Robin Peckham

Profile  |  Exhibitions  |  Network  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Immaterial Art Basel   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Art Basel Hong Kong May 23rd, 2013 - May 26th, 2013
Posted 5/21/13
The art fair in Hong Kong, now falling under the Art Basel umbrella, has succeeded for a number of reasons, perhaps chief among them the transparent market infrastructure of the city and the reputation for pragmatic mercantilism it has accumulated as a British entrepot. But as much as the rule of law has encouraged an internationally viable market structure, it has also made Hong Kong a rare hub for scholarship, particularly of the Anglophone variety, for much of Asia. Long before the launch of... [more]
When Artinfo released the China-focused edition of an article featuring the most influential young players in the art world, the preponderance of Hong Kong-based figures, occupying twelve of thirty positions, was unexpected. Despite the meteoric growth of the art fair ArtHK as a pan-Asian platform, the success of international auction firms Christie’s and Sotheby’s in the city, and the evolution of the downtown financial district as a gallery hotspot, the Chinese art world largely continues to... [more]
Hong Kong Home Boy   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Tsang Kin-Wah at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong July 27th, 2012 - August 27th, 2012
Posted 8/20/12
Tsang Kin-Wah may be one of the most internationally recognized Hong Kong artists, with recent major outings at the Mori Art Museum, the Lyon Biennale, and the Sydney Biennale, among others, but his presence in Hong Kong itself, for the last several years at least, has been ambivalent. He is known as something of a shadowy figure, often appearing quietly and anonymously, whose trademark installations are included only in the most unlikely and unexpected of exhibitions. Prior to this landmark... [more]
On the evening of Friday 18 May 2012, Beijing-based young artist Hu Xiangqian will serenade guests on a yacht trip. Something of a legend in Chinese art circles, the content of his performances and other work is always hotly debated: Hu is probably best known for a video in which he tans himself for weeks on end in an attempt to make his skin the same color as that of his African immigrant friends, although he is also equally loved for an oneiric short video in which the little green man and... [more]
Rites of Spring   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Liu Chuang, Zheng Guogu, Alfian bin Sa’at, Florin Tudor, Mona Vatamanu at Para/Site Art Space April 13th, 2012 - April 29th, 2012
Posted 5/7/12
Part of curator Cosmin Costinas’s drive to revitalize the institution that is Para/Site involves negotiating its diminutive physical space; his first exhibition, “Two thousand eleven,” actually compressed the floor plan, at least partially in an effort to demonstrate that exhibitions do not require expansive real estate. The second project in the program and the first of 2012, by contrast, seems to prove that exhibitions per se may not be all that the current situation in Hong Kong requires.... [more]
Conceptual Worms at Work   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Liu Xiaohui at Hemuse Gallery February 25th, 2012 - April 2nd, 2012
Posted 2/29/12
Hemuse, one of the most promising new galleries to hit the Beijing scene in years—and located downtown, outside of any of the major art districts, at that—opens the spring season with an understated solo exhibition of small paintings from an artist whose name will be familiar and yet somehow indistinct: Liu Xiaohui, an instructor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts with a track record of exhibitions at officially sanctioned local institutions and international venues, just slightly off the... [more]
Baby Blue Bedding   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Lee Kit at Osage Kwun Tong January 14th, 2012 - February 12th, 2012
Posted 2/6/12
Lee Kit’s How to set up a room for Johnny is staggeringly beautiful. Entering a space that constitutes one third of the cavernous factory-building gallery the visitor encounters first simply the title of the exhibition, pasted on the wall and illuminated by a bare fluorescent tube, the actual content of the project visible only in the far corner of the space, well lit but positioned on the wrong side of a dark stretch of empty floor. Walking across the distance we find that the artist has... [more]
Digital Politics   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Will Kwan at 2P Contemporary Art Gallery December 8th, 2011 - February 26th, 2012
Posted 1/30/12
Arriving at the elegantly quiet, largely residential alleyway on which the storefront gallery is situated, the visitor is first cued into the conceptual strategies of the Will Kwan solo project by the presence of a set of flags hanging over the glass door of the space. Hung, in a previous installation, at a density of one flag per building, here the pieces are clustered together tightly, forcing the viewer to first look questioningly from across the street before approaching for closer... [more]
Surprise Surprise   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 1/15/12
K11 Art Village Bldg. 2, Changqing Gardens Central Commercial Street, Dongxihu District, Wuhan 18 December 2011 - 13 February 2012   “The Things they are a-Changing” K11 chi Art Space 2/F, 628 Jiefang Dadao, Jianghan District, Wuhan 19 December 2011 - 30 January 2012   It is with some suspicion that any critical observer would approach an artist residency and exhibition program in the second-tier inland city of Wuhan organized by the self-proclaimed Hong Kong “art mall” and its... [more]
Robin's Take on 2011   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 1/9/12
Two-thousand eleven was the year in which China’s galleries became galleries. No longer content to present projects at the whim of their directors and catch the excess wealth of the more politically dominant institutions of the art world--auctions, collections, and foundations--over the past twelve months the commercial galleries have begun instituting exclusive contracts for representation, moved into more manageable spaces, reworked exhibition programs, and, perhaps most dramatically, stopped... [more]
2011 in The Rest of the World   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Olga Chernysheva, Heman Chong, Federico Herrero, John Smith at Para/Site Art Space December 17th, 2011 - March 4th, 2012
Posted 12/25/11
Cosmin Costinas, incoming curator of Hong Kong’s only serious alternative space, Para/Site, attempts to shape his upcoming exhibition program with a project seeking to explore the ramifications of the past year—a period of time during much of which, not entirely coincidentally, the art space has been left rudderless and without direction. Drawing on a political moment that has emerged as a fundamentally hopeful crisis in the workings of both the global neoliberal economy and the theoretically... [more]
You know Yu Youhan   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 12/10/11
As the Shanghai gang of artists prepares for the “PARTY” exhibition opening this week at the Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou Hotel, it is Yu Youhan (b. 1943) who again captures the imagination. Turning to the most recent documentation of his work at hand—catalogues from the Sotheby's fall sales in Hong Kong—his range is self-evident even as his insistent process of evolution continues to turn back on itself. Perhaps the quintessential representative of Shanghai painting, Yu turned to abstraction in... [more]
Lichtenstein goes Oriental   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Roy Lichtenstein at Gagosian Gallery Hong Kong November 12th, 2011 - December 22nd, 2011
Posted 11/26/11
This is the last exhibition that anyone would expect to be interesting. Read carefully the title: this is a show of Chinese landscapes painted by Roy Lichtenstein in the 1990s. A preposterous joke, it would seem--and yet it is not. By toying with the conventions of a graphic system with which his familiarity is evidently cursory at best, the pioneer of Pop Art manages to produce images that feel at once both disconcertingly Chinese, in that they could easily represent the output of an... [more]
By the Book   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Yang Zhichao at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery November 10th, 2011 - December 2nd, 2011
Posted 11/12/11
A cornerstone of the bodily performance and shock art scenes that characterized so much of what was considered the radical world of Chinese contemporary art throughout the 1990s, Yang Zhichao is not an artist from which one would expect sentimentality (or even subtlety). He is probably best known for an action in which he planted two pieces of grass in his shoulder for the infamous 2000 Ai Weiwei-organized exhibition “Fuck Off”; indeed, the press release for “Chinese Bible” describes him as... [more]
Some Organic Pleasures   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Genevieve Chua, Trevor Yeung at Gallery EXIT October 21st, 2011 - November 19th, 2011
Posted 10/23/11
Following on the heels of two illustration-influenced solo projects, this two person show featuring the Singaporean female artist Genevieve Chua and newly minted Hong Kong visual arts graduate Trevor Yeung seems to find Gallery Exit having embraced an identity as a full-fledged drawing program. The choice is a good one: director Aenon Loo seems to have an unfailing eye for the living line, reflected in the various works on paper, small paintings, and photographic collages that often populate... [more]
Volumes of Video   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
AiLun Bao, Fei Cao, Chieh-Jen Chen, Qiulin Chen, Shaohong Chen, Xiaoyun Chen, Ran Cheng, GuangYu Cui, Xiuwen Cui, Mengbo Feng, Shiqiang Gao, Jianyi Geng, Jieming Hu, Xiaoyuan Hu, Ran Huang, PengYi Jiang, Zhi Jiang, Xuan Kan, Benben Lei, Juchuan Li, Yongbin Li, Wei Liang, Yue Liang, Yilin Lin, Chuang Liu, Wei Liu, Chunsheng Lu, Yang Lu, Qiusha Ma, Xiaochun Miao, Anxiong Qiu, Zhijie Qiu, Yong Shi, Dong Song, Xun Sun, Biao Tong, Yu-Chin Tseng, Gongxin Wang, Jianwei Wang, Jennifer Ma Wen, Hu Xiangqian, Tan Xu, Zhen Xu, Lei Yan, Fudong Yang, Zhenzhong Yang, Linghan Ye, Ding Zhang, Liaoyuan Zhang, Peili Zhang, Tao Zhou, Tiehai Zhou, Xiaohu Zhou, Yi Zhou, Jia Zhu at Minsheng Art Museum September 9th, 2011 - October 27th, 2011
Posted 10/23/11
The core project of virtually every private museum in mainland China to open over the past few years has been the codification of a historical background for the collection at stake, and glaringly obvious missteps have been many. Shanghai’s Minsheng Art Museum has brought a multi-pronged strategy to the table; their first official opening exhibition presented 30 years of Chinese contemporary art through painting, a show that managed to borrow, buy, and otherwise obtain access to a number of... [more]
Border Mechanisms   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Hong Kong Arts Center May 19th, 2011 - June 12th, 2011
Posted 6/20/11
An exhibition originally curated by Feng Boyi for the He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen and traveling next to Taipei, “1+1” would appear to be a gratuitous and inane round of official backslapping for the encouragement of a cosmopolitan ideal of greater China. Fortunately its realization, at least at this particular juncture in its Hong Kong leg, has provided enough instances of cultural tension to make the outing a productive experiment in cross-border collaboration, if nothing else; curator... [more]
Passage Portraits   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ho Siu Nam at Blindspot Gallery June 8th, 2011 - June 25th, 2011
Posted 6/13/11
Although artist Ho Siu Num was born only in 1984, his project Into Light (2009) already seems immensely well-traveled: it first turned heads, including my own, during the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Awards in 2009, a display within which it was one of only two or three works that actually felt simultaneously contemporary and related to Hong Kong in some real way. It was also remarkably successful as a solo booth presentation during ArtHK at the end of May; now that most of... [more]
Xinguang's Hong Kong Debut   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Yang Xinguang at Gallery EXIT May 28th, 2011 - July 2nd, 2011
Posted 6/6/11
For his first Hong Kong exhibition, Beijing-based sculptor Yang Xinguang manages to demonstrate the breadth of his practice within the confines of a space far from the airy warehouses in which he usually exhibits. Known for his commitment to the found materials of suburban Beijing, which he often transforms into figures that negotiate the margins of such spaces between the city and more pastoral landscapes, the artist is often described as strongly influenced by conceptual movements like arte... [more]
The Charmed Logic of Space   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Joao Vasco Paiva at Experimenta May 20th, 2011 - June 8th, 2011
Posted 6/6/11
Some spaces, corners of Hong Kong, seem destined for art, adding so much to the viewing experience in their own right even prior to the display apparatus of the white cube that the process of reaching and entering the space becomes a planning element with which the artist or curator cannot avoid negotiation. Experimenta, tucked into an alley off of an alley just a block away from the main gallery drag of Hollywood Road, positioned aptly next to a barbershop that doubles as a jazz bar, is one... [more]
Painterly Coffin   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Wang Guangle at Beijing Commune April 23rd, 2011 - May 22nd, 2011
Posted 5/22/11
International visitors to Beijing Commune, by any measure one of the most discreet, well-lit, and downright Chelsea-ite spaces in the 798 Art District, will most likely have a certain impression of Wang Guangle, whose beautifully surfaced paintings have adorned many a group exhibition over the past several years. His Coffin Paintings, which appropriate Fujian folk customs by using an enamel lacquer with which the aged paint layer upon layer over the own coffins, are strikingly textured... [more]
Beyond Technicolor   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Minsheng Art Museum March 20th, 2011 - May 3rd, 2011
Posted 5/16/11
“Trilogy” is a revelation, the kind of exhibition that confirms everything one might have hoped to know about an artist.  And it comes close to reinforcing a belief in human aesthetic progress. Critic Philip Tinari once described Liu Wei as the sort of artist who is not afraid of failure, and it is true that some of Wei's work, examined now in retrospect, has not stood the test of evolving predilections in contemporary art. With this most recent set of projects, the artist has certainly shifted... [more]
Contemporary Art with an Internet Focus   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Susanne Burner, Wong Ka-wing, Sylbee Kim at Experimenta March 23rd, 2011 - April 20th, 2011
Posted 5/9/11
Curated by Nana Seo, “//Free Rider//:” marks its territory as Hong Kong’s answer to the New Museum’s “Free” and Carol Yinghua Lu’s “You are not a Gadget,” demonstrating local engagement with ongoing conversations of the relationship between art and the internet in a timely and sexy manner but, like those other two prior exhibitions, ultimately failing to add anything really new to the more innovative corners of networked practice. The focus here is ostensibly on the telling of stories through... [more]
Fragments and Interventions   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Magdalen Wong at Goethe-Gallery & Black Box Studio March 29th, 2011 - May 7th, 2011
Posted 4/25/11
Magdalen Wong is something of an enigmatic artist in Hong Kong, a voice always peripherally present but whose practice is rarely presented in a truly focused form. Fortunately observers have a prime opportunity to dissect her recent work in the current solo exhibition at the Goethe-Institut galleries, which present a selection of work produced in 2009 and 2010. Unfortunately, for this writer at least, this comprehensive view is both alluring and ultimately disappointing: by directing her studio... [more]
Sotheby’s Hong KongHong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, Hong Kong3 April 2011Setting records for artists as varied as Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi, Zhang Peili, and Geng Jianyi, the Sotheby’s sale of the famed Ullens Collection appeared largely unaffected by the rumors and controversy that gripped media observers in the lead-up to the white glove evening. Buyers seemed more interested in the Ullens imprimatur than the fact that many of the pieces assembled were actually... [more]
Hong Kong CatWalk   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 4/11/11
1 Shin Hing St./ Mee Lun St., Sheung Wan, Hong Kong16 March 2011 Working under the guises of their feline alter-egos Fyodor Arsenyvich Koschka and Oscar Muessa, artists Nadim Abbas and Joao Vasco Paiva contributed a rather unconventional project to Hong Kong’s annual ArtWalk, a one-night event during which downtown galleries open special exhibitions into the evening in support of the local charity Society for Community Organization. On a concrete stairway that functions as a narrow street... [more]
The Dark Dark Deep   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Christine Nguyen at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery February 17th, 2011 - April 7th, 2011
Posted 3/28/11
Vietnamese-American artist Christine Nguyen opens the recently renovated 10 Chancery Lane space with an exhibition of photographs created in the absence of the camera. By projecting transparent drawings onto photo paper and developing it with intervention of crystals and other natural materials, the artist is able to produce otherworldly visions of the undersea universe. At its best, Nguyen promises science fiction-inflected takes on the classic photogram work of artists like Laszlo Moholy-Nagy... [more]
Doublehappiness Studio2/F, No. 9 Queen Victoria St., Central, Hong Kong19 March 2011 Organized by Doublehappiness Studio at the Vision Bookcafe, this questionably titled sound event brought together some of the leading figures in Beijing experimental music for a one-off collaboration in Hong Kong. Whereas the Beijing sound art and new music scene has for some time appeared as a wild free-for-all of experimentation and play, characterized by harsh noise and uncaring improvisation, its Hong Kong... [more]
Entomology for Aesthetes   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Bouie Choi at Grotto Fine Art March 2nd, 2011 - March 26th, 2011
Posted 3/14/11
A core member of the movement in nice painting, young artist Bouie Choi demonstrates the possibilities of pattern derivation and the role of superstition in a recent set of attractive if unengaging works on board. Influenced by the delicate line drawings of insects associated with Angela Su and the colorful patterns and borders of Au Hoi Lam, Choi unites these elements in configurations that combine the textures of drawing, painting, textile, and rubber stamps; her strongest contribution to... [more]
Gongbi in Present Tense   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Wilson Shieh at Osage Gallery SoHo, Hong Kong January 20th, 2011 - February 27th, 2011
Posted 3/14/11
Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh, widely celebrated for his revival of the gongbi medium and its application to a uniquely contemporary aesthetic, opens his latest solo exhibition with three series of work executed in something similar to his trademark style but with the materials of pencil drawing. One series, which will be familiar to viewers of his work, is “Artist Index A to Z” (2010), a set of three drawings that create graphic lists of “world artists,” “women artists,” and “Asian artists,”... [more]