Best Hong Kong Exhibitions to See Over Art Basel and Beyond | Feature

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/features/best-hong-kong-exhibitions-to-see-over-art-basel/

Art Basel Hong Kong returns from 28 to 30 March, recovering its pre-pandemic scale with over a third more exhibitors than last year. Ocula contributors share eight must-see shows during the fair and beyond, including Aki Sasamoto at Para Site, Wifredo Lam’s survey at Asia Society Hong Kong Center, and Shanshui: Echoes and Signals at M+.

Isamu Noguchi, Root & Stem; Mountains Forming (both 1982–83/1984); Windcatcher (1982–83/2019). Exhibition view:

Isamu Noguchi, Root & Stem; Mountains Forming (both 1982–83/1984); Windcatcher (1982–83/2019). Exhibition view: Shanshui: Echoes and Signals, M+, Hong Kong (3 February 2024–ongoing). Courtesy M+. Photo: Dan Leung.

Shanshui: Echoes and Signals
M+, 38 Museum Drive
3 February 2024–ongoing

Expect: nearly 130 works cataloguing myriad relationships between people and landscapes.

Shanshui: Echoes and Signals is an exhibition M+ is perfectly placed to execute. Drawing on the institution’s vast collection, the presentation charts the influence and evolution of Chinese landscape painting, one of the most important traditions in Chinese art.

Shanshui (mountain and water) painting evokes images of Guilin’s limestone karst mountains receding into the mist. The exhibition, however, excels in exploring how contemporary artists have reinvigorated shanshui by introducing new concepts and materials.

Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture Cloud Mountain (1982–83/2020), for instance, conjures karst mountains from cut-outs of hot-dipped galvanised steel sheets. For his part, Nicolas Party uses otherworldly colours in his work Water Reflection (2022), with pastel-hued hills basking beneath an egg-yolk sun.

Rooted in black ink on white paper, Shanshui: Echoes and Signals converses eloquently with another exhibition at M+, Noir & Blanc: A Story of Photography (16 March–1 July 2024). Featuring works by over 170 photographers created from 1915 to 2019, the exhibition is co-presented by M+ and the French May Arts Festival in collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (hence the Franglish title). One highlight is Mario Giacomelli’s I Have No Hands to Caress My Face (1961–63), a high-contrast photo of young Italian priests frolicking in the snow.

Sam Gaskin

Wifredo Lam, Apostroph' Apocalypse, Plate XIV (1966). Etching and aquatint in colours. Private collection.

Wifredo Lam, Apostroph’ Apocalypse, Plate XIV (1966). Etching and aquatint in colours. Private collection. Courtesy Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

Wifredo Lam: Homecoming
Asia Society Hong Kong Center/Chantal Miller Gallery, 9 Justice Drive
23 March–2 June 2024

Expect: a career-spanning retrospective that includes paintings, prints, and personal memorabilia, as curated by the artist’s son.

Homecoming is the first major solo retrospective of Cuban-born modernist Wifredo Lam in Hong Kong. Lam’s work engaged with themes of nature, spirituality, and social injustices, challenging prevailing Western attitudes towards Cuba after the revolution of 1953 to 1959.

Influenced by travels and his Cantonese and Spanish-African heritage, works such as Apostroph’ Apocalypse, Plate XIV (1966) showcase Cubist and Surrealist influences while presenting a stark reflection on war and upheaval throughout the 20th century—from the Spanish Civil War to World War II—as witnessed by Lam.

Homecoming covers a range of Lam’s key artistic periods, from his time in Havana and Spain in the 1920s and ’30s, France in the 1930s and ’40s, and Cuba, France, and Italy in the following two decades. The exhibition follows Lam’s major Tate Modern survey in 2016.

Anna Dickie

Aki Sasamoto, Point Reflection (video) (2023) (still).

Aki Sasamoto, Point Reflection (video) (2023) (still). Courtesy the artist and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo.

Aki Sasamoto: Sounding Lines
Para Site, 22/F, Wing Wah Industrial Building
16 March–28 July 2024

Expect: a kinetic installation combining sculpture and performance, where weight and movement are leveraged as a metaphor for intimacy and distance.

Aki Sasamoto is known to investigate the dynamics between chaos and control. Performing on the artist’s behalf at the 2022 Venice Biennale, myriad small objects were set above two rows of commercial sinks, propelled by air to enact a frenetic choreography.

Sounding Lines is Sasamoto’s first major solo presentation in Hong Kong. The exhibition is titled after the weighted lines used to measure the depth of bodies of water. Through this metaphor, the artist seeks to explore people’s relationship to their physical surroundings.

At Para Site, a system of suspended metal springs activates catalytic movements in the gallery, accompanied by previous works such as Point Reflection (video) (2023), a moving-image work in which the artist is sighted amid objects as they float, scatter, and swirl.

Elaine YJ Zheng

Trevor Yeung, Soapy Fuck Tree (2023) (detail).

Trevor Yeung, Soapy Fuck Tree (2023) (detail). Courtesy the artist. Photo: Reynir Hutber.

Trevor Yeung: Soft breath
Para Site, 10B, Wing Wah Industrial Building
16 March–26 May 2024

Expect: a nocturnal realm guided by scent and sound, inspired by 19th-century cruising grounds in London.

Following the project’s debut at Gasworks in London, Soft breath stages a nocturnal journey across intersecting galleries, inspired by an infamous oak tree from historic cruising grounds in North London, which Yeung visited during his residency at the Delfina Foundation in 2022.

Yeung interviewed local cruisers, who are known to use the tree’s curved body as a functional surface for night-time encounters. He later cast the trunk in soap, infused with aromas of male body spray and oak, to evoke the degradation of nature by human hands. ‘I know I cannot control audiences, but I try and direct them towards a particular experience,’ Yeung told Ocula Magazine in 2016.

Opening ahead of Yeung’s representation of Hong Kong at the 2024 Venice Biennale, the exhibition embodies many threads known to his work, which has consistently looked to plant life as a window into interpersonal relationships and a metaphor for control. At Para Site, the project is recast to include the rituals of lam tsuen (wishing trees) from Hong Kong’s New Territories.

Elaine YJ Zheng

Louise Giovanelli, Maenad (2023).

Louise Giovanelli, Maenad (2023). Courtesy the artist and White Cube.

Louise Giovanelli: Here on Earth
White Cube, 50 Connaught Road
26 March–18 May 2024

Expect: sumptuous and startling paintings that isolate studied moments of looking.

White Cube hosts Louise Giovanelli’s first solo show in Hong Kong, in which visitors can expect to see more of the dramatically cropped, decontextualised pop culture imagery that the British painter has drawn into her repertoire.

It is the Städelschule graduate’s second solo with White Cube, who announced their representation of Giovanelli in 2022 and presented her breakout show, As If, Almost, in London that same year. Sensual closeups of bulbous wine glasses, opulent floor-length curtain backdrops, and Mariah Carey’s sparkling legs coalesced to a divine spiritual effect, with Giovanelli’s elongated canvases reminiscent of altarpieces or smartphone screens.

In a studio visit with Ocula Advisory‘s Rory Mitchell in 2022, Giovanelli said, ‘A lot of the paintings have this very exaggerated, stretched feel to them. There’s something architectural about that. Something monumental. And I guess it’s a bit out of the ordinary. That’s the way that we perceive TV and film—everything becomes really stretched.’

Here on Earth coincides with Giovanelli’s major He Art Museum solo show in Foshan, China, spanning her career from 2019 to today.

Misong Kim

Xiyadie, Train (1986). Papercut with water-based dye and Chinese pigments on xuan paper. 138 x 138 cm.

Xiyadie, Train (1986). Papercut with water-based dye and Chinese pigments on xuan paper. 138 x 138 cm. Courtesy the artist and Blindspot Gallery.

Xiyadie: Butterfly Dream
Blindspot Gallery, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road
26 March–11 May 2024

Expect: over 30 intricate papercuts, spanning four decades, that chronicle the joys and sorrows of the artist’s life as a queer man from rural China.

Xiyadie’s largest solo exhibition to date includes highlights such as Train (1986), a papercut that depicts the artist’s first queer encounter with a train attendant during a journey to Xi’an. Framing the scene of passion are elaborate floral motifs and auspicious symbols in traditional Chinese iconography, such as the dancing monkey and the rabbit.

Depicted alongside the artist’s ecstatic celebration of love are moments from his life and the inherent challenges of navigating a conservative, heteronormative society. In Sewn (1999), Xiyadie sews up his own genitals with an enormous needle. The flourish of flamboyant colours contrast with the gentleness of Missing (2007)—cut from red xuan paper, the work portrays the time when Xiyadie moved to Beijing to work as a security guard while his family stayed behind. His wife is seen caring for their son, who has cerebral palsy, under the soothing curves of grapevines.

Next month, Xiyadie’s works will be shown in the 60th Venice Biennale, Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere (20 April–24 November 2024).

Sherry Paik

Lov-Lov, One Day, I was Already Old (2024) (still). Single-channel video. 33 sec.

Lov-Lov, One Day, I was Already Old (2024) (still). Single-channel video. 33 sec. Courtesy De Sarthe.

Lov-Lov: Everything is Unreal Until It’s Not
De Sarthe, 26/F, M Place, 54 Wong Chuk Hang Road
23 March–27 April 2024

Expect: altered realities and new world vibes that leave an unsettling aftertaste.

Everything is Unreal Until It’s Not debuts a series of videos, paintings, and an installation by Lov-Lov, a fictitious persona created by New York-based artist Lin Jingjing.

The works are generated using software and generative AI technologies, producing images that are familiar yet foreign; seductive yet disturbingly soulless. Lin’s purpose is to allow Lov-Lov to exist outside of reality to present ideal, abstracted humans and worlds that dwell beyond gender and place.

Pastel-hued stills such as One Day, I was Already Old (2024), showing three identical young blonde women facing each other and dressed in the same clothing, hint both at the timeless, engrossing quality of virtual worlds but also what might have been lost on returning to the real. Advancements in technology have allowed for the manipulation and, indeed, fabrication of reality, and works such as the video There are No Safe Games (2024) feature a hybrid human-cyborg figure that is of the virtual world, but also a representation of human desires in the real world.

Reminiscent of the popular kawaii trend in art, Lin’s Lov-Lov walks the line between hyper-sweet candy offerings and an ironic knowing attitude.

Susan Acret

Wong Kit Yi, Dial 432 to See the Light (2022–24) (still). Single-channel video with colour and sound. 30 min, 30 sec.

Wong Kit Yi, Dial 432 to See the Light (2022–24) (still). Single-channel video with colour and sound. 30 min, 30 sec. Courtesy the artist; The Chinati Foundation; and PHD Group.

Wong Kit Yi: +852 GHOST-JPG
PHD Group, by appointment
25–30 March 2024

Expect: a blend of the paranormal and speculative fiction with audience-participatory karaoke thrown in.

Inspired by her 2022 residency at The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, where she discovered the Marfa Lights—glowing, mysterious orbs often attributed to ghosts or UFOs—Hong Kong artist Wong Kit Yi’s first solo exhibition at PHD Group explores the paranormal.

Referencing Hong Kong’s area code and Wong’s investigations into other realms, +852 Ghost-JPG questions our perceived realities through an expanded cinema installation, two new videos, sculptural objects, and a new major video work, Dial 432 to See the Light (2022–24).

Daily performances will feature the artist, who is known to create participatory experiences in her exhibitions, and a group of invited curators, artists, and friends, reciting lyrics from Wong’s video work. Make an appointment to see the exhibition and join the ‘collective karaoke lecture performance choir’.

Diana d’Arenberg


More Shows to See

An ecofeminist inquiry at Tai Kwun Contemporary looks at the intersections of art and ecology through more than 60 artworks by 30 artists, with new work by Sarah Morris on view nearby.

Video—Apichatpong Weerasethakul‘s Primitive (2009) is screening at M+. Both Sides Now 9: Generations at Videotage presents animation, documentary, and moving-image works exploring developments in Hong Kong and China over the past three decades until 10 April.

Solo exhibitions of noteWolfgang Tillmans at David Zwirner, Maggi Hambling at Pearl Lam Galleries, Izumi Kato at Perrotin, Glenn Ligon at Hauser & Wirth, Wang Keping at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Renato Nicolodi at Axel Vervoordt, and Kylie Manning at Pace. —[O]

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/features/best-hong-kong-exhibitions-to-see-over-art-basel/