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Feb 24 2021

Hong Kong collector makes third donation of artworks to M+

by Yuna Lee

A portrait of HALLAM CHOW. Courtesy Hallam Chow and M+, Hong Kong.

On February 24, Hong Kong’s museum of contemporary art and visual culture M+ announced that it has received 17 artworks from Hong Kong collector and lawyer Hallam Chow. This marks Chow’s third donation to the museum.

The collection of artworks, created between the 1990s and 2010s by 13 artists and collectives in Asia, has a particular focus on Japanese art. Among the donated artworks are Aida Makoto’s large-scale oil painting Space Shit (1998), featuring a large, floating piece of stool against a dotted, black background that resembles outer space, and his room-sized installation Art and Philosophy #1 ‘Critique of Critique of Judgement’ (2008), comprising 500 drawings made on printed pages of philosopher Immanuel Kant’s The Critique of Judgement (1790). Also included is Konoike Tomoko’s video installation Mimio-Odyssey (2005), which explores myth-making via hand-drawn images of a fictional character traversing through an ancient forest. Works by other Japanese artists include an interactive work from the collective Chim↑Pom, sculptures by Odani Motohiko, a painting by Shioyasu Tomoko, and installations by Takamine Tadasu and Teruya Yuken. 

Beyond artists from Japan, Chow donated Liu Wei’s totem-like installation Untitled (2012), comprising objects found at demolition sites such as steel drums, bowls, and funnels, which examines effects of China’s rapid urbanization. Meanwhile, Lee Bul’s multimedia sculpture Untitled (Infinity Partition) (2008) from her futuristic Infinity series (2008– ), containing mirrors, LED lights, and fabricated panels, challenges viewers’ sense of reality. Additional works to enter M+’s collection include a painting by Thai contemporary artist Montien Boonma, and installations by Liang Yuanwei and Adrian Wong.

Chairman of the M+ International Council for Visual Art, Chow donated five artworks by South and Southeast Asian artists to M+ in 2016. In 2019, he donated two artworks.

Chow’s personal collection focuses on contemporary works by artists in Asia and overseas Asian artists. Grandson of the late Edward T. Chow (1910–1980)—a prominent Chinese antiques collector and dealer—Hallam Chow developed an interest in collecting art at age 10. A law graduate from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, he returned to Hong Kong in 2006. He has been based in Beijing since 2016 as partner of the law firm Mayer Brown LLP.

Yuna Lee is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific

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