Though its absence was keenly felt by art enthusiasts last year following its cancellation, Hong Kong’s annual contemporary art fair Art Central is finally back between 19 and 23 May—with some new changes. Ditching the usual Central Harbourfront location, Art Central heads to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and sees the introduction of new exhibitor sectors, “Gwo Wai” Curated Booths and “Duk Dak” Solo Presentations. To accommodate those who can’t make it to the physical fair, the Art Central Capsule will also provide a dedicated digital platform for viewers to appreciate selected artworks from each exhibiting gallery. But for those looking to get their cultural fix in person, keep your eyes open for these gallery booths and artworks.
TEXT: CoBo Editorial
IMAGES: Courtesy of various
Perpetual Motion by Michael Whittle
Michael Whittle has had a remarkable journey in becoming the artist he is today. He was qualified and trained as a biomedical scientist before making an abrupt change towards fine arts. As a result, Whittle’s oeuvre has provided a unique bridge between scientific concepts and art. For this particular installation, the English-born artist examines the mitochondrial DNA and its ability to help trace the migration of our human ancestors in prehistoric times. With glass discs hanging overhead above a graphically-printed carpet depicting brain activity, Perpetual Motion is a bold artistic take on human migration and how it is vital to the success of human survival.
Novalis Contemporary Art Design
Shiro Kuramata’s visionary furniture designs over the years have marked his place as one of Japan’s most important and influential modern designers of the 20th century. Wire steel mesh and plexiglass and traditional Japanese aesthetics can often be found in Shiramata’s architectural designs. Shiramata’s later partnership with Italian designer Ettore Sottsass and his collective Memphis Group in the 1980s was well-documented, which resulted in an explosion of ideas that integrated Western and Eastern concepts and kick-started the post-modernist trend in furniture design. This booth offers viewers the chance to check out some of the greatest examples from the duo’s collaboration.
Painting Tower by Yoon-Kyung Park
As the name suggests, South Korean artist Yoon-Kyung Park’s large-scale installation is comprised of a collective of abstract paintings stacked in various columns, towering over wandering visitors, although there’s more to these paintings than meets the eye—translucent fabrics are used in place of traditional white canvases. The see-through quality of its Japanese and Korean fabrics provides an interesting juxtaposition against its weighted vertical formation.
LEE & BAE
Busan art gallery LEE & BAE presents three South Korean artists You-Mee Lee, Jin-Wook Yeom and Sang-Sun Bae in their curated booth, where each artist presents their wonderfully unique skills and perspectives. Take Yeom’s enigmatic mountain landscape canvases—instead of projecting calmness and serenity, her imageries are akin to rolling waves aided by the use of dramatic light and dark gradations, demonstrating how mountains are constant, shifting subjects. Visitors can also appreciate Bae’s abstract photography series capturing different colourful, tangled knots dangling from its mixture of Japanese and Korean silk threads as a representation of the complex cultural and political history between the two countries. Finally, the Slenderman-looking sculptures are the creations of Lee, as a visualisation of human emotions and the comforting energy that a person’s actions can bring.
Here/There Group Exhibition
This newly introduced commercial group exhibition is curated by Art Central’s 2021 curatorial director André Chan. Under the themes of separation and interconnectedness, which parallels the art fair’s own hybrid nature of physical and virtual presence, “Here/There” showcases 50 works by established and emerging artists from around the world including the likes of Paloma Castillo, whose textile and embroidery art confronts the increasing world of technology and modernity; Evgen Čopi Gorišek known for his figurative paintings with blurred facial features; and Taher Jaoui, who brings his dense abstract and nihilistic works to the Hong Kong audience.
Art Central 2021
19 – 23 May 2021
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Wednesday, 19 May 2021, 2 – 8 pm
Thursday, 20 May 2021, 2 – 8 pm
Friday, 21 May 2021, 2 – 8 pm
Saturday, 22 May 2021, 11 – 7 pm
Sunday, 23 May 2021, 11 – 6 pm