Feb 21 2020

37 Degrees of Hong Kong Exhibitions

by ArtAsiaPacific

Tired of staying in? Restless and ready to escape the home office? You can see some legitimately good art in Hong Kong this weekend—in person, in a physical space that is not your apartment—and without a lot of other people around. (Your sofa and Netflix queue will still be there when you get home.) For some galleries, it might be best to call ahead to let them know you want to stop by, but they will be glad to have visitors. Scroll to the bottom for a quick summary of gallery opening hours.

South Island

Installation view of RICHARD STREITMATTER-TRAN’s “We No Longer See the Stars” at de Sarthe, Hong Kong. Courtesy the artist and de Sarthe.

Galleries in the industrial areas of Wong Chuk Hang and Tin Wan have several newly opened exhibitions. You can start at Axel Vervoodt Gallery, where Mexican artist Bosco Sodi’s heavily textured, turquoise-blue abstractions, created using his signature mix of pigment, glue, and sawdust, are on view in “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains.” At nearby Rossi & Rossi, Rasheed Araeen, the artist who pioneered minimalist sculpture in the 1960s, presents multimedia works from the 1980s and recent abstractions from the 2010s that riff on Islamic motifs, colors, and geometry in “Go East, Again.” Pékin Fine Arts just announced that it has a group show of gallery artists on at the moment, called “Gimme Shelter.” At de Sarthe, check out “We No Longer See the Stars,” which features the large free-standing portraits painted by artist Richard Streitmatter-Tran and an installation that uses facial-recognition software. Gallery Exit is showing two emerging Hong Kong artists in “The Blazing World”: Li Ning, who makes intricately detailed, wildly surreal lino-cut prints; and the moody, expressionist landscape paintings of Stanley Shum Kwan Hon. That’s a good afternoon tour right there for you.

Central and Sheung Wan

HO SIN TUNG, 1,000 Nights After, 2019, heat transfer printing carpet, 150 × 250 cm. Courtesy the artist and Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong.

In Central, Hong Kong’s two primary gallery buildings—H Queens and the Pedder Building—are open, though some of the larger galleries, including David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth are not.  However, in H Queens, Tang Contemporary is carrying on, and even opened a new exhibition of Feng Yan’s photographic works that find abstraction in natural materials and details of other artworks. Over at the Pedder Building, Hanart TZ Gallery has the most discussed exhibition of the year so far, “Swampland,” by Hong Kong artist Ho Sin Tung, whose new works, both drawings and installations, tap into the sensations of heartbreak, repulsion, and disgust in really unlikely forms (you’ll never see candy again the same way). Lehmann Maupin is showing Los Angeles-based Helen Pashgian’s sculptures toying with light, space, and perception. Knock on the door at Simon Lee to see Mai Thu-Perret’s tapestries and ceramics based on the artist’s fictional narrative imagining a women-only commune, The Crystal Frontier, in “News from Nowhere.” At Ben Brown Fine Arts, you must stop in to see the exuberant self-portraits of Tseng Kwong Chi, who traveled the world as a self-proclaimed “ambiguous ambassador” to take pictures of himself in a Mao suit and sunglasses in front of iconic locales. And Massimo de Carlo, right next door, is showing a selection of John Armleder’s glittery “Pour Paintings” alongside other works in a mini-survey of the Swiss artist, in “Clown’s Way.”

Elsewhere around Central, Alisan Fine Arts has a group show of five artists from greater China who were Asian Cultural Council Fellows, including the iconic Hong Kong ink painter Wucius Wong, and Mao Xuhui, co-founder of the 1980s era Southwestern Art Research Group whose works capture the rustic life in Yunnan province. Crystal Liu’s very serene and pretty panoramas at Galerie du Monde, on Duddell Street, marry the compositions of classical Chinese landscape painting with mother-of-pearl, floral motifs. Up toward the Mid-Levels, 10 Chancery Lane is presenting Liang Hao’s enigmatic paintings that are like visual riddles, exploring the nature of time and subconsciousness, in “Unfolding into the Expanse.” 

Toward Soho and Sheung Wan, several galleries have interesting solo presentations. Leo Gallery is showing Yan Bo’s free-form wall sculptures made with mineral pigments. Over the Influence is showcasing Peter Shire’s Los Angeles-inspired, vibrant and quirky abstract paintings and sculptures in “Silhouettes, Souffles & Succotash.” Contemporary by Angela Li is presenting “The Lost Time Travel Machine,” Angela Yuen’s whimsical assemblages of nostalgic objects that cast shadows in the shapes of Hong Kong’s skyline. Next week Soluna Fine Arts is opening a group show of Korean artists called “Obangsaek,” in reference to the five traditional colors of Korean Buddhism.

Happy Valley and Wan Chai

Curious about what the city streets looked like in Hong Kong’s postwar, British-colonial period? The F11 Foto Museum, in Happy Valley, is displaying black-and-white images of Hong Kong captured over the course of three months in 1959 by the Dutch modern photographer Ed van der Elsken in “Hong Kong the Way it Was.” (A face mask is required for entry.)

If you’re passing through Wan Chai, you can call Mine Project, located in the Hennessey Building, to see if you can check out up-and-coming painter George Rouy’s paintings of bodies in transition, in a show appropriately titled “Mask.” Rouy’s paintings were a big hit at Shanghai’s West Bund Art and Design fair in November 2019—way back in the pre-coronavirus era. 


Installation view of LO LAI LAI’s Slow-so TV III: Give no words but mum, 2020, interactive video installation, dimensions variable, at “Give no words but mum,” Tomorrow Maybe, Hong Kong, 2020. Photo by Pamela Wong for ArtAsiaPacific.

Located in industrial Kwun Tong, the private Sun Museum opened a show this week, “Chinese Tradition in Western Oil,” of 24 artists who bridge Chinese painting techniques and subjects with oil painting. This one might be a good show for a multigenerational excursion, as the works are quite traditional, with Wu Guanzhong’s charming Parisian street scenes, for instance, and Chu Teh-Chun’s more impressionistic abstractions. 

Another noteworthy stop for an outing, though perhaps with friends and not the whole family, is Eaton Hotel in Yau Ma Tei, where the exhibition space Tomorrow Maybe is hosting Lo Lai Lai’s show “Give no words but mum” featuring the Hong Kong artist’s video works that demonstrate how plants seduce and communicate in their silence, and what she calls her “inexplicably dependent relationship with plants.” If you’re still enjoying being out and about, Eaton’s bar and music venue Terrible Baby has been open non-stop in recent weeks, and has a weekend line-up of performances, so maybe you’ll want to sit outside on the terrace on one of their sofas instead of rushing back to the one at home. 

Opening Hours

South Island

Rasheed Araeen, “Go East, Again” at Rossi & Rossi: Tue–Sat, 11am–6pm

Bosco Sodi, “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains” at Axel Vervoordt (by appointment only)

Richard Streitmatter-Tran, “We No Longer See the Stars” at de Sarthe: Tue–Sat, 11am–7pm

Li Ning, Stanley Shum, “The Blazing World” at Gallery Exit (reduced hours): Tue–Sat, 11am–4pm

“Gimme Shelter” at Pékin Fine Arts: Tue–Fri, 10am–6pm; Sat, 11am–6pm

Central and Sheung Wan

Feng Yan at Tang Contemporary, H Queens: Tue–Sat, 11am–7pm

Ho Sin Tung, “Swampland” at Hanart TZ Gallery, Pedder Building: Mon–Sat, 11am–7pm

Helen Pashgian at Lehmann Maupin: Tue–Fri, 10am–7pm; Sat: 11am–7pm

Mai Thu-Perret, “News from Nowhere” at Simon Lee Gallery (by appointment only)

Tseng Kwong Chi, “East Meets West: Self-portraits series 1979–1989” at Ben Brown Fine Arts (by appointment only)

John Armleder, “Clown’s Way” at Massimo de Carlo (by appointment only, email hongkong@massimodecarlo.com)

Asian Cultural Council Fellows: Second Annual Exhibition 2020” at Alisan Fine Arts: Mon–Sat, 10am–6pm

Liang Hao, “Unfolding into the Expanse” at 10 Chancery Lane: Tue–Sat, 10am–6pm

Yan Bo, “Untitled” at Leo Gallery: Mon–Sat, 11am–6pm

Angela Yuen, “The Lost Time Travel Machine” at Contemporary by Angela Li: Mon–Sat, 10am–6:30pm

Peter Shire, “Silhouettes, Souffles & Succotash” at Over the Influence: Tue–Sat, 11am–7pm

Happy Valley and Wan Chai

George Rouy, “Mask” at Mine Project (by appointment only)

Ed van der Elsken, “Hong Kong the Way it Was” at F11 Foto Museum (face masks required): Tue–Sat, 2pm–7pm


Lo Lai Lai, “Give no words but mum” at Tomorrow Maybe, Eaton Hotel: Mon–Sun, 11am–9pm

Chinese Tradition in Western Oil” at Sun Museum (reduced hours): 10am–5pm

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