As we edge closer to the autumnal season, it’s prime time in Hong Kong to see the fruits of labour from local artists. In a city buzzing with creativity, you’ll really get to see homegrown talents shine this month: visit the must-see art graduate group shows, spend an afternoon viewing master works by art world veterans, support independent arts spaces, and surround yourself with fine art at the annual Fine Art Asia fair.
7 September to 7 September
If you love being inspired by immersive street art, you’ll hit the jackpot here. While known as the lottery, Mark Six (六合彩 or luk hap choi) can also translate literally into “six, together, colour” -- an apt name for this group show presenting six Hong Kong artists’ interpretations of their favourite elements of the city. A collaborative effort with HKWalls, familiar names make an appearance here at soon to open retail development Yat Fu Lane in Shek Tong Tsui, including Bao Ho, Xeme, KristopherH, Onion Peterman, Wong Ting-fung and Sinic Choy. Be sure to check it out during the opening event on 7 September from 6-10pm, with drinks sponsored by Young Master Ales and BottlesXO.
First Smash 4
26 August to 23 September
Five young artists are exhibiting for the first time ever at Art Experience Gallery’s group show, which surveys the fresh blood in Hong Kong’s art scene. It’s a deeply heartfelt collection of works investigating identity, language, family and the city’s political future. It’s also a display of lesser seen mediums, including photosensitive plant-based print-work, hand-carved movable type woodblock, archival and black-and-white-photography and more.
The ABCs of Law
19 August to 17 September
This solo exhibition by Law Man-lok marks the end of Things That Can Happen, the two-year experimental space in Sham Shui Po founded by artist Lee Kit and Chantal Wong, the head of strategic development at Asia Art Archive. A solo show under loose interpretations, Law Man-lok attempts to create a retrospective of his art career by categorising significant events by the alphabet and creating works featuring installation work and dreamy paintings of childhood icons and cartoons. It’s still an ongoing project, so you won’t find every letter of the alphabet covered -- but stay tuned for more from Law.
Wang Gongxin: Rotation
6 September to 11 November
Widely viewed as one of the fathers of the Chinese video art movement, socialist-realist painter turned video art pioneer Wang Gongxin exhibits his work in Hong Kong for the first time at the White Cube. Expect works old and new, presenting his experimentation throughout the years from his mid-90s furniture pieces inlaid with video sequences and projections to three new works for 2017. These were early ideas in the 90s that Wang was finally able to realise with the right technology, highlighting an evolved utilisation of lightbulbs playing off against humble, grassroots materials to address the pressures faced by artists and the wider community.
Gaylord Chan: Painting at 90
21 July to 9 September
Speaking of art pioneers, if you enjoy seeing masterworks, you’ll want to check out the pre-eminent works of Gaylord Chan at this retrospective. Extended for another week, the show features a range of Chan’s works from the oil paintings of the late 1980s to his latest ‘computer paintings’ and ‘laser-cut-wood-paintings’ created at age 90.
2 September to 9 September
Hong Kong artist Andrew Luk wraps up his artist residency at De Sarthe Hong Kong -- the gallery’s inaugural residence programme -- with this short, week-long exhibition. While the rest of us typically spend our days typing away at a computer, Luk’s days were spent in what sounds like the ultimate work day or a lost boy’s dream come true -- charring canvases with napalm, burning down air-conditioning units, driving remote control cars in dark cramped spaces, pouring resin in a bubble-wrap shaped mould, and creating a pitch-black rock climbing wall. The exhibition will show what resulted from his experimentation, examining various themes including violence, preservation, and civilisation versus nature.
24 August to 16 September
Once a year, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery puts on one of the most stimulating presentations of works by recent Hong Kong art graduates to foster young talent. This sixth edition features 10 artists creating works spanning painting to video, mixed media to sculpture, covering expansive ground in terms of subject matter. For instance, Josiah Cheng Tin-lok creates paintings of famous films to question their inherent philosophy of free will; Wayne Chan Chor-yu observes identities by creating boxes as vessels of personality and history; and Jenny Kan Ching-wing deeply explores the tactile and visual qualities of her chosen medium of ink.
Crystal Liu: In Dreams
13 September to 29 October
Canadian-born emerging artist Crystal Liu has already exhibited extensively across the US and Canada -- notably collected by the San Francisco MoMA and the Progressive Art Foundation, Ohio -- and is making her Hong Kong debut at Galerie du Monde this month. She has a penchant for depicting the moon, stars, mountains and rocks in dreamlike, constructed landscapes, representing metaphors for the inner emotional states of humans. The solo show features 17 new abstract landscape pieces in gouache and watercolour, created specifically for this gallery exhibition.
11 August to 15 September
This group show at Pearl Lam Galleries features works by Hong Kong millennial artists Max Chan Wang, Howard Cheng Chi-lai, Cheung Sze-lit, Phoebe Hui, Jess Lau Ching-wa, and Tung Wing-hong. The show title “Has-Been-There” is derived from the concept that a camera lens instantaneously captures a moment of existence -- “That-has-been” -- an idea coined by French philosopher Roland Barthes. Similarly, through photography, animations and multimedia installations, this group show places the artist as the lens that captures the emotions, thoughts anchored to a specific time and place.
Fine Art Asia 2017
30 September to 3 October
Round off the month with a fix of museum-quality arts and antiques at this yearly fair which ties into the peak of October art auctions. There's nowhere better to see it all than the leading fair in Asia for exquisite antiques, Impressionist, modern and contemporary artworks, photography, fine jewellery and timepieces, and other objets d’art -- all spanning 5,000 years of culture.