“Breaking the Waves” at K11 HACC Reminds Us of the Importance of Dialogue in Contemporary Artistic Practice

Image courtesy of K11 Art Foundation
CoBo Social Design and Architecture

After making a critically-acclaimed unveiling in Shanghai, the star-studded group exhibition “Breaking the Waves”, a joint effort between K11 Art Foundation and ArtReview, is making its next stop in Hong Kong this December.

TEXT: CoBo Editorial
IMAGES: K11 Art Foundation


Image courtesy of K11 Art Foundation


In an inaugural collaboration between Hong Kong-based non-profit K11 Art Foundation leading contemporary art magazine ArtReview, “Breaking the Waves”, a collective exhibition of 14 international artists, will open in K11 HACC, Hong Kong, on 17 December, lasting through 23 January 2022. The show has previously graced the grounds of chi K11 art museum in Shanghai, before making its way to Hong Kong.

The name of the exhibition, according to the curatorial statement, refers “both to persistence, the endlessly repeating climax of waves breaking on a shore, and to the act of swimming against the tide, or coming up for air”. The evocative statement calls to mind the very nature of art in all its candour—the propensity for thinking differently and the audacity for going against the grain.

More than anything, the exhibition examines the vast potential of art as a means of social development, communication and connectivity with the world through art, examined through the many mediums, forms, and context in which art allows us to view the world through alternative perspectives.

The exhibition brings together a roster of 14 highly acclaimed artists and artist collectives from around the world—Larry Achiampong, Chim↑Pom, Adriano Costa, David Horvitz and Yuko Mohri, Eisa Jocson, Michael Joo, Jac Leirner, Ho Tzu Nyen with Ripon Chowdhury,  Laure Prouvost, Slime Engine, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Zheng Bo—to explore discussion and dialogue as a cornerstone of contemporary art, and highlight the role of communication and social interaction in contemporary practice.

Through a range of both static and interactive works, visitors are invited to take part in the show as a “fellow traveller” of a journey in which the individual points of view and the operations of a shared vision or collective consciousness interact. Ultimately, the exhibition brings to our attention the process in which the personal becomes public, of how art allows the individual to take on the perspective of others—the basis on which an egalitarian social dialogue is founded—bridging the chasms of generation, culture, race, sex, class, and more, and utilising these differences to inspire new forms of creativity.

The artworks on view are intentionally arranged to show mutual influence, as if each artist and their works are put into conversation, tackling different dualities of human and nature, exploitation and cooperation, mobility and migration, the advancement of new technologies, and more. As the world slowly recovers and reconnects after months of hibernation, the show brings about a hopeful vision for what art is able to inspire and an alternative lens through which to perceive dichotomy.


Breaking the Waves
17 December 2021 – 23 January 2022
K11 HACC, K11 ATELIER King’s Road, Hong Kong


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