Hong Kong Eye Presented By Prudential Featuring 24 Hong Kong Artists Exploring Narratives in Hong Kong Contemporary Art

[Hong Kong, 16 April 2013] Hong Kong Eye presented by Prudential, will open on 1 May 2013 at ArtisTree, TaiKoo Place, Hong Kong. The exhibition seeks to recast and illuminate significant narratives in Hong Kong contemporary art by presenting key works by 24 emerging and more established artists from Hong Kong. The exhibition will be curated by Hong Kong curator Chang Tsong-Zung (Johnson Chang), co-founder of Hong Kong Eye Serenella Ciclitira, and Nigel Hurst, Chief Executive of the Saatchi Gallery, London. A key objective of Hong Kong Eye is to foster greater insight and appreciation of Hong Kong art, in Hong Kong and worldwide.

Hong Kong Eye presented by Prudential is a touring exhibition and was launched at the Saatchi Gallery in London in December 2012, receiving close to 200,000 visitors over a five-week period. Significantly expanded for its return to Hong Kong, the exhibition will feature additional artists: KWAN Sheung-Chi, MAP Office, Kingsley NG, Wilson SHIEH, WONG Chung-Yu and Doris WONG. Works on display will range from ink paintings to interactive multimedia installations and large scale sculptures, including pieces that have never before been exhibited in Hong Kong.

This exhibition explores Hong Kong contemporary art and its marked divergence from art of the same period in mainland China. It prompts an exploration on key narratives including: how is new art linked to the beginnings of China’s post-dynastic history; how did colonial modernity shape Hong Kong’s local narrative; and how has Hong Kong’s urban and island environment played a role? It celebrates the richness of the local scene and seeks to stimulate discussion on the Hong Kong art scene.

Works exhibited for the first time in Hong Kong include Kingsley Ng’s Musical Loom (2005), a transformation of a 250-year-old antique loom into an interactive soundscape where visitors can control four-tone harmony and volumes via ultrasonic sensors, and Amy Cheung’s life-size warped Hong Kong taxis. The five tallest buildings in Hong Kong will be depicted through Wilson Shieh’s humorously and precisely painted ink and gouache painting on silk. Kwan Sheung-Chi and Doris Wong reveal hidden mechanisms of control and politics embedded in Hong Kong’s daily life, while MAP Office’s animated video Island is Land (2009) takes Gilles Deleuze’s text ‘Desert Islands’ as a departure point – playing with the classification of islands, repetition and change in perspective.
The exhibiting artists are: Amy CHEUNG, CHOW Chun Fai, Silas FONG, HO Sin Tung, KONG Chun Hei, KUM Chi Keung, KWAN Sheung-Chi, LAM Tung Pang, LEUNG Kui Ting, Otto LI, LUI Chun Kwong, Florian MA, MAP Office, Kingsley NG, Joao Vasco PAIVA, Hector RODRIGUEZ, Wilson SHIEH, Angela SU, Annie WAN, Adrian WONG, WONG Chung-Yu, Doris WONG, Fiona WONG and Justin WONG.

“In this exhibition, the curators propose to showcase a selection of emerging and more established Hong Kong contemporary artists. Together with this, we also intend to give a glimpse of the earlier modern art that puts the contemporary, as well as Mainland Chinese art, into context, with a book published by Skira under the same title “Hong Kong Eye”. The Saatchi Gallery exhibition in December 2012 was the first time that such a broad range of Hong Kong art was exhibited in the West, and the curators hope the homecoming show at ArtisTree will be equally exciting for art lovers at home."
- Chang Tsong-Zung, curator, Hong Kong Eye

Asia Art Archive will also present a series of programmes for its youth group, teachers and the public as part of the exhibition’s education programme. These programmes will start from Saturday 27 April and will feature guest speakers including Kurt Chan, Professor, Department of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; John Batten, writer and critic; and Siu King Chung, Assistant Professor School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Vivian Ting, Assistant Professor, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University and Chow Chun-fai, artist. The talks will cover topics such as “Representing Hong Kong through exhibition”, “Parallel Legacies and Histories”, “Hong Kong Urban Landscape via Art” and “From Hong Kong Art Club to M+: The Art institutions in Hong Kong”.

“Responding to the regional lack of resource material for learning about contemporary art, AAA Teaching Labs programme aims to equip teachers with the tools to enhance their knowledge of the field and share ways the subject can be introduced in the classroom. By using the Hong Kong Eye exhibition as a case study, this year we are delighted to be offering a programme focusing on AAA’s ongoing investigation into the history of presentation of Hong Kong art within an international contemporary art context.”
- Claire Hsu, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Asia Art Archive

The accompanying major 400-page survey publication, Hong Kong Eye: Contemporary Hong Kong Art, edited by Chang Tsong-Zung and Serenella Ciclitira, is available in bookshops worldwide. The book features over 100 artworks by 76 artists, including 10 pioneers from the 19th and 20th centuries who have significantly influenced art in Hong Kong. It articulates important narratives and reveals various lines of influence including how traditional ‘literati artists’ have influenced New Ink art, and suggests how the underlying currents of social change and critical movement have informed conceptual practices today. It further uncovers how certain trends in China occurred beforehand in Hong Kong, compelling a re-reading of Chinese art historical narratives. The book provides a new resource and education tool for teachers, pupils and residents in Hong Kong, as well as worldwide. It is distributed by Rizzoli in the US and Europe, and in Asia by Thames & Hudson. 350 books have been 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 and Indonesian 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.

“Prudential is proud to be the principal sponsor of Hong Kong Eye, and our involvement in the programme extends our commitment to support the communities we operate in. We believe the exhibition will provide an excellent platform to showcase the broad range of excellent work from Hong Kong that has long existed yet remained relatively unknown internationally. With Hong Kong Eye and its related arts education programme, we also hope to foster a greater appreciation of art among the younger generation and inspire them to participate in the burgeoning art scene.”
- Barry Stowe, Chief Executive, Prudential Corporation Asia

Hong Kong Eye presented by Prudential

  • Press Preview: Tuesday 30 April, 3pm at ArtisTree
  • 1 to 31 May at ArtisTree, 1/F, Cornwall House, TaiKoo Place, Island East, Hong Kong
  • 6 to 26 May, Clipper Lounge, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong
  • Admission to the exhibition is free
  • Hong Kong Eye: Contemporary Hong Kong Art, published by Skira, distributed by Rizzoli in the US and the UK, Europe and Asia by Thames & Hudson, £46.00/USD75.00/HKD595.00. Available at all good book stores in Hong Kong including Dymocks, Eslite, Kapok, Kelly & Walsh and Page One.

CURATORS

Chang Tsong-Zung, Curator, Guest Professor of China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and curatorial director of Hanart TZ Gallery in Hong Kong. Chang has been active in curating exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art since the 1980s, both in China and abroad. Recent curatorial work includes the 2008 Guangzhou Triennial "Farewell To Post-Colonialism", the project "West Heavens: India-China Summit of Social Thought" for 2010 Shanghai Biennale, and Co-Curator of 2012 Shanghai Biennale "Reactivation".

Serenella Ciclitira has an Honours Degree in Art History from Trinity College, Dublin and has worked extensively with artists and galleries throughout the world. With her husband David Ciclitira, she is the co-founder of Hong Kong Eye and a member of its curatorial board. She has been an Honorary Fellow at the Royal College of Art in London, and since 1990 has awarded the Parallel Prize for Painting and the Serenella Ciclitira Scholarship for Sculpture. One winner was later nominated for the Turner Prize and three of her choices went on to win the prestigious Jerwood Sculpture Prize.

Nigel Hurst is Director and Chief Executive of the Saatchi Gallery in London. He graduated from Goldsmiths College, London University in 1986 and since then has curated numerous international exhibitions. He joined the Saatchi Gallery as a curator in 1997, working on Sensation at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the National galerie at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. More recent exhibitions have focused on Asian contemporary art, including The Revolution Continues: New Art from China (2008), Unveiled: New Art from Middle East (2009), The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today (2010), The Silk Road in collaboration with the City of Lille, France (2011) and Korean Eye (2012). He has also been a member of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Public Art Advisory Board since 2009.

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