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Special Edition: Art HK 12



Jiang Pengyi, Luminant: BTV (A) Beijing, 2008, Light box, 180 x 240 cm (Edition of 3), 79 x 100 cm (Edition of 8), Archival inkjet print, 90 x 125 cm (Edition of 3); Image courtesy of the artist and Blindspot Gallery, Booth 1x11, ASIA ONE, Hall 1.

Hong Kong Goes Baselistic

by Sophia Powers


Can going global make a razzle-dazzle art fair more local? We are set to see with this year's upcoming Hong Kong Art Fair, kicking off May 17th. Just a little over a year ago, the MCH Group, the owners of Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, purchased a 60% stake in the company that runs the Hong Kong fair, giving them a formidable monopoly over the global art fair circuit.

Will this takeover lead to the McDonalds-ization of the circuit? Perhaps just the opposite. As Art Basel co-director Marc Spiegler put it: "We have no desire to do the same show three times a year. There will be certain qualities that are the same, but the shows will naturally reflect their environment.  We don't want 'Groundhog Day.'" Of course, Spiegler's intentions make good business sense. Since much of the assumed audience of the fair will have been to one if not both of the other Basel extravaganzas, they won't want to circle the globe yet again for a repeat performance. Instead of the HK Art Fair striving to appear more global as it must have felt compelled to when it first got off the ground, the pressure now is to showcase something that can't be had anywhere else. As is often as of late, Asia is the answer.

What exactly can we expect to define this extra-"Oriental" approach?

...Click here to read more about ART HK and Asia with Sophia...

YU Youhan, A Pocket Western Art History about Mao - 'Foreign Mao', 1999, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 127cm; Image courtesy of Shanghart Gallery, Booth 3A09.

See you in Hong Kong!

–the ArtSlant Team


FAIR WATCH - Hu Xiangqian

Hu Xiangqian, Xiangqian Art Museum (Beijing), 2010, Single-channel video, 14 min 31 sec; Courtesy of Long March Space, Booth 1A03.

Performance artist Hu Xiangqian, something of a legend in Chinese art circles, will perform for guests on a yacht trip during ART HK. His video works will also be on display with Long March Space. Robin Peckham spoke with this rising star of the Chinese contemporary art scene in this week's Rackroom interview:

RP: You’re coming to Hong Kong this month during the art fair to deliver a performance on an evening cruise organized by Long March Space. Can you describe the project?

HX: I wrote a song, and put it together with some Beijing musicians. It’s a complete song, the content of which is basically all kinds of curses, plus self-mockery...


KEN BECKLES - Born and raised in New York City, Ken Beckles' art has largely been shaped by the energy of the city. His dynamic abstract compositions combine expressionistic elements with the hard edge of design, with brilliant color and movement. Beckles studied at Pratt Institute, and has exhibited nationally and internationally.


FAIR WATCH - Zhang Dali

Zhang Dali, Man and Woman on Bikes, 2010.05.31, Photogram Mounted on Fine Linen, 230 x 300 cm; Courtesy Pékin Fine Arts, Booth 1E06.

Perhaps best known for spray painting and chiseling the shape of his own head in profile on walls throughout Beijing, Zhang Dali's current series of photograms and cyanotypes captures shadow images passing by. These works will be shown at Pékin Fine Arts at ART HK. For more on Zhang Dali, read Sophia Powers' 2009 interview with him, as well as Edward Sanderson's review of this latest series:
[Zhang says,] “The shadow is the soul impressed on the land, after a short time it disappears, and my photogram canvas tries to retain it.”...I read a heavy touch of nostalgia in these pieces. They are documents of the shadows left behind, but these cloths present images that say more about memory and wishful thinking than of preserving an accurate record...


TALK OF THE TOWN - What to See, Where to Be Seen Around Hong Kong

by Robin Peckham

For ART HK, Robin Peckham gives us the local run-down, neighborhood by neighborhood: where the art-loving visitor should eat, drink, and shop during off-time from the fair.


Nightlife in Hong Kong, Wan Chai. Photo by cav... Creative Commons License.

Wanchai, the neighborhood immediately surrounding the convention center in which the art fair is housed, is not normally a major gathering point for the art crowd. For a week in May, however, we learn to love it and make the trek several times daily from the fair through the parallel streets marked by aging stripped clubs (that’s a state of being, not becoming) and former naval watering holes to the few decent spots on the south side of the area abutting the mountain.

For lunch or dinner, the best choices are all delivered by restaurateur and arts patron Alan Lo, whose outlets the Classified Mozzarella Bar, The Pawn, and The Principal offer a selection of reasonable choices, arrayed here in ascending order according to the number of days ahead of time one might consider making a reservation. On the after-dinner walk of shame from one to the next, don’t miss the popular design stores and boutiques around the corner, particularly Kapok and Chen Mi Ji. There’s also the new bar Tai Lung Fung back in a much older neighborhood closer to the center of Causeway Bay; done up to look like a diner from the 1960s, it’s a bit rough around the edges and overly thematic, but the people-watching experience on the front porch is a pleasant one.

Of course, Wanchai is ground zero for Hong Kong karaoke, from the Cantonese chain Neway popular with local teenagers just across the street from the Foo Tak Building (365-367 Hennessy Rd.), the largest agglomeration of artist studios downtown, to MusicBox, a somewhat more refined experience. And if the evening doesn’t end until the sun comes up, stop in at Fu Sing around the corner for the absolute best char siu in town, as well as some of the most jaw-dropping dim sum...

Read more of Robin's great tips on Hong Kong here...



Kathryn Hart, Metamorphosis IX, mixed media on wood panels, 64 x 24 x 7 in.

Kathryn Hart - "My works reflect the human condition, all of its crags and crevices, what we want others to see and what we hide…" After establishing a national reputation as a representational painter, Kathryn Hart turned to highly abstracted work and conceptual-based painting. The works' tactility is key: like a sculptor, Hart balances the painting’s surface as much by touch as its visual qualities. Kathryn Hart currently resides in Larkspur, Colorado.



Ken Macklin, Through the Keyhole, 2010, mixed media, glazed ceramic, steel mesh, 30 x 40 x 22 in.

Ken Macklin - Ken Macklin's sculptures respond to the natural landscape found in the dense forests of northwestern Canada. Ranging in size from large-scale steel public art installations to smaller mixed-media sculptures, Macklin's work engages the viewer on both a personal and universal level. Ken Macklin's work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and can be found in public and private collections in the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe.

ARTSLANT INSIDER* - Kohlene Hendrickson

Kohlene Hendrickson, Awakening, 2012, encaustic mixed media, 110 x 90cm.

Kohlene HendricksonAfter working for 12 years as an illustrator and art director, Kohlene Hendrickson returned to the fine arts by studying fresco painting in Italy. Her practice involves ancient and traditional painting techniques, using natural materials such as beeswax, resin, lime, sand, and pigments, with contemporary methods and subject matter. Kohlene has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and Europe, and now lives and works in Switzerland.


Labor Robert, 3 Figures Painting, 1983, oil on canvas, 118 x 134cm.

Labor Robert - Labor Robert has painted for over 40 years, and his oeuvre has evolved, diverged, and reconverged over the decades. "Sampling" from such canonical styles as Constructionism, Cubism, and Expressionism, Robert's work forms a hybrid, a quiet dialogue with art history. Currently, by photographing and manipulating his past works, he is engaged in a re-reading of his own painting history by digital means. Labor Robert lives and works on Réunion Island and Boulbon, France.



Debbi Chan, My Idaho in Spring (detail), 2012, Chinese watercolor and inkstick on rice paper, artist book, 30 ft x 20 in.

Debbi Chan - Debbi Chan's representations of the natural world stem from traditions of Chinese painting. The image pictured here is one page of Chan's most recent artist's book: a 30-ft panoramic view of the surrounding landscape in Idaho, rendered in traditional watercolor and ink on rice paper. Chan also creates deep relief carvings in natural materials such as wood, stone, bone, antler, and ivory, as well as working in other media such as embroidery, etchings, and prints.

ARTSLANT INSIDER* - Claudia Emanuela Coppola

Claudia Emanuela Coppola, Blue Mind, 2012, mixed media on wood, 30 x 30cm.

Claudia Emanuela Coppola - A writer, painter, illustrator, designer, and theatre director, Claudia Emanuela Coppola creates artworks that are dramatic, affective and sensual. Each painting is a window into a dream world of child-like creatures, deep colors, mystery and melancholy. Coppola has exhibited worldwide: most recently in Barcelona, Milan, Torino, Paris, London, Lisbon, Berlin and New York. She lives and works in Milan, Italy.


Jane Gang - Jane Gang's sparse and intimate paintings communicate the emotional dynamic at play between people with a few lines of watercolor. Gang paints her figures on site, responding to subtle body language, power plays at the unspoken level, and the interaction of sound, image and atmosphere. While Gang is best known for her previous series depicting dancers and strippers--stripping them down to bare movement and line--this particular image is from her current series, Familial Territory, which explores power dynamics within family structures as witnessed in passing. Jane Gang is a British-born artist currently living and working in New York. 

Jane Gang, Familial Territory Series, 2011, watercolor on paper, 9 x 6 1/2 in.

Thank you to ART HK and all of the galleries, organizations, institutions, curators and artists who bring us this Hong Kong extravaganza.


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Posted by ArtSlant Team on 5/21/12

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