The March art fair season has recently concluded in Hong Kong, and it’s time to review what went down during those few days. This is Art Central’s second showing, as well as my second time visiting their specially constructed white marquee! This year’s edition ran from 23rd to 26th March, and I went on the first day. It was a coldish, somewhat rainy day, and there weren’t many people – though that was probably an off chance since the total visitor count increased by 2000 compared to Art Central’s first year.
Thank you Experimenta for the invitation, and letting me explore something new this year – film!
I’d always been concerned with making sure I see as much of the artworks as I can, or whatever that I would like to see, that I kind of forget about the other events happening in the fair. Checking out the film sector in an art fair is a first for me, and Experimenta presented an interesting and varied lineup. I went for the Screen X Experimenta WORLD DRAMA program on the first day. It consisted of quite a number of short films, so this program actually presented the most number of films compared to the other days’ programs.
My favorites were Lucy, a French film, and Broken, a Spanish film. (Every film had English subtitles, which is great.) Lucy questions her identity as an actress, or as a director, or even as her own person at all… The film puts the viewer right into her confusion, as every scene turns out to be part of a “movie” and the entire short film seems like a winding loop of Lucy acting in various movie scenes.
Broken relates a string of breakups, with every new one introduced by the last line uttered by the other person in the previous relationship. As in, Girl A breaks up with Boy, and Boy repeats Girl A’s final line to the next Girl B who Boy breaks up with, and so it goes. I thought it was a kind of paying it forward, but sadly with breakups.
To check out more of Experimenta’s curated films, head on over to their website here or visit their art space at:
#7005 No.335 Queen’s Road West
Sai Ying Pun
Wolfgang Stiller, Matchstick Men, wood, polyurethane, gouache paint, Mark Hachem
Moving on to the other artworks! Art Central has two main sectors: Central and Rise. Central is made up of artworks from both established and emerging galleries, while Rise consists of emerging galleries that dedicate their booths to one or two artists.
Stefano Bombardieri, Francesco E L’Elefante, bronze, Mark Hachem
This is unfortunate, but I found this year’s edition to be not as good as last year‘s. I thought that Art Central’s overall feel didn’t particularly suit me in the first place, but this year’s showing felt scattered and not as strong. Of course, there were still a number of artworks I enjoyed viewing, and they are included here.
Yves Hayat, Les Icones Sont Fatiguees, digital prints on transparent film, burnt and enclosed in plexiglass boxes, Mark Hachem Gallery
William Klein, Smoke + Veil, Paris, 1958; Hat with Five Roses, Barbara Mullen, Paris, 1956, gelatin silver prints, Hackelbury Fine Art
Happy to see these beauties again! Hackelbury Fine Art showed smaller versions of these two photographs last year, and I’m glad to see them in a larger size.
Damien Hirst, Mickey (Blue Glitter) & Minnie (Pink Glitter) Pair, silkscreen prints with glitter, Other Criteria
Sam Jinks, Marc Straus
Sam Jink’s two sculptures on show went viral on Instagram, especially the one of the kneeling woman, but I personally prefer this one with the babies! (I’m not sure what the title is, as I didn’t see the didactic onsite, and I can’t find it online either.) They are both done very well, and they honestly look very real! The reason why I liked this more was because the woman was proportionately smaller than a real woman’s size, while the babies were perfectly sized so they really really look like babies.
Patrick Hughes, En Grisaille, 2016, oil on board construction, Flowers Gallery
Hughes’s illusionary artworks were back to mess with my vision again! While it sure looks like a flat image, there’re actually three parts jutting out. To help you out, the furthest point in the image is the nearest physical point to the viewer.
I only saw this piece by Hughes but it turned out that there were more, though probably not on display at the time. I wish I saw his Great Wall piece, that would have been such a hoot!
Hiroshi Senju, Suijin, 2015, natural pigments on Japanese mulberry paper, mounted on board, Sundaram Tagore Gallery
Steve McCurry, Girl with green shawl, Peshawar, Pakistan, 2002, ultrachrome print
Steve McCurry, Dust Storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983, ultrachrome print
I didn’t expect to see Steve McCurry – it was just wonderful to chance on his work! I first discovered his work when Afghan Girl with her magical eyes was all over Facebook. As these two images also prove, his photography is plain mesmerization.
Ichwan Noor, Beetle Sphere, 2016, aluminium painted and original parts VW Beetle 1953
I found this very cute… until I realized this was a real vintage VW Beetle that had been squashed into a ball. I’m curious to know if the original car and this artwork have the same price or is one more expensive than the other? Or maybe I don’t want to.
Li Hongbo 李洪波, Young Man, 2012, paper, glue, Dominik Mersch Gallery
Jiang Shuo 蔣朔, Wu Shaoxiang 吳少湘, Great Jump 3, 2015, gold bronze, Contemporary by Angela Li
Li Hongbo 李洪波, Scholar’s Rock No. 2 太湖石二號, 2016, newspaper, Contemporary by Angela Li
Li Hongbo’s paper works were again a crowd pleaser. I wanted to point out that the English title doesn’t fully translate the Chinese meaning. Taihu rock (太湖石) comes from Taihu Lake (太湖) and it’s a distinctively large, porous limestone rock. It appears in many (old) Chinese paintings, usually alongside a scholar or scholar-official. It’s a rock that’s seen much hardship (so resulting in its porousness, or so I say) and it represents a scholar’s perseverance and integrity, as per Chinese ideas since at least the Song dynasty. Li’s Scholar’s Rock doesn’t exactly resemble it much, but it’s interesting that Li uses this idea for his paper sculptures.
On another note, this is the first semester I’m taking a class on Chinese paintings spanning across the dynasties, and it’s at once scary (all the dates), fascinating, and a little strange (they’re difficult to identify with for sure) at the same time, especially for a pretty-much newbie to old Chinese history like me. But I’m enjoying it! ;D
David Chan, Garden of Earthly Delights, 2013, oil on linen, Art Seasons
Yu Youhan 余友涵, The life of Mao 毛的一生, 2016, mixed media on metal, Rén Space 仁庐
Chuck Close, Brad, 2015, jacquard tapestry,Rén Space 仁庐
Hwan-Kwon Yi, Flight Attendant, 2016, hand painted acrylic on FRP, Gana Art
I saw this for myself, but I’m still not sure if it’s flat or somewhat dimensional, or how it’s been stretched out, LOLS.
Sun-Tai Yoo, The Words – Landscape Flowing with Music, 2015, acrylic on metal objects; The Words – Landscape Filled with Music, 2016, acrylic on metal objects and wood; The Words – Landscape Filled with Music, 2015, acrylic on metal objects and wood, Gana Art
Andrew Gifford, 45. Soy Street Series, I; 45. Soy Street Series, II; 45. Soy Street Series, III, oil on canvas, John Martin Gallery
I’m a huge fan of Claude Monet, so I’m going to have to say that this reminds me of Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series (as well as others), in which he captures the same place at different times of the day. Here, Gifford observes Hong Kong’s Soy Street in Mongkok.
Li Wei and Liu Zhiyin 李偉和劉知音, Waiting Still in the Night 夜晚是靜靜的等待, cast copper with chemical stain, Line Gallery
Jean-Marie Fiori, Pug; French Bull-dog, bronze
Elaine Yan Ling Ng, Sundew, handwoven fiber and Swarovski crystal textiles
This is a moving installation depicting the sundew plant, which is a carnivorous plant that attracts prey with scents and reflected light, according to Art Central’s fair guide. I took a few videos of this installation and other works, I hope to get those up soon!
Yoshitomo Nara, Puff Marshie (Hirosaki Version), 2003, Whitestone Gallery
I totally missed this when I went in – probably distracted by the umbrella racks on the left of the entrance – but this was a nice piece to leave the fair with!