’s forest of glass structures, a stark contrast from his version of Gotham City in the same movie (filmed in Chicago).

The way the shot was filmed it was as if he was descending over an alien landscape, which is funny because there’s nothing more alien than a man in a batsuit. That said Christopher Nolan always aims for “the real” and “the authentic” which is why his version of Gotham is as banal as any American 2nd tier city, the opposite of Tim Burton’s highly stylized versions in the 90’s. But I suppose one cant blame Nolan for taking advantage Hong Kong’s very uniquely iconic skyline that could basically pass for any thing that could have been sketched in the world of Anime. This scene in the Dark Knight was quite authentic but something only conceptual artists in the past could dream of at the time, say when a movie like Akira was created.

Hong Kong as a landscape of architectural gems is mature at this point and the envy of every other city, including Chicago (the birthplace of the modern tall tower… but now the set for Gotham City). So where does Hong Kong go from here? Maybe the questions are not so direct as mine, but a few exhibitions and programmes in the city this Spring have begun to go back and re-question space, scales, history, density, and of course architecture and the built environment with Hong Kong as both a direct and in-direct inspiration.

+ SAAMLUNG Launch: No One Can Hear You Scream

Above (l-r); Piers Secunda, Frank Havermans, and João Ó, at SAAMLUNG’s Inaugrual Show. February 2012.

Saamlung finally opened its doors last month with a group show by artists, global and local, titled No One Can Hear You Scream, now on exhibit until March 31st in their Central Gallery. The show is a collection of works which deal with the creation and depiction of architectural space, with strong narrative threads that are a tad bit Science Fiction (something that could be associated with HK’s current Hyper-real state).

Large scale paintings by Gao Weigang and Chen Chien-jung, photography by João Ó, sculptures by Frank Havermans, John Powers, and Piers Secunda, and an architectural thesis by Yaohua Wang has gallerist Robin Peckham giving Hong Kong more than enough to chew on for its first show. My feeling about the show is mixed, ie. the show was a bit like a book of first chapters, but that said, a gallery proposing multiple propositions about the built environment in every one of their shows thus far is completely welcomed, especially for this city.

Below, Frank Havermans’ TOFUD # Amsterdam Zuidas Series, 2010 on Saamlung’s pristine white surfaces below w/ large scale photographs by João Ó, 2011. I call them Frank’s “urban insects.”

Frank Havermans’ “Urban Insects” adjacent to Gao Weigang, The Third Interior View, 2008.

A close up of João Ó’s, Thresholds: The Proscenium Stage, 2011.

My favorites, works by Chen Chien-jung. I love architectural “collages”. They generally say more about space than photographs.

John Powers, urban installations. Very tiny.

Piers Secunda’s Chinese Army Bullet Holes, 2009. Industrial paint shot by PLA soldier below left adjacent to a photograph by João Ó’s.

Another curious insect by Frank Havermans down there.

As a whole, the show is not really site specific, ie. the works were not made to be presented for each other or with Saamlung’s gallery in mind, although they were displayed specifically after the fact to interact with another artist’s work for this exhibition. I personally would have been okay to see each artists’ work in context with itself, ie. all of Frank Havermans’ Amsterdam insects playing with each other for example of Piers Secunda’s bullet hole sculptures adjacent to the other one, maybe because scale is such a big deal, especially for “spatial” shows. That said, the collection is impressive, and alluring, with a bit of forewarning I suppose. João Ó’s machine-like robotic spaces and Haverman’s insects are actually a spatial by-product of the collective human “DNA” beyond itself. And that’s something you can see in every sci-fi Anime I believe.

+ Frank Havermans and LWK at the Wanchai Visual Archive

Frank Havermans is actually in Hong Kong for the second time to show AGAIN at the Hong Kong / Shenzhen Architecture (HKSZ) Biennale, this time on the roof of the ACTS Building / Wanchai Visual Archive adjacent to the Historical Blue House. Above is another one of his urban insects, a work that is a creation of its place, sited specifically to be perched on top of this roof in Wanchai and built with materials sourced and found within the block.

The “insect” from below.

Compare this with his cardboard work in Saamlung. Scary.

I had the pleasure of checking out Haverman’s piece on the roof of the Visual Archive two days after the Saamlung opening. It was also my first time to go to the Archive itself which was located in the very-design oriented ACTS serviced apartment building which will be torn down in a couple of years to be replaced by a high-rise hotel.

I love the gates.

Haverman’s insects in timber made in Shenzhen, also currently on exhibit at the Visual Archive.

An addition, a summary of concepts for the future of the Blue House Living Museum by LWK and the St. James Settlement, is on view in the same building.

The Blue House complex across the street.

And adjacent structures which will be included in the future renovation. Tour Groups below…

Which we followed around to see the Blue House close up.

Residents who live here will get to stay once it turns into a museum.

Roberto and Liz acting silly.

Be sure when you visit the Blue House and the Archive, you have a bit of vino at Tai Lung Fung, cafe made to look like a historic Hong Kong coffee house from the 50’s and 60’s… very In the Mood for Love / Days of Being Wild.

Their menu looks like an old newspaper!

Its a joy to be able to see artists really creating within and around heritage sites. Im also very excited to for the Blue House to evolve into the next phase… like the rest of Hong Kong.

My favorite part about the Blue House… this Green Door.

Which purely by coincidence was also the site for my photo shoot for Time Out HK for their 99th issue re: Spring Fashion. I’m quite proud/happy with the shoot below because i’m with fellow bloggers Priscilla I’Anson and Denise Lai, and because the location is the Blue House. A timely shoot indeed.

(via TIMEOUTHK, photo by Calvin Sit Yik Hay)

Chen Chien-jung, Gao Weigang, Frank Havermans, João Ó, John Powers, Piers Secunda, Yaohua Wang: “No One to Hear You Scream” / 17 February - 31 March 2012 / Saamlung, 26F Two Chinachem Plaza, 68 Connaught Rd. C (135-137 Des Voeux Rd. C.), Central, Hong Kong / Tues.-Fri. 11:00-19:00, Sat. 12:00-18:00 / gallery@saamlung.com / www.saamlung.com 

Frank Havermans’ Shenzhen sculptures and rooftop installations can be seen at the Wan Chai Visual Archive throughout the biennale. February 15-April 23. 5-9 Hing Wan Street, Wan Chai. www.visualarchive.hk

JJ.


White Cube, Another Feather in the Crown of Asia’s “Art Capital” Opened Last Week With New Works by Gilbert & George

Just today, BBC News online has proclaimed the emergence of Hong Kong as Asia’s “Art Capital” citing the suddenly buzzing business of art within the city via ArtHK, as the major of instigator of its new crown. This blog covered Asia Society’s beautiful launch a few weeks ago, and now we’ve been invited to celebrate another feather to the newly minted crown with White Cube’s newest flagship in Asia located in the very New-York Robert A.M. Stern building located on 50 Connaught Road. 

White Cube’s two-story exhibition space is gargantuan for any standard here, including galleries in London AND New York. This is quite a feat considering the tiny “project room” space they started with in 1993. Last week’s opening proved that apples to apples with other foreign gallery imports to the city, White Cube is very serious about their Asian Market.

Today, White Cube is by far one of the most influential galleries in Europe marked by its 5,000 square ft. exhibition space within the gallery’s own free standing building built in 2006 at Mason’s Yard. With 4 galleries in total, White Cube will be able to promote its roster of established artists, as well as continue existing programs which foster the work and careers of new un-established talents, work on public education programs, show films, and host lectures.

On exhibit now are 22 pictures from a monumental 292 pictures a series titled London Pictures (2011) by “the” Gilbert & George. The artists frame titles from almost 4000 newspaper headline posters and compose themselves within the titles in every picture. This time the texts are the main pictures focus, and their figures are generally masked all throughout as specters contemplating today’s grim state of affairs. The last time Hong Kong saw works by G&G, it was located at the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2009 via the Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation show (which by the way the museum never worked off the momentum of that particular exhibit.) That exhibit was more theatrical, their figures and the figures of others depicted in life size scale in a tryptich aptly titled; Class War, Militant, Gateway.

The works on exhibition now reflect their motto “art for all”, showing how things really are now for everyone in the world, from their point-of-view.

The Artists, Gilbert and George cooly posing for photos with the umpteenth fan. They were good sports throughout the whole night, even staying out later than me and conversing with all the guests!

The stairs going up to the gallery’s second level.

Accompanying me that night was Tania, lifestyle/travel/style blogger for TLIKEBUBBLETEA.

and Natasha of Saamlung Gallery.

The beautiful Paola, indie fashion designer of Tangram was there, and she was excited about her newest collection which will be available at this Thursday Night’s, March 8th Pop-Up for the city’s independent fashion designers at the Space.

The photographer Laurent being Photographed! I loved his grey on grey palette with mustard yellow backpack. Nice touch.

Diesel’s Federico Tan whom I beat at the #SMWHK Fashion Quiz Night two weeks ago at KEE Club hehe with his friend.

Artist Margaret (Carr) Patterson in the middle, now exhibiting at FEAST Projects.

Architectural curator and Educator, Vivi Ho, wearing beige, white, grey, and a touch of red. It’s very winter-to-spring. I love the textures.

Foster’s Rodrigo with his friend, complimentary in royal Beige.

Great bumping into Moustache’s Ellis (2nd from Right) and Henry Temple that night. Great things soon to come with Moustache’s expanded travel collection with Tapani.

Entrance to the gallery’s amazing bookstore from their artists and exhibits. Hong Kong currently does not have these titles. So very cool. I can spend hours here!

Books of works by Richard Phillips.

Damien Hirst.

and of course Gilbert & George.

And many many many more!

Great exhibition in the end. Ed Chiseen is this you?

Party didn’t stop there. A rooftop soiree was hosted by Armani Prive the whole night! With unlimited free flow Veuve. (A very big deal for an art gallery party anywhere in the world.)

Where I was introduced to the beautiful Barbara Flynn. THE Barbara Flynn. We spoke for the rest of the night about the United States and upstate New York… and Texas. :)

I spotted this Tote Bag which I wanted.

Natasha and I had such a great night, and randomly on the way to the taxi queue we had to go through Landmark, which has now re-branded itself as “THE LANDMRK”. (yes it now has a “THE” in front of it). In any rate, because of the re-branding, X-Factor winner Leona Lewis was in town to sing for the re-branding.

We walked in on the Sound Check and were treated to a mini-concert. :)

The Asia Society party made me feel like I was in New York. The WHITE CUBE / Leona Lewis combo definitely made me feel like I was in London.

The party was still going strong when we were at the taxi queue. You see the tents on top of the Armani building still blaring lights and noise.

Top night right, Natasha!?

White Cube / 50 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong / White Cube TWITTER / White Cube ONLINE

JJ.

"All Space is Future Space, and All Space is Fiction." Saamlung Proclaims, as it Opens This Friday.

Landscape 50, 2010 / Chen Chien-jung / Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas, 130x162cm

The title of this post is from gallerist and curator of Saamlung, Robin Peckham, and pretty much sums up the theme of THE inaugural interdisciplinary group show that is No One To Hear You Scream which will celebrate its opening night this Friday, February 17th 2012. The show will feature the work of Taiwanese artist, Chen Chien-Jung, Chinese Gao Weigang, Macanese Photographer João Ó, Dutch Sculptor Frank Havermans, American Sculptor John Powers, LA-Based Yaohua Wang, and English artist Piers Secunda


Urban Model Series / Frank Havermans / Acrylic on Cardboard Model

As with previous Saamlung exhibitions, it’s obvious Robin’s interest in the point where design, architecture, art, and urban disciplines intersect will be further explored in this exhibition via science-fiction motifs and current studies of Object-Oriented Philosophy and Feminist New Materialism. Namely works will address issues of “Space” in different ways, either in its composition of it, or the creation of the “Space” around the work, which was already explored a bit via exhibitions by João Vasco Paiva and Charles LaBelle as soft-opening shows for the gallery.

The Third Interior View, 2008 / Gao Weigang / Oil on Canvas, 180x220cm

Don’t let this scare you, in fact let it entice you further to witness a new collection of works by a group of artist, some who are exhibiting in Hong Kong for the first time. And these guys are big where they come from. Gao Weigang was the winner of the ArtHK Art Futures prize last year and Frank Havermans has shown recently in the Shenzhen/HK Biennial Exhibition of Art and Architecture is known mostly for his provocative architectural installations. Chen Chien-jung’s architectural paintings (visual collages?) were recently exhibited via a solo show at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

Thresholds-Jiantan Underground, 2011 / João Ó / Chromogrenic Print Mounted on Aluminium, 160x120cm

In true Saamlung fashion, I expect this show to be as tight and as focused as the rest of them, and no less engaging.

Chen Chien-jung, Gao Weigang, Frank Havermans, João Ó, John Powers, Piers Secunda, Yaohua Wang: “No One to Hear You Scream” / 17 February - 31 March 2012 / Opening: 17 February 18:00-21:00 / Saamlung, 26F Two Chinachem Plaza, 68 Connaught Rd. C (135-137 Des Voeux Rd. C.), Central, Hong Kong / Tues.-Fri. 11:00-19:00, Sat. 12:00-18:00 / gallery@saamlung.com / www.saamlung.com 

JJ.

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Your Art Agenda This Week, Wanderlisted 12.01.13 // J.J. Ngai, Nadim Abbas, Adrian Wong, Lee Kit, and Tsang Tsou Choi

The first week of January 2012 was a quiet one, but now before the Chinese New Year, all galleries are back again with full force. Lets check out the best of the best this week. (SAAMLUNG for Saturday night is definitely a shoe-in… but it’s Friday that will get ya… for once I can’t decide which one to go to, so many friends exhibiting on that evening. I definitely will NOT be able to make both NOHO and Kwun Tong shows… what to do?)

+ DICTATION: Works by J.J. Ngai / Voxfire Gallery . Jan 13 

Born in colonial-era Hong Kong, local artist J.J. Ngai has been particularly interested in the recognition of identity, where his subjects are defined by curious experiences between growing up in Hong Kong to time spent studying in the UK.

The latest series of Ngai’s work, DICTATION, he uses basic Western penciling techniques to imitate traditional Chinese brush strokes, and transfers these techniques back into Chinese art. It’s Ngai’s own unique way of learning through mimicking process by other artists to create a humorous discussion in the concept of identities and stereotypes.

Work by J.J. Ngai / 2011

Work by J.J. Ngai / 2011

Work by J.J. Ngai / 2011

Opening Friday, 13 Jan 6PM - 9PM / DICTATION: Works by J.J. Ngai / VOXFIRE Gallery, 1F 52 Gage Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong / Exhibition Dates: 14 Jan - 12 Feb, 2012 / info@voxfiregallery.com / (852)28513385

+NO LONGER HUMAN (Nadim Abbas, Erkka Nissinen, Magadalen Wong), TROGLODYTE SEE THE LIGHT (Adrian Wong), HOW TO SET UP A ROOM FOR JOHNNY (Lee Kit) / OSAGE Kwun Tong . Jan 13

Osage is bringing a triple exhibition for the first month of 2012 including Adrian Wong’s traveling exhibition Troglodyte See the Light; Lee Kit’s Art Statement exhibition How to set up a room for Johnny for Art Basel 2011 and a group exhibition called No Longer Human by Nadim Abbas, Magdalen Wong, and Erkka Nissinen. Opening for all exhibits is this Friday, January 13th.

Adrian Wong / Kaspar Hauser, Ramachandra, & Natascha the Dog Girl of Chita / 2011

Adrian Wong’s solo show 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.

Nadim Abbas/ It is Afternoon in Utopia / 2012

No Longer Human, a group exhibition by artists Nadim Abbas, Erkka Nissinen and Magdalen Wong, probes into the processes that reveal and hide our physical and psychological needs and desires. The show is devised and will feature new installation works by all three artists. Departing from the typical exhibition model which dictates that the relationship between the viewer and the artwork should be one of passive contemplation, No Longer Human attempts to create situations in which viewers actively complete the artist’s imaginary. 

How to set up a room for Johnny? was presented in the Art Statements section of Art Basel 2011. Lee Kit created a typical Hong Kong demonstration flat with a living room, a toilet, a bedroom, and a small kitchen. Various hand- painted cloths and cardboard paintings infiltrate this domestic prop for an imaginary character. Lee devises a situation that delves into our consciousness through seeing, feeling, acting, and simply being. Like a sudden epiphany, we are left to deal with our own emotions and memories privately. (All Images and Text via OSAGEARTBLOG)

Opening Friday, Jan 13 6PM - 8PM / 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

+KING OF KOWLOON: Works by Tsang Tsou Choi / Saamlung . Jan 14

Continuing on their efforts to bridge the gap between Space, Architecture, Urbanism, and Art, Saamlung is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work from the late Hong Kong outsider artist Tsang Tsou Choi, perhaps best known by the epithet from which this exhibition borrows its title: the King of Kowloon.

From the golden years of midcentury colonial Hong Kong almost to his death in 2007, Tsang was notorious for the distinctive writing he left across the terrain of the city: believing that his family had once been deeded the rights to the land now constituting the core of urban Kowloon, the artist engaged in a monomaniacal project of righting this ancient injustice by executing calligraphy describing his geneaological and political situation on lamp posts, electric utility boxes, fences, walls, and other publicly accessible surfaces from one end to the other of the former British territory, demanding his righteous returns.

(via SAAMLUNG Facebook)


As the first exhibition of work from Tsang Tsou Choi in the commercial gallery context, this project positions him as the historical precedent for an alternative future; that is to say, we trace back to his position a certain rupture within Hong Kong art history by which we might locate in his stance the first properly contemporary artist in a region still haunted by the ideological specters of modernism. The core of the exhibition focuses on a series of some half-dozen pieces in ink on board and cloth, large scale paintings that hold their own within even the most recent discussions of the return to analytical expressionism in non-figurative painting today. Further works on display include a number of pieces in pen on paper and several calligraphic-cum-sculptural interventions carried out on objects like umbrellas, lanterns, and utility boxes.

Opening, Saturday January 14th, 6:00-10:00 / Saamlung, 26/F Two Chinachem Plaza, 68 Connaught Rd. C (135-137 Des Voeux Rd. C.), Central, Hong Kong / Tues.-Fri. 11:00-19:00, Sat. 12:00-18:00 / gallery@saamlung.com / www.saamlung.com 

JJ.

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Your Art Agenda This Week, Wanderlisted 11.12.08 // Charles LeBelle, Linus and the Feel Good Factory, and the One World Exposition

Who says Hong Kong lacks culture?

I may be in cold and wet New York, but if you’re lucky enough to be in Hong Kong this week, there are a few shows worth highlighting and visiting that will make me envious that you’re there right now and I’m not. It looks like the group show at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery on December 8th seems like a sure thing, exhibiting works by a group of international artists working with the theme of “Elemental Forces”. December 9th, is more difficult if you want to check out all that HK has to offer in terms of art and culture. For a continuation of the art/design/architectural theme of Joao Vasco Paiva began with the first pre-show at SAAMLUNG, Charles LaBelle will present his own group of works dealing with architecture and spaces with the gallery’s second pre-show starting Friday night.  For video and film enthusiasts, OSAGE Kwun Tung will be one of several venues hosting the VIDEOTAGE ONE WORLD EXPOSITION, highlighting the works by Chinese and Hong Kong filmmakers and multi-media artists from Cao Fei to Johnny To, also launching this Friday night. Last but definitely not the least, if you’re into performance art you’ve really got to check out my friend Linus Hui at XXX this Friday night. I can’t really explain what it’s all about, but for sure, it’s something special and unique for Hong Kong.

+ FORCES: A Group Show / 10 Chancery Lane Gallery . Dec 8

Works by Carol Lee Mei Kuen (HK), Ken Matsubara (Japan), Lindy Lee (Australia), William Furness (UK/HK), Xiao Lu (China)


Forces explores the works of five artists and how they interact. Playing on the idea of the Chinese five elements and the effects they have upon each other as a constant action and reaction. The system of five elements was used for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena. The artists in their processes all work in a way incorporating the forces of nature into their dynamic and use varying elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water creating a dialogue between them.

Opening, Thursday December 8th. 6:30-8:30 / 10 Chancery Lane, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong, (Behind the former Central Police Station / Victoria Prison) / Tue - Sat, 10am - 6pm Tel: (852) 2810 0065 / info@10chancerylanegallery.com / www.10chancerylanegallery.com 

+ GUILTY: Works by Charles LaBelle / SAAMLUNG .  Dec 9


Saamlung is hosting solo exhibition of new work from Hong Kong-based U.S.-born artist Charles LaBelle, focusing on the work Guilty (2009-2011) as a component of his long-term project Buildings Entered (1997-ongoing). As the second of three scheduled pre-opening projects for the gallery, this presentation introduces a project that continues a focus on architecture, bodies, and alienated urban space initiated by the first exhibition of work by João Vasco Paiva. Charles LaBelle is widely known for Buildings Entered, his ongoing lifework for which he documents every building he enters, regardless of location or situation; he then executes drawings of some buildings, occasionally on the pages of books. For this exhibition, LaBelle has sketched some 176 buildings of religious or spiritual significance—churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, cathedrals, cult headquarters, and tombs—on the pages of the text Guilty by Georges Bataille.

Opening, Friday December 9th, 7:00-9:00 / Saamlung, 26/F Two Chinachem Plaza, 68 Connaught Rd. C (135-137 Des Voeux Rd. C.), Central, Hong Kong / Tues.-Fri. 11:00-19:00, Sat. 12:00-18:00 / gallery@saamlung.com / www.saamlung.com  

+ VIDEOTAGE Presents THE ONE WORLD EXPOSITION / Osage Kwun Tong . Dec 9

Works by aaajiao, Eric Siu, Ou Ning, Cao Fei, Linda Lai, Wang Jianwei, Danny Yung, Wang Zhenfei, Wang Luming, Teddy Lo, Yang Fudong, Johnnie To


12 of the 18 media artists in One World Exposition will be exhibited at Osage Gallery, Kwun Tong opening Friday 9 December, 6-9pm. The media artists from Hong Kong and Mainland China will be presenting new collaborations and special pieces reflecting on the future of contemporary Chinese art in fields ranging from video and film to lighting, theatre, computer games and interactive media.

Gillian Chung in Jiang Zhi’s 0.7% Salt, 2009/video/color/8’35”

Hostage, Wang Jianwei 2008/video/color/32’

In addition to the exhibition at Osage Kwun Tong, there will be a room dedicated to 20 films by video artists from Mainland China screened continuously throughout the period. On the opening night, there will also be a special performance by artists Wang Jianwei and Danny Yung (8-9pm) and the launch of a new collaborative installation by Wang Luming and Wang Zhenfei at Osage Open.

For more information please visit http://oneworldexpo.org.

Opening, Friday December 9th, 6:00-9:00 / Osage Gallery Kwun Tong, 5/F, Kian Dai Industrial Bldg, 73-75 Hung To Rd, Kwun Tong, Kowloon / Exhibition Dates: 10 Dec 2011 - 8 Jan 2012 / (852) 2537 0688 / info@osagegallery.com / www.osagegallery.com

+ LINUS KNOWS HOW TO GET IN YOUR HEARTS & GROINS / XXX . Dec 9


Linus & The Feel Good Factory is made up by factory manager Linus, a handful of mastermind elves, and a dwarven workshop. It has been making bizarre paper costumes and cute little paper creatures since 2009. Following the massive success of experimenting in 2010, the factory decided to launch a self-help guide in 2011. Thus Linus Knows How began. Linus Knows How is a tell-tale instruction for all situations: from child birth to contraception, from orgies to the salvation of your soul. Most of them sarcastic, and all are depressive. On 9th Dec, 2011, Linus & The Feel Good Factory will play Agony Aunt and teach you something about Love, Relationship & Sex. We will show you the route to the hearts and to the groins. A little paper set will be constructed especially to celebrate the occasion. You are welcome to take photos, with a small token of thousand HK dollar notes. The exhibition is at 7pm at 9th Dec, 2011 at XXX Gallery; open to public.

Opening, Friday December 9th, 7:00 – 10:00 / XXX, 212 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong / RSVP on Facebook

xJJ

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White, Minimalist, and Hot; Saamlung Opens With Palimpseptic

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.

Video Installation.

The Turnstile.


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.

If you don’t remember, Xue Tan was responsible for the amazing portraits of graphic designer, Lingzi Zhang for Tangram’s S/S 2012 Campaign.

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.

Osage’s Jade.

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

JJ.

All comments moderated. To get more info on comment moderation for this personal blog project, please visit http://www.wanderlister.com/DISCLAIMER