From a group show of more than 15 artists to a solo exhibition of one of the biggest names in the global art world, there’s something for everyone in Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene.
As the weather begins to cool down in November, it is finally time to comfortably stroll around the city without feeling like you’ve been to the sauna. Whilst some of us may opt for a chilled outdoor experience, don’t forget to also ingest some culture at some of Hong Kong’s most interesting exhibitions this month. From internationally renowned artists to emerging local forces, the Hong Kong art scene is one that keeps on giving.
From see you one eye, I shit love you at Square Street Gallery
(November 5 to December 1)
Departed from a series of Greek myths, Amy Maria Tong’s solo exhibition at Square Street Gallery showcases her emotionally intense and visually intriguing pieces from soft sculptures to abstract paintings. Inspired by passionate, all-consuming love, the title—“From see you one eye, I shit love you”—does not follow semantic rules in either Chinese or English, which is representative of the artist’s quirky yet alluring creations, as well as the contradictory nature of modern romantic relationships. Set in a ritual atmosphere, each artwork merges violence and vulnerability, alongside other binaries. Here, Tong’s subject matter explores elusive and toxic power dynamics whilst her experimentation with diverse media and material suggests delicacy and intimacy.
Square Street Gallery, 21 Square Street, Sheung Wan
Teknolust: Objectophilic Futures at Woaw Gallery
(October 29 to November 24)
A particularly apt vision for this day and age of technological advancements, Woaw Gallery’s latest exhibition at their 9 Queen’s Road Central location explores the concept of a “post-singularly utopia/dystopia” in which humans interact with their own intelligent creations on equal footing. Spanning from the physical to the virtual realms, “Teknolust: Objectophilic Futures” features more than 15 artists hailing from Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Shanghai, Berlin, and Cape Town whilst some of the pieces will be auctioned as NFTs. Ultimately, the group show treks the line between a blueprint and a cautionary tale—and perhaps it is both, simultaneously.
Woaw Gallery, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central; woawgallery.com
Till Love Do Us Part at RNH Space
(October 30 to December 12)
Liao Jiaming’s solo exhibition presents a series of photo installations and prints inspired by the artist’s personal experience of being on gay dating apps. Communicating his disappointment while pondering the unhealthy distortion of beauty and perfection on these platforms, the artist trains artificial intelligence to analyse profile pictures found on dating apps and generate images of the human body abound by the aesthetic standards on those apps. “Till Love Do Us Part” seeks liberation from these questionable norms and illusional ideas around the pursuit of true love by focusing on the contrast between such social behaviours and the users’ genuine self-images.
RNH Space (*by appointment only), Room 13, 23/F, Khora, 128 Bedford Road, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon; rnhspace.com
Skin in the Game at Gallery HZ
(November 11 to December 16)
Inspired by sexuality, emotions, desires, and the human nature of it all, this group exhibition features mixed-media paintings by Ewa Budka, Javier Martin, and Ewelina Skowrońska, alongside photography works by Chong-Il Woo. As each artist takes on different mediums and styles to reinterpret the role of women in a cross-cultural contemporary society, “Skin in the Game” depicts the complexity of womanhood in today’s society of ambiguity and explores the notions of female outer and inner beauty, how women are portrayed in social media, advertising, and daily life, and finally, what women need to perform or provide in order to be perceived as “beautiful”.
Gallery HZ, 222 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan; galleryhz.com
Isa Genzken at David Zwirner
(October 20 to December 18)
Surveying Isa Genzken’s career from the past decade, this exhibition is the first solo presentation of the distinguished German artist’s work in Greater China, some of which are on view for the first time ever internationally. Perhaps better known as the creator of the giant metal rose sculpture outside Kowloon’s K11 MUSEA, Genzken is considered one of the most influential contemporary artists, working on an exceptionally wide variety of mediums from aluminium panels and fibreboards to mannequins and everyday objects such as cigarette butts. Some of the more intriguing items included in this exhibition include a plastic toy dragon, a nude photograph of herself, and a pair of sequin espadrilles.
David Zwirner, 5–6/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, davidzwirner.com
Nothing To See Here at Young Soy Gallery
(November 18 to 25)
You must’ve seen it around town—the ubiquitous “shark fin makes your penis small” and “one day, my sex tape will matter” graffiti written in all caps are works of OBSRVR, an anonymous street artist and social commentator “driven by the stupidity found in the world around us”. They’ve been making street art of various forms for almost a decade now, and their eye-catching one-liners have become quite iconic in Hong Kong’s concrete jungle. “Nothing To See Here” comes after OBSRVR’s successful debut at Affordable Art Fair, where their first two exhibition pieces at Young Soy Gallery’s booth were sold out with the first five minutes.
Young Soy Gallery (*by appointment only except on opening day), Unit 2219, 22/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau; youngsoy.com