Experience the local aesthetic breezes

I know life’s hard in Hong Kong…yes, I know it is. People always compare Hong Kong to a “cultural desert”: we don’t have local artists, our government doesn’t put much effort on promoting local art, blah blah blah. Yet, as a Hong Kong local art lover, I can proudly say none of these people really pay close attention to local art. In the first quarter of 2017, there have been a lot of solo exhibitions curated by different local artists, and some other large-in-scale exhibition on the aesthetic essence that hides in our daily lives.

  1. 10 years x 100 architecture

10 years x 100 architecture is an exhibition held in PMQ. Featuring 100 architectures from mainland and Hong Kong, it exhibits models of those architectures and explains their creation motif behind.

This exhibition resembles the structure of different biennials around the world. Similar references can be taken form the ongoing Taipei Biennial 2016. With different types of artworks being put together, the Taipei Biennial 2016 creates a strong sense of influx throughout comparative analysis of contemporary paintings, sculptures and installation. While Taipei Biennial 2016 aims at figuring out the role of museum in the construction of social aesthetic, “10 years x 100 architecture” provides a chance for visitors to understand the role of architecture as in the construction of cityscape and its relation to our lives. Strong intellectual exchange among different architectures can be experienced there.

One of my personal favourite is the project of Tree Art Museum in Beijing. Integrating human into the environment, Tree Art Museum composes of simple curves. That integrates visitors of the museum naturally into the environment and provides a perfect and soothing space for them to appreciate artworks. Through mock-ups and renderings, a strong essence of beauty in the great nature is experienced. I wonder if I can have chance to visit the museum on day!

  1. The presence of absence

The presence of absence is the solo exhibition of Sharon lee, a CUHK fine art alumni. Having ceramics as her expertise and interest, she takes the study of ceramics into another level by integrating the use of photograph as a medium to study the possibility of ceramics.

The exhibition is held in Lumenvisum in JCCAC. In total, there exhibits 6 artworks of hers which most of them are lens-based. Taking the manufacturability of clays, she themed her exhibition by photographs of one of her artworks. Made of clays, on her artwork she presses and shapes the clay into different forms and shapes. Her fingerprint on the clay is emphasised, and that triggers the curiosity of visitors to consider details of those photographs. Having 6 photos in total, this artwork opens the entire reading and triggers thinking of the possibility she would like to reinforce.

One of my favourite artwork is a video tape of the process which an egg breaks in hot water. Slowed down, the video is played backward non-stop. Thus, the motion of reforming instead of breaking is portrayed. The most philosophical thought provoked here echoes the title of the exhibition. Does absence of an object and its presence exist in dichotomy? In another word, is an object not present if it is absent? Can there be presence of absence just as what this video art depicts?

  1. Days fall like rain

Days fall like rain is a Scott Chan solo exhibition. Scott is a local artist whose art interest is illustration. Curating the exhibition himself, he divides the exhibition into two sessions: in the first part, he brings into his daily illustration on different receipts; in the second part, he creates ceramics which echo the illustrations on those receipts.

It sounds like a not-so-special exhibition with only several personal creations of artwork. Seemingly, not much philosophical thoughts are provoked behind his solo exhibition. However, what makes his exhibition a review-worthy one is the strong sense of Scott’s emotion and sentiments. His receipts art spans from 2013 to 2016. In this 4 years, there were a lot of drastically changes in his daily life – spanning from political events like Umbrella Revolution in 2014, to the death of his mother in 2015. His mother used to be the one who collected the receipts for him. However, after the death of his mother, he realizes that one’s accompany is not everlasting. For one day, they, as well as a lot of shared memories and sentiments will fade like the words on those receipts do.

That is why I pretty much enjoy Scott’s exhibition. The life we experience every day is going too routinized and boring. Emerging yourself into the robotic working mode, you might easily neglect important people around you and might become soulless. His exhibition borrows the metaphorical meaning of rain – days fall like rain and it will evaporate soon. Life is not about how many things you have experienced. Instead, what makes life meaningful is all the emotions and memories we have with people around us. This is also one of the fatal problem of Hongkongers – we are focusing too much on work and we neglect the importance of leading a meaningful and soulful life.

Writer: Ng Nok Hei

Editor: Vicky Kwok

Copy Editor: Harriet Lai

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