Hong Kong Autumn Exhibitions | Ocula

Summertime is at last around. Gallerinas have returned from Portofino/Mykonos/Positano/Ibiza with clean tans regaling regulars with tales of sailing on collectors’ boats names of new divorcees and fortunes dropped and programs are previously being created for the most effective superstar-studded functions at Artwork Basel in Miami Beach front in December. Meanwhile, it is autumn exhibition period and art lovers, collectors, and journos are flocking to the champagne and canapes like vultures on Mount Kailash.

The past pair of weeks in Hong Kong saw the opening of over a dozen shows, together with: Nam June Paik at Gagosian Gallery the to start with retrospective of pioneering American summary expressionist, Robert Motherwell, at Pearl Lam Galleries Hugh Scott-Douglas at Simon Lee Gallery and German abstract expressionist, Raimund Girke, at Axel Vervoordt Gallery. Ben Brown Fantastic Arts kicked off his time with a team present of German artists, and 10 Chancery Lane gallery shut HKForeword15. The group show introduced 7 modern Bachelor and Learn graduates from neighborhood art institutions, with refined and silent operates revealing particular stories of family members, alienation, loneliness, body politics, disappointment and damaged goals. I popped into Hanart TZ Gallery, to verify out the solo clearly show of Hong Kong artist Chow Chun Fai’s paintings and photographic collages Lehmann Maupin Gallery’s 1st Asian solo exhibition of German artist, Matthias Weischer’s paintings and Chinese art star du-jour, Liu Wei, sculptural confections at White Cube gallery.

Chow Chun Fai, I Have Practically nothing to Say, Hanart TZ
Until finally 12 September 2015

“When I say I have nothing to say, it’s for a single of a few causes both due to the fact of my intense aggravation with the way items are, or mainly because I have to use metaphors or fables to stand in for the matters I’m unable to chat about directly”, writes Hong Kong artist Chow Chun Fai in the introduction to the catalogue which accompanied his newest exhibition, I Have Absolutely nothing to Say, at Hanart TZ.

Exhibition watch, Chow Chun Fai, I Have Very little to Say, 2015. Graphic courtesy Hanart TZ

Never enable the title idiot you Fai, has plenty to say, but he lets his paintings, photographic murals, and drawings do the talking. Together one particular stretch of wall hold a cluster of pencil drawings of sensationalist headlining news tales the artist captured on his Iphone, related to China: tales of phony eggs, tainted milk and political corruption are scattered across the wall.  These pictures seize moments in the earlier. By prodding us to take a look at them they forewarn us about the achievable long run of Hong Kong, and it’s not vivid. “It’s only by using a extra distant, indirect technique that I can correctly portray the items I see occurring in entrance of me,” Fai comments.

Fai proceeds with his movie subtitle portray sequence, which investigate local identity politics, but this time, the concept is not as obscure. The scenes he has preferred, and the timing, couldn’t be a lot more poignant. Small Cheung, a luminously painted huge four panel do the job that usually takes up the better element of a single gallery wall, offers a scene from Fruit Chan’s movie of the exact same title. The portray depicts three Chinese young children perched on a bicycle looking out at the Victoria Harbour skyline on the eve of the handover. The little boy points towards the Tamar website (at the time the headquarters of the British military), even though a single of the tiny girls, a mainland Chinese immigrant, points to it way too. The sub-title to the get the job done reads: “I know, it will belong to the people’s liberation army”. In the wake of the Umbrella Motion, which took location a 12 months back, Fai’s message is slicing. There is absolutely nothing ambiguous about these paintings.

Exhibition check out, Chow Chun-Fai, Tiny Cheung, “it will belong to the People’s Liberation Military”, 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 244 x 488 cm. Picture courtesy Hanart TZ

Though Fai has been politically energetic for the superior portion of his career—he unsuccessfully ran for a cultural publish on the Legislative Council of Hong Kong in 2012, and is vocal about Hong Kong politics—his perform in the earlier typically dealt with re-appropriation of art historical narratives and imagery, while his subtitled paintings only hinted at political and cultural commentary. Write-up Umbrella Motion, the artist’s new is effective revealed at Hanart TZ declare their intention loudly, and unashamedly. So they should. Numerous had been still left wanting to know what effect the political motion experienced on Hong Kong’s artists offered the tiny to emerge in the way of inventive critique or commentary. These are operates that express the irritation of a generation of young Hong Kongers. They are contemporary, of the time, and of Hong Kong. It’s a potent show, addressing Hong Kong identity and society and political malaise.

Chow Chun-fai, Enable the Bullets Fly, “I excel in perplexing specifics with fiction”, 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 100 x 150 cm. Graphic courtesy Hanart TZ

Matthias Weischer, Traces to Nowhere, Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Till 3 Oct 2015

Eight paintings hang in the Lehmann Maupin gallery space. A member of the New Leipzig School of artists that rose to prominence and auction highs in the early 2000s, Matthias Weischer experienced created his artistic profession on enigmatic paintings of deserted home furniture-stuffed interiors. These new functions, nonetheless, are not like the earlier performs for which the German artist experienced obtained renown.

Exhibition check out, Matthias Weischer, Traces to nowhere, 2015. Impression courtesy Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

In its place of evoking a feeling of dread and alienation, all flat surfaces and strains, skewed viewpoint and discordant surreal composition, the canvases in this new sequence are encrusted with paint, lending them a sculptural high quality. A gestural landscape of chaos and colour floats in the track record, when the foreground reveals figurative and in depth animals, and humanoid figures that glance like they are collaged into the composition. Remarkably, the determine has a great deal additional of a existence in these works, and gone is the cohabitation of the acquainted and uncanny. Weischer is using his apply in a new direction with this sequence, going absent from the predicable collector favourites that designed his identify, to a freer and a lot more experimental technique to painting.

Matthias Weischer, Jäger (Hunter), 2015. Oil on canvas. 23.62 x 19.69 x 1.18 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

Liu Wei, Silver, White Cube
Right up until 24 Oct 2015

A jigsaw puzzle of mirrors and metal is pieced alongside one another into a tower on the floor ground of White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong. On the walls hold sculptural constructions, collages also pieced together from irregularly formed mirrors and items of sheet steel. The display screen seems to be like the operate of a significantly bored but inventive and hyperactive contractor playing with construction material. 

Exhibition look at, Liu Wei, Silver, 2015. Picture courtesy White Cube Hong Kong

But the shards of mirror and metallic play with our perceptions, reflecting again the impression of the viewer and the surroundings, fragmenting the area. The final result is a disorientating but playful and apt allegory for the condition-shifting schizoid city environment of Hong Kong and his indigenous town of Beijing.  The video clip- projection of colour on a flat wall-mounted display, which references the two colour industry paintings but also neon advertising and marketing, are also caught in the reflective surfaces of the mirrors, making a disorientating carousel of gentle, motion and colour in the exhibition place.

Exhibition look at, Liu Wei, Silver, 2015. Picture courtesy White Dice Hong Kong

Upstairs, people are greeted by thickly painted canvases. To begin with I mistook one for a perform by Chicago primarily based artist Theaster Gates—the two artists share a fondness for the city landscape, and low-priced and very easily accessible building materials—but composed of layer on layer of fine traces, Wei’s canvases have a textural and architectural excellent to them, like geometric topographical maps.  Liu Wei’s recent exhibition builds upon an exhibition with UCCA Beijing earlier this 12 months and revisits acquainted themes of urbanisation and architecture, the intersection of style and design and the political. —[O]