Hong Kong Eye presented by Prudential opens today at the Saatchi Gallery, featuring key works by 18 emerging artists from Hong Kong, in the largest touring international showcase to date of Hong Kong’s contemporary art to date. The majority of works in the exhibition have never been shown outside Asia, giving crucial recognition to Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene on the world stage. The exhibition will run 5 December 2012 to 12 January 2013.
Artists exhibiting are: Amy CHEUNG, CHOW Chun Fai, Silas FONG, HO Sin Tung, KONG Chun Hei, KUM Chi Keung, LAM Tung Pang, LEUNG Kui Ting, Otto LI, LUI Chun Kwong, Florian MA, Joao Vasco PAIVA, Hector RODRIGUEZ, Angela SU, Annie WAN, Adrian WONG, Justin WONG Chiu Tat and Fiona WONG Lai Ching.
The exhibition offers insight into the contemporary art scene in Hong Kong through a diverse range of artworks. A number of works presented engage with and reinterpret traditional media and techniques, such as Fiona Wong’s hand made terracotta clothing and Leung Kui Ting’s large-scale hanging ink scrolls.
Visitors can experience a sense of city life in Hong Kong through Silas Fong’s immersive video installations featuring Hong Kong’s iconic outdoor escalators, and Joao Vasco Paiva’s installation which brings five Mass Transit Railway turnstiles to London. When placed alongside Chow Chun Fai’s paintings of famous Chinese movie scenes, they ask questions about cultural identity and film histories iconic to the city. Other spectacular works display the imagination of Hong Kong artists, such as Amy Cheung’s full-size wooden toy tank, which visitors can climb into and operate, and Adrian Wong’s large-scale animatronic soft sculptures.
In recent years, the global art world has increasingly recognised Hong Kong as an exceptional platform for art in Asia. It is an internationally central location and has no taxes on the import, export or sale of art. Beyond the commercial scene of galleries and auction houses, the overall creative ecology in Hong Kong is developing rapidly with major cultural infrastructure underway including the revitalisation of the Central Police Station and development of the West Kowloon Cultural District. Hong Kong is becoming a new pillar in the global art scene, making it an incredibly exciting time for the vast array of creatives in the city, including artists, designers, musicians, traditional performers and craftsmen.
The exhibition is curated by Chang Tsong-Zung, Guest Professor of China Academy of Art and Director of Hanart TZ Gallery, Serenella Ciclitira, CEO of Parallel Contemporary Art and Honorary Fellow at the Royal College of Art, and Nigel Hurst, Director and CEO of the Saatchi Gallery.
“The vitality that has made Hong Kong a centre of global commerce is reflected in its arts and culture. The city’s vibrant arts scene is one of its many attractions and both reflects and enriches the place and its people. The works exhibited here provide a taste of this thriving culture.”
--Tidjane Thiam, Group Chief Executive, Prudential plc
“This survey of work highlights an exciting new generation of artists who have recently emerged in Hong Kong, producing art that provides an arresting insight into the future of contemporary art in the region. This will be the very first time this group of Hong Kong artists have shown their work in the UK, and Hong Kong Eye
is set to play a key role in shaping our understanding of their work and provide an important gateway to the culture of their homeland.”
-- Nigel Hurst, Chief Executive, Saatchi Gallery
"This is the first major collective show of Hong Kong art in the UK, and for an audience familiar with the iconic look of Chinese art, this should give a new dimension to the meaning of Chinese modernity. They range from highly personal responses to urban life, to broad narratives of culture. We find in Hong Kong sediments of Chinese history that have not been washed away by politics, now stirring artistic imagination of the new generation."
--Johnson Chang, Guest Professor, China Academy of Art and Director, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong
“As an international business with a long heritage in Asia, we feel it is important to support the development of local talent by providing global exposure for them. With Hong Kong Eye
’s accompanying arts education programme, we hope to inspire the future generations of Hong Kong to participate in this exciting art scene.”
--Barry Stowe, Chief Executive, Prudential Corporation Asia
In conjunction with the exhibition, a major survey publication, Hong Kong Eye: Hong Kong Contemporary Art
edited by Serenella Ciclitira and Johnson Chang was launched in Hong Kong on 20 November. The book features more than 100 artworks by 76 artists, including 10 pioneers from the 19th and 20th centuries who have had a significant influence in shaping art in Hong Kong. The book provides a new resource and education tool for teachers, pupils and residents in Hong Kong, as well as worldwide. It will be distributed by Rizzoli in the US and globally by Thames & Hudson, and 350 books will also be donated to educational institutions and public libraries in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Eye
is the third in the ‘Eye’ Series, following Korean Eye and Indonesian Eye
. The ‘Eye’ Series has presented 11 major exhibitions worldwide over the past four years and attracted over a million visitors. The ‘Eye Initiative’ was founded by David and Serenella Ciclitira of Parallel Contemporary Art. Prudential is the principal sponsor of Hong Kong Eye
in partnership with Parallel Contemporary Art, the organiser of the ‘Eye’ programme and the Saatchi Gallery. Swire Properties is a venue partner for the exhibition in Hong Kong and Cathay Pacific is the airline sponsor.