While we don’t have the Art Institute in Hong Kong, we do have art exhibits every few months to feast the eyes and stimulate the mind. This month, we have Fine Art Asia. The mandate for the exhibit is quite wide, ranging from ancient bronze, antique furniture and jewelry to contemporary art and installations. They even have a few Rembrandts and Monet!
I thought the exhibit was rather refreshing (and I’ve been to many in the last years). Since it was much smaller in scale than Art HK (and had much less people), I was able to actually take the time and really appreciate the pieces on display, and find the ones that I connected with (Art HK kind of blows your mind with the sheer amount of art on display).
There were not a lot of art installments, but this one spoke to me for obvious reasons. It evokes childish dreams and aspirations. I like to call it “Reach for the Sky,” but I think the title of the work roughly translates to “daydreaming”. I could be wrong, my Chinese is terrible. It just doesn’t make sense for such an inspirational piece to have such a demoralizing title.
At first, I thought this was a display of old jade sculptures. But on second glance (and I’m glad I gave it a second glance), they are jade sculptures of distinctively modern obese women!! Definitely contemporary. Apparently this is part of Xu Hongfei’s “Chubby Women” series and I LOVE it. Usually, when you see a chubby woman on the streets, you quickly look away afraid to be caught staring. But Xu’s chubby women are fun and proud to be seen. They embrace life (modern life at that) with good humor and cheerfulness.
How cool is this chubby woman (in a yoga posed perhaps? The plough?), disguised as a mountain?
Another one of my favourite displays is that of Chen Hong Zhi. He had these 3 sets of amazing painted panels on display. The light shining through the translucent panels (of glass? plastic? I wouldn’t know, I didn’t touch!) really brought life to the painting. My favourite was the panel in the middle called “Nurture or Nature.” I love how the green landscape is done like water colours, and how I can totally see the theme. The women and children dispersed in various stages of play/care around nature really tells the nature vs nurture story. Just like how the expression on the character’s faces in the other two panels gives you SO much to think about!
If my memory serves me right, this clever statue is supposed to have 4 facades. But I could only see 3. Maybe the fourth facade is from above?
I also spent some time staring at this “magic cube” (which I think is also by Chen Hong Zhi – what can I say? I like the way he does people!), identifying the faces (and resting my feet). The faces looked so generic at first, but they’re actually some very important faces!
Other pieces that caught my eye were these circular landscapes, especially the one on the bottom left. The peaceful calmness of the painting attracted me first, but then it took me a while to pinpoint where the reflection ends, and the water meets the land. I figure that the artist is trying to say that nature is completely harmonious and at one. But then again, it can just be because I’m slow.
For those interested next year, remember to check the website about a month ahead and pre-register to attend for FREE!