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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Kit’

Is Hong Kong a cultural desert? How can you become a better collector? Answers revealed at Asia Art Forum

Posted by artradar on June 30, 2010


ART PROFESSIONALS HONG KONG ART INDONESIAN ART ART COLLECTING

Guest writer Bonnie E. Engel, a Hong Kong freelance journalist, presents Art Radar Asia readers with her perspective on the talks of two speakers at the this year’s Asia Art Forum, held in Hong Kong in May. Hong Kong art critic and curator Valerie Doran discusses the question, “Is Hong Kong a cultural desert?” and Indonesian private art collector Dr. Oei Hong Djien divulges his collecting secrets.

Engel attended the third edition of Asia Art Forum’s three day gathering of talks and artist studio visits, designed for emerging and established collectors and presented by influential curators, collectors and experts. This year’s forum focussed on Chinese art. Read more about why organiser Pippa Dennis set up the Forum here.

Valerie Doran: Hong Kong curator and art critic

Curator and art critic Valerie Doran spoke on Sunday morning at Hong Kong’s Ben Brown Fine Arts. She covered the history of fine art in Hong Kong, trying to answer the question, “Is Hong Kong a Cultural Desert?”

 

Art curator and critic Valerie Doran.

Art curator and critic Valerie Doran.

 

This perception is fed by the lack of facilities in the city in which to show Hong Kong contemporary art and relatively few full-time artists who are more or less invisible unless collectors hunt them out. These artists are nourished on the peripheries of the territory, out in the new territories like Kowloon and the industrial sections of Hong Kong Island, rather than in Central or Causeway Bay.

The audience was grateful to see works by the older generation of artists in Hong Kong, who seemed driven to create art without a market or venue, artists such as Luis Chan and Lui Shou-kwan, who were born at the beginning of the 20th century, and Wucius Wong, Gaylord Chang, Ha Bik Chuen and Chu Hing Wah, all born before World War II. Most of their works are small, possibly reflecting the lack of space in Hong Kong.

Doran explained that Hong Kong’s art industry developed outside the concept of the art market. A lot of the art made in Hong Kong is installation (temporary) or conceptual, mainly due to a lack of space and resources, and the need for a supportive community rather than one so focused on making money.

Post-war artists also failed to rise to any great heights, but after the 1989 incident artists rose to the occasion and responded by creating conceptual and performance art pieces, perhaps a pivotal moment in the development of Hong Kong art.

As Doran relayed, part of the problem is the lack of governmental policy regarding artists, or rather that the official policy seems to be to ignore the arts. Recently, with the newly created West Kowloon Cultural District, built on reclaimed land, artists and curators are beginning to worry that the government will begin to establish arts policy, much to the detriment of arts development in the territory. To date, the government has sponsored performing art shows and events more substantially than the visual arts, perhaps a legacy of the culture-starved colonials from the UK before 1997.

She highlighted one successful governmental project, the art space Para/Site, which receives some funding from the rather new Arts Development Council, an organisation not noted for promoting local arts or artists without a lot of red tape and many meetings. The city’s major museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, is closed to outside curators (unless you are Louis Vuitton or other big money sponsors), so it was unique that Doran was allowed to create the Antonio Mak show there. Although many people agree that Hong Kong needs a contemporary art museum, Doran sees more hope in the integration and cooperation of the Pearl River Delta cities, an action that could sweep Hong Kong up into the larger regional arts scene.

Doran concluded by noting that Hong Kong’s artists are beginning to participate in the Venice Biennale and other internationals shows, and collectors are gathering in the territory twice a year for major auctions of Chinese and Southeast Asian art. Artists such as Kacey Wong, Lee Kit, Stanley Wong (anothermountainman), Tozer Pak, Sarah Tse, Luke Ching Chin-waiAnthony Leung Po Shan, Chow Chun Fai, Lam Tung Pang and Warren Leung are starting to shine at local and international galleries.

Valerie Doran is a critic and curator who, after spending seven years in Taiwan, is now based in Hong Kong. She specialises in contemporary Asian art with a special interest in cross-cultural currents and comparative art theory. She is a contributing editor of Orientations Magazine. Her Hong Kong curatorial projects include Simon Birch’s multi-media extravaganza, “Hope and Glory” and the controversial exhibition “Looking for Antonio Mak” which showed at the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2008 and 2009.

Art Radar Asia has published a number of articles on Valerie Doran, including this exclusive interview.

Dr. Oei Hong Djien: Indonesian art specialist and collector

 

Indonesian art specialist and collector Dr. Oei Hong Djien.

Indonesian art specialist and collector Dr. Oei Hong Djien.

 

Dr. Oei Hong Djien, the final speaker on Sunday, was born and is based in Indonesia. He has been collecting art for nearly thirty years, focusing on modern and contemporary Indonesian art. The collection comprises about 1500 works, a fraction of which is on public display in his private museum, known as the OHD museum, where he is the curator. A book about his collection by Dr. Helena Spanjaard was published in 2004: Exploring Modern Indonesian Art: The collection of Dr Oei Hong Djien.

More open than most collectors, perhaps because he already has a large collection and has built a building to house it, Dr. Oei’s presentation was refreshing and candid. His “essence of collecting” vocabulary should become the bible of collectors: money, knowledge, passion, patience, courage, relation, quality, timing, luck and experience. He expanded upon these words, giving sage advice, and combined this with a showing of some of the best examples of modern Indonesian art.

His insistence on courage was very telling, as he advised new collectors with limited funds to go after young artists, buy unpopular works that go against the mainstream, look up forgotten old masters and get masterpieces that include unsuitable subject matter. This advice is predicated on hard work, self-education and endless observing, reobserving and observing again, to learn what quality art is and how to buy it. Most importantly, he said not to be afraid to make mistakes because that is how a serious collector becomes better.

Bonnie E. Engel has been a freelance journalist in Hong Kong for about 25 years. She is an Asian art specialist, covering all forms of visual arts. She travels around the region to visit artists, galleries, auctions and art fairs, and meets international artists when they come to Hong Kong. She has written for Hong Kong Prestige, Hong Kong Tatler, Gafenku, Muse Magazine, Asian Art Newspaper and other publications.

Editorial disclaimer – The opinions and views expressed by guest writers  do not necessarily reflect those of Art Radar Asia, staff, sponsors and partners.

Related Topics: art collectors, events – conferences, art curators, Hong Kong artists, Indonesian artists, venues – Hong Kong

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Posted in Art districts, Art spaces, Artist Nationality, Bonnie E. Engel, Business of art, Collectors, Conference, Curators, Dr. Oei Hong Djien, Events, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Indonesian, Professionals, Promoting art, Valerie Doran, Venues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Which Chinese artists are among the big names at Louis Vuitton Passion show in Hong Kong? NY Times review

Posted by artradar on June 4, 2009


HONG KONG ART SHOW CHINESE ARTISTS

“Admirably …the conservative, government-run museum goes beyond its usual comfort zone” says The New York Times in its review of the Hong Kong Museum of Art’s latest show: ‘Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation’ which runs until 9 August 2009.

Hong Kong Museum of Art wrapped for Louis Vuitton Passion show

Hong Kong Museum of Art wrapped for Louis Vuitton Passion show

In a generally positive review, the few criticisms are not sharp:

To hard-core followers of contemporary art, the exhibition can seem like a “greatest hits” compilation. But it is a rare opportunity to see in Asia — outside of Japan — some of the biggest names in global culture today. And offerings like the huge triptypch “Class war, militant, gateway” by the British duo Gilbert and George and the “Xanadu” installation by Robert Boyd, with an Olivia Newton-John soundtrack, can be fun.

The big name artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gilbert and George, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Andreas Gursky, Pierre Huyghe, Jeff Koons, Bertrand Lavier, Christian Marclay and Richard Prince.

Also on show are Chinese artists: Paul Chan (a New Yorker) and two young new media artists Cao Fei and Yang Fudong. Though the latter two artists are making a name for themselves internationally — Melissa Chiu of the Asia Society identifies them as two of the most important emerging Chinese artists of the next generation — The New York Times review of their works was little more than a listing:

Ms. Pagé (the artistic director of the Louis Vuitton foundation) gives prominent spaces to three works by Chinese artists: “RMB City: A Second Life City Planning by China Tracy,” a 3-D animation by Cao Fei; “Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest,” an experimental black-and-white film by Yang Fudong; and the installation “no man is an island,” a contemplation of the Sept. 11 attacks by Paul Chan, a Hong Kong-born New Yorker.

Yang Fudong, Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest, DVD

Provoking more questions than answers, the piece was only a little more forthcoming about the lesser known but emerging Hong Kong artists (Nadim Abbas, Lee Kit, Leung Chi Wo, Pak Sheung Chuen, Tsang Kin Wah, Adrian Wong and Doris Wong) who were invited to participate in the show.

Hong Kong artists were recently showcased for the first time at the Sotheby’s Spring Auction in Hong Kong and Pak Sheung Chuen will be participating in the 53rd Venice Biennale. With growing interest in Hong Kong artists, we wondered what The New York Times had to say about them.

Commissioned works by seven Hong Kong artists are featured in an upstairs gallery. The toys of Naddim Abbas, word-based projection by Tsang Kin-wah and the squawking, duck-themed installation by Adrian Wong, stand out.

Not enough to sate us. Over to you…

How do you think their works stand up against the big international name artists? Which artists do you think stand out? If you are able to see the show why not leave a comment below.

More reviews: Redbox Review   – as always a meaty read over at Red Box

Images: Arrested Motion  – not titled but plenty of them

Profiles of Hong Kong artists – Time Out in Hong Kong has published interesting chatty profiles of each of the Hong Kong artists in the show

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