Art & Lifestyle

Hong Kong’s Must See Autumn and Winter Exhibitions

From striking mosaic glassworks to immaculately preserved 19th century artefacts, see what Hong Kong's art and culture scene has to offer

by Carina Fischer

5 Nov 2019

Banksy: Genius or Vandal at PORTAL 6311

Girl With Balloon (2004)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
Queen Victoria (2003)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
Napalm (Can't Beat That Feeling) (2004)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
Choose Your Weapon (2010)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
Girl With Balloon (2004)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
Queen Victoria (2003)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
Napalm (Can't Beat That Feeling) (2004)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
Choose Your Weapon (2010)
Image courtesy of Banksy Exhibition HK
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Banksy: Genius or Vandal is due to arrive in Hong Kong this December, marking the exhibition’s first venture into Asia following shows in Moscow, Madrid, St. Petersburg and Lisbon. The exhibition, which has attracted over 700,000 visitors to its previous locations, features over 70 of the artist’s provocative pieces, including an immersive audio-video installation that seeks to dismantle Banksy’s mysterious façade. Merging and manipulating well-known artworks or figures with comical, outspoken and occasionally lewd twists, the street artist takes an unfiltered approach in his creation process sparing not even the Queen. However, a closer analysis of Banksy’s work will see how he highlights acute problems within society through the guise of shock-factor and comedy.

Where: PORTAL 6311, 1/F, FTLife Tower, 18 Sheung Yuet Road, Kowloon Bay
When: Dec 20, 2019 –  Mar 1, 2020 (Mon – Sun: 11-8)

Fineness by Xu Qu at Massimo De Carlo Gallery

Xu Qu 'Fineness - HKD 10' (2019), oil on canvas
Xu Qu 'Fineness - Euro 500' (2019), oil on canvas
Xu Qu 'Fineness - RMB 100' (2019), oil on canvas
Xu Qu 'Fineness - Euro 20' (2019), oil on canvas
Xu Qu 'Fineness - HKD 10' (2019), oil on canvas
Xu Qu 'Fineness - Euro 500' (2019), oil on canvas
Xu Qu 'Fineness - RMB 100' (2019), oil on canvas
Xu Qu 'Fineness - Euro 20' (2019), oil on canvas
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In this body of work at Massimo De Carlo Gallery, Xu Qu deviates from his signature structured topographic style, opting instead for impressionistic techniques and softer colour palettes. Short, dense brushstrokes outline intensely zoomed-in paper bills of varying currencies, scarcely recognisable when magnified to such an extent. The result is reminiscent of the geometric abstraction that Xu Qu is known for. At first glance, the paper bills are indiscernible. It is only upon closer inspection do the various currencies become recognisable, shifting the viewer’s perspective from that of a superficial appreciation to a more profound understanding. Xu Qu creates associations between his work and the disrupting effect that money has as a core driver of society, whilst examining the power relations and unspoken implications that currency has.

Where: 12 Pedder Street, 3/F Pedder Building, Central
When: Sep 20 – Oct 26 (Mon – Sat: 10.30-7)

Negative Reading | Reading Negatives by Qin Yifeng at White Cube

Qin Yifeng '2017/06/13 17:35 Rain' (2017), giclée print
Qin Yifeng '2017/06/18 08:48 Cloudless' (2017), giclée print
Qin Yifeng '2017/05/02 12:25 Rain' (2017), giclée print
Qin Yifeng '2013/11/15 10:28 Cloudless' (2013), gicleé print
Qin Yifeng '2017/06/13 17:35 Rain' (2017), giclée print
Qin Yifeng '2017/06/18 08:48 Cloudless' (2017), giclée print
Qin Yifeng '2017/05/02 12:25 Rain' (2017), giclée print
Qin Yifeng '2013/11/15 10:28 Cloudless' (2013), gicleé print
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In Negative Reading | Reading Negatives, Qin Yi Feng’s negative photographs create visual illusions that challenge spatial compression and dimensionality. Using damaged pieces of antique furniture as his subject choice, Qin takes images on his large format camera and, through creative destruction of the photographic negative, removes dimension by manipulating shadow and contrast. Everything appears to be on one plane, where Qin has compressed the spectrum of black, white and grey. Although his work lacks the literal depth of light and shadow, this intrigues and allures the viewer to somehow create a deeper resonance. The lack of dimension draws attention to the textural detail of the furniture structures, as the viewer struggles to identify the enigma that lies before them.

Where:50 Connaught Road Central
When: Sep 3 – Nov 16 (Tues – Sat: 11 – 7)

Master of 20th Century Sculpture by Hans (Jean) Arp at Hauser & Wirth

Arp 'Wachstum / Croissance (Growth)' (cast 2006), bronze
Arp 'Ruhendes Blatt / Feuille se reposant (Resting Leaf)' (1959), bronze
Arp 'Träumender Stern / Astre en rêve (Dreaming Star)' (1958), bronze cast in 2012
Arp 'Stern / Étoile (Star)' (1956), bronze
Arp 'Wachstum / Croissance (Growth)' (cast 2006), bronze
Arp 'Ruhendes Blatt / Feuille se reposant (Resting Leaf)' (1959), bronze
Arp 'Träumender Stern / Astre en rêve (Dreaming Star)' (1958), bronze cast in 2012
Arp 'Stern / Étoile (Star)' (1956), bronze
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Hans Jean Arp is showcasing his work in Hong Kong for the first time at Hauser & Wirth, where a sizeable collection of his works, ranging from wood carvings and collages to drawings and sculptures, are currently under exhibit. Although Arp’s identity as an artist is closely intertwined with his impact as a founder of the Dadaist Movement, this exhibition removes such expectations and invites the audience to look at Arp’s personal creations as an individual, separate to the movement. His iconic bronze sculptures are noteworthy highlights, taking the shape of free flowing organic forms operating in the plane between abstraction and figuration. They almost appear to be in a state of metamorphosis – fluid, with their forms open to interpretation as they entertain what might be or what could be.

Where: 15-16/F, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
When: Sep 4 – Nov 9 (Tues – Sat: 11 – 7)

Infinite Universe by Hsiao Chin at Sotheby’s

Hsiao Chin 'Cosmic Vortex' (2005 - 2018), mosaic glass
Hsiao Chin 'Enormous Cosmic Whirlpool' (1983 - 2014), mosaic glass
Hsiao Chin 'Beyond the Eternal Garden-5' (1993), acrylic on canvas
Hsiao Chin, 'Concerto-6' (1999), acrylic on canvas
Hsiao Chin 'Cosmic Vortex' (2005 - 2018), mosaic glass
Hsiao Chin 'Enormous Cosmic Whirlpool' (1983 - 2014), mosaic glass
Hsiao Chin 'Beyond the Eternal Garden-5' (1993), acrylic on canvas
Hsiao Chin, 'Concerto-6' (1999), acrylic on canvas
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Sotheby’s and the Hsiao Chin International Art Foundation have come together to present Chin’s mosaic and canvas works in his largest solo exhibition yet. With 26 pieces to be auctioned including the debut of his entire glass mosaic collection, “Infinite Universe” pays homage to Chin as the father of the Punto Movement whilst highlighting his rational understanding of Zen and Daoist philosophy and craftsmanship in mosaics. His acrylic paintings evoke feelings of serenity and peace, while his mosaics elevate his work from a two to three-dimensional plane, seemingly creating a passageway to an unknown realm. Using rich and vibrant colours ranging from softer sunset hues (Comic Vortex, 2005-2018), to sharp rainbow swirls (Enormous Cosmic Whirlpool, 1983-2014), Chin’s skilful and calculated placement of colour adds a depth that transforms his works entirely.

Where: 5/F, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway
When: Sep 10 – Oct 9 (Mon – Fri: 10 – 6, Sat: 11 – 5)

Wu Qiong 'Fairy Tales in the Wind No.3' (2017), oil on canvas
Huang Cheng 'Happy Life' (2011), silicone
Chang Feng 'Viva Glory', copper
Wu Qiong 'Fairy Tales in the Wind No.3' (2017), oil on canvas
Huang Cheng 'Happy Life' (2011), silicone
Chang Feng 'Viva Glory', copper
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On October 4th, the 15th edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show kicks off at the Conrad, where visitors can explore works spanning three floors of the hotel over the course of four days. The Art Show features Huang Cheng, whose works have been commended for probing psychological relationships between society and individuals, often employing dark humour to relay such messages. Conversely, Wu Qiong’s works are ethereal and fairylike, centred around the theme of children coming of age yet struggling to adapt to or accept adulthood. Meanwhile, sculptor Chang Feng is also featured, showcasing an array of his figures in lively postures intended to depict individuals from all walks of life. With over 1500 paintings, sculptures, limited editions and photographs, Art Asia Contemporary’s extensive offerings are sure to satisfy both art enthusiasts and aficionados alike.

Where: 41 – 43/F, Conrad Hong Kong, 88 Queensway
When: Oct 4 – Oct 7 (Sat – Sun: 1 – 8, Mon: 11 – 6)

New Paintings by Albert Oehlen at Gagosian

Albert Oehlen 'Untitled' (2019), watercolour on canvas
Albert Oehlen 'Untitled' (2019), watercolour on canvas
Albert Oehlen 'New Paintings' at Gagosian
Albert Oehlen 'New Paintings' at Gagosian
Albert Oehlen 'Untitled' (2019), watercolour on canvas
Albert Oehlen 'Untitled' (2019), watercolour on canvas
Albert Oehlen 'New Paintings' at Gagosian
Albert Oehlen 'New Paintings' at Gagosian
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The Gagosian presents Albert Oehlen for his first show in Asia, where Oehlen has created a body of work unlike anything he has done before. He forgoes his typical inclusion of a central subject, instead replacing it with bold, colourful and seemingly sporadic brushstrokes. Although upon initial observation his work appears chaotic and haphazard, the longer his work is viewed, the more the structure and organised placement is apparent. After laying down the initial brushstrokes of primary colours, Oehlen then stabilises the painting through purposeful addition of accompanying colours. Wild swirling strokes on one side of the canvas add force and dimension, whilst erasure to the right of it, through rubbing or hosing down the canvas, denies such dimension, creating an opposing force. Amidst this turmoil, calculated curves and sharp angles return order once more. Yet, what evolves hasn’t been aimed for, “it grows”, perfectly encapsulating Oehlen’s self-explained depiction of “reluctant order”.

Where: 7/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St, Central
When: Sep 12 – Nov 9 (Tues – Sat: 11 – 7)

Louise Nevelson & Yin Xiuzhen at Pace Gallery

Louise Nevelson 'Untitled' (1971), wood painted black
Yin Xiuzhen 'Bookshelf No. 5' (2009-2013), used clothes and wood
Louise Nevelson and Yin Xiuzhen
Louise Nevelson 'Untitled' (1971), wood painted black
Yin Xiuzhen 'Bookshelf No. 5' (2009-2013), used clothes and wood
Louise Nevelson and Yin Xiuzhen
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Renowned 20th century sculptor Louise Nevelson and acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist Yin Xiuzhen have been brought together by Pace Gallery to present an expansive exhibition of their juxtaposing works. Coming from entirely different cultural backgrounds and eras, the artists’ work stands in stark contrast to one another. Nevelson unifies her dark, box-like structures by painting them a monochromatic black, with their original functions veiled but not impossible to discern upon closer inspection. Although black is commonly associated with death, Nevelson views the colour as a symbol of completeness, or possibly even eternity. Meanwhile, Yin’s works are tied to nostalgia, memory and preservation. Using old clothing, a characteristic textile of hers (signifying humanity’s ‘second skin’), Yin embeds the clothing into her porcelain works, preserving them in time and heightening the symbolic significance that the clothing gives.

Where: 12/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central
When: Sep 20 – Nov 14 (Tues – Sat: 11 – 7)

Crowning Glory: The Beauty of Ladies’ Ornaments from Asia and Europe at Liang Yi Museum

A travelling box (tebako), containing toiletries with writing utensils from Japan (Edo period, 1603-1868), maki-e lacquer on wood
Purses from China (1850-1900s)
Victorian, silver-mounted dressing table set (1862)
Nécessaire by Cartier (1920s), ivory, white enamel and coral
A travelling box (tebako), containing toiletries with writing utensils from Japan (Edo period, 1603-1868), maki-e lacquer on wood
Purses from China (1850-1900s)
Victorian, silver-mounted dressing table set (1862)
Nécessaire by Cartier (1920s), ivory, white enamel and coral
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Liang Yi Museum explores how women’s accessories and adornments have been influenced and shaped by social norms and gender structures across China and Japan, challenging the notion that education and beauty are not mutually exclusive values. Crowning Glory offers an exhaustive collection of over 700 works spanning from the late 1860s to the 1960s across the East and West, whilst simultaneously exploring the cultural dialogue that occurs between the two. Stunning Kingfisher feather inlay glistens a dazzling aquamarine blue atop lavish head ornaments from China, while maki-e lacquer techniques combine with mother-of-pearl to adorn 19th century Japanese combs. As Western ideals are introduced to the East, a clear shift in beauty notions, tools and ornaments are evident. Cultural dilution is shown in the form of Chinese bags made with traditional Chinese textiles, but with the structure and shape of their Western counterparts. As always, the cultural exchange is a two-way street, with design houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron incorporating jade, coral and Chinese auspicious motifs (e.g. 壽) on the likes of nécessaires, clutches and compacts. An incredibly thorough exhibit of immaculately preserved artefacts, Liang Yi Museum is both an educational powerhouse as well as a simply breathtaking collection of work that cannot be missed.

Where: 181 – 199 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
When: Sep 17 – Feb 27 (Tues – Sat: 10 – 6 [by appointment only])

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