For those who is interested in Hong Kong Art scene, CoBo brings you with a piece of good news – we exclusively feature 7 Hong Kong Art World Insiders who represent a different role in the art ecology, who destined to become a new generation of art influencers.
TEXT: CoBo Editorial Force
Even if you might not recognise him by name, you’re likely to have been to one of his many F&B establishments, from The Pawn, which boasts a permanent Hong Kong art exhibition curated by anothermontainman, to Potato Head, a restaurant-cum-bar that features a rainforest-like interior designed by famed Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. There is also Duddell’s, whose enviable collection of modern ink on the 3rd floor is rivalled by the rich programme of contemporary art exhibitions, panels and lectures on the 4th floor. A prominent art collector, Lo also chairs Design Trust, a non-profit organisation that doles out grants and fellowships to design talents and sits on various boards, including Para Site and Art Basel’s Global Patrons Council.
Few are as qualified as Alexandra Seno to talk about the evolution of the Hong Kong art scene. Seno got her start as a financial journalist for Time Inc, she quickly expanded to her CV beyond the written word. She has sat on the board of Para Site and executive committee of The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, and still advises Intelligence Squared amongst others. In her current role as Head of Development at Asia Art Archive, Seno runs their fundraising initiatives and organises education programmes for art patrons.
Known for his ability to traverse national, racial and linguistic boundaries, independent curator Inti Guerrero has curated exhibitions at Para Site, Asia Art Archive, Spring Workshop, Tate Modern, Minsheng Museum amongst others. Last year, he masterminded Neptune, a year-long curatorial project located in a Chai Wan storefront. The space, currently exhibiting works by Maria Fernanda Cardoso and Angela Su, is one of a slew of art spaces that is leading the charge in rethinking the exhibition model in Hong Kong. He co-curated Para Site’s current show, Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs, which delves into changing forms of production, labour, landscape and environments in the modern world. Guerrero is also set to curate the 38th edition of EVA International, Ireland’s biennale of contemporary art, in 2018.
Chantal Wong is head of strategy and special projects at the Asia Art Archive. In September 2015, she co-founded Things that can Happen with artist Lee Kit. Located on the first floor of a Sham Shui Po walk-up, the space was conceived as a response to the socio-political initiatives in Hong Kong society following the Umbrella movement, and is proving instrumental in drawing the art crowd to Sham Shui Po. Things has hosted artist residencies, as well as exhibitions by the likes of Tang Kwok-hin, Chloe Cheuk and Wong Ping.
As Art Promotions Office curator at the HK Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Ivy Lin epitomises a new breed of Hong Kong curators who are keen to act as a bridge between the art world and wider public. Aside from curating such shows as Embark! Beyond the Horizon, an exhibition that paid tribute to Oi!’s historical site as it examined its relationship with the surrounding neighbourhood, Lin also proves instrumental in making various exhibitions at Oi! accessible to various age groups. In 2014, she co-curated Crossroads·Another Dimension, an exhibition featuring Leung Chi-wo, Kingsley Ng, Samson Young and Kacey Wong amongst others, at the Hong Kong City Hall.
Having returned to Hong Kong after a 6-year stint at Manchester’s Chinese Arts Centre from 2006 to 2012, Kwok Ying is a force to be reckoned with in the Hong Kong art scene. Last year, she curated Connect 4, an exhibition featuring 6 artists at Simon Lee Gallery – a rarity in a city where international galleries usually shy away from presenting local artists. In 2014, she founded Art Appraisal Club in a bid to nurture the next generation of art critics. Kwok has also been appointed by M+ and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council to guest curate Samson Young’s solo at the 57th Venice Art Biennale.
Though much of what she does occur behind the scene, Deborah Ehrlich is without doubt one of the most connected people in the Hong Kong art scene. Previously Art Basel’s VIP Relations Manager, Ehrlich was appointed Regional Manager in the Asia Pacific for the UBS Art Collection in 2016. UBS, as many might know, boasts one of the world’s largest corporate art collections, with 30,000 works that spans a range of mediums. Recent acquisitions in the region include paintings by Samson Young, Hong Kong’s representation to the upcoming Venice Art Biennale.