Ocula Magazine   |   News   |   Galleries

'In 2001, there was very little art landscape in Hong Kong and a lot of room to do something,' said director Katie de Tilly.

10 Chancery Lane Gallery Marks 20 Years in Hong Kong With 44-Artist Show

Hong Kong art gallery 10 Chancery Lane is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a group show entitled Love in the Dream. Forty-four artists are taking part, including Stars Art Group members Huang Rui, Ma Desheng, and Wang Keping.

Thinking back to 2001, gallery founder Katie de Tilly said the feeling she felt most strongly was one of opportunity.

'It was very easy to catch collectors' attention in that environment,' she told Ocula Magazine.

Wang Keping, Couple 1 (wc_020) - WK21 (2006). Albizia Wood. 36 x 32 x 20cm.__

Wang Keping, Couple 1 (wc_020) - WK21 (2006). Albizia Wood. 36 x 32 x 20cm.__Courtesy the artist and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery.

After showing artworks at various venues around Hong Kong, she witnessed an excitement for art that gave her confidence to open the gallery.

The first exhibition featured sculptures by Wang Keping. De Tilly said he and the other Stars Art Group members were instrumental to the growth of the gallery.

In 1979, the Stars artists hung works on the railings of the China Art Museum in Beijing. This unsanctioned exhibition featured works rendered in Western styles that had been banned in China.

Frog King, Frog Fortune 5 (2021). Mixed media on canvas. 50 x 50 cm.

Frog King, Frog Fortune 5 (2021). Mixed media on canvas. 50 x 50 cm. Courtesy the artist and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery.

'It is such an important moment in China's contemporary art history and we have held talks about it the world over. As well, we helped sponsor The Stars 19791980 book.'

Since then, of course, the art market in Greater China, including Hong Kong, has boomed.

'Things started to move fast-forward as auction prices for Chinese contemporary art started to soar and we began to get more international attention,' she said.

Shi Guorui, To see Hong Kong Island from Kowloon 15-16 July 2016 (SGRHK18) (2016). Unique Camera Obscura, Silver Gelatin Print. 127 x 229 cm.

Shi Guorui, To see Hong Kong Island from Kowloon 15-16 July 2016 (SGRHK18) (2016). Unique Camera Obscura, Silver Gelatin Print. 127 x 229 cm. Courtesy the artist and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery.

De Tilly said the gallery hasn't made any major changes to how they deal art in Hong Kong over the past two decades, despite major changes to the city's political situation. Passed in 2020, China's National Security Law criminalises Hong Kongers' attempts to secede from the People's Republic of China or otherwise subvert its rule.

'I think artists are currently being careful in Hong Kong due to the uncertainty of what the National Security Law means,' de Tilly said. 'As a result, there might be interesting and more subtle works that come out.'

'We don't ever dictate to our artists what to make or how to make it,' she continued. Liberty in creation is key and art will continue regardless. It is an important part of our society and one that provokes thought and dialogue. As well, it touches the heart.' —[O]

Ocula Logo
Sign up to be notified when new articles like this one are published in Ocula Magazine.
Sign Up