Earlier in July, the Hong Kong Palace Museum became the city’s new destination for Chinese art and culture.
Moving further into summer, Hong Kong continues to offer visitors a wealth of exhibits to choose from. Prominent artists from around the world, such as Nicolas Party, Adrian Ghenie, Zhang Xiaogang and Louise Bonnet – all light up the local art scene. They bring a wide range of works and styles from the contemporary age to the doorstep of the public.
So next time you’re wondering what to do in your spare time, here are 10 must-see exhibitions in the coming months.
At Louise Bonnet’s Green tights (2022) | Oil on linen, 213.4 x 365.8 cm
In Assault – Louise Bonnet’s first solo exhibition in Asia – the emerging Swiss-born artist studies bodily fluids as objects of societal disgust. Through two groups of three large canvases, she explores our sense of mortification towards our own bodies and how they seem to betray modern people by running away, sagging or failing in various ways.
“I’m interested in shame and the body in my paintings, and bodily functions bring added shame and embarrassment,” Bonnet said. Between beauty and ugliness, his grotesque and twisted figures challenge modern aesthetic and cultural conventions, provoking questions about sexuality and body shaming.
Until: August 6, 2022 | Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Address: 7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
At Christopher Ku’s Reverberation-21 (2011) | Mixed media on canvas, 99.5 x 150 cm
Illuminati Fine Arts
Illuminati Fine Art presents its exhibition duology, Reverberation Painting by a British artist based in Hong Kong, Christopher Ku. Featuring over 35 seminal works by the artist created from 2002 to the present day – representing Ku’s ongoing experimentations in materials and painting technique while triggering discourses on the dynamics between art production, symbolism and storytelling .
Although the first chapter is now complete, visitors can still check out the second – titled Semantic construction – which runs from July 23 to August 12. The works exemplify the artist’s stylistic breakthrough – capturing the multitude of the artist’s psyche and creations over his decades of practice. With abstract and uncontrolled compositions, the pursuit of pure abstraction allowed the artist to transcend the material world and extend painting techniques to the metaphysical world.
Until: August 12, 2022 | Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday and off days
Address: 31-33 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Pre-registration is required – [email protected] / +852 2889 6992
Tseng Chien-ying strange fruit (2022) | Colors on paper, ink, mineral pigments, gold leaf, silver leaf, sulphide silver leaves, 180 x 90 x 3.5 cm
A unique exhibition on the LGBTQ theme, Retrograde features works by 11 contemporary artists from eight nationalities and seven countries, more than half of whom got their start in Asia. Different from most LGBTQ+ shows that focus on pride and visibility, Retrograde raises questions about the transition from homosexuality to mainstream culture, allowing viewers to reimagine queer histories and futures.
Inspired by astrology, the title refers to the retrograde movement of the planets, where they completely deviate from the main highway. These planets are explorers who travel the celestial lanes in search of something not available on the main highway – like the participating artists, who envision the weirdness beyond the grand narrative.
Until: August 13, 2022 | Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm
Address: Gallery of the World, 108 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong
June Ho’s Bridge | Linocut, 30 x 21 cm
Karin Weber Gallery
In Goodbye helloa solo presentation of new prints by Hong Kong artist June Ho, the artist tells the story of her city through scenes of daily life and cultural icons – beyond the skyscrapers of Victoria Harbor and the scenes animated from Mongkok.
A graduate of the Fine Arts Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ho composes collages and prints that display intricate brushstrokes, detailed settings, and vivid color palettes. Drawing on her personal experiences, her works often depict the complex feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and attachment associated with her origin.
Until: August 13, 2022 | Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm
Address: Karin Weber Gallery, 20 Aberdeen Street, Central
at Li Ning Tucker’s Lab 2 (2022) | Oil linocut and paper collage on canvas, 40 x 60 cm
Exit from the gallery
Meaning go home in the Hakka dialect, the Welcome Jon Looka The theme of the exhibition revolves around a fictional village of the same name in a future world created by Li Ning. Through a range of mediums – such as mixed media prints, pencil on paper/canvas, ceramics and video – the Chinese artist draws audiences into this dystopian sci-fi landscape.
Li’s works have always been narrative in nature, their images filled with all sorts of metaphorical images and symbols. Stylistically, they incorporate elements from popular culture such as film, manga, and animation, as well as myths and legends from around the world.
Until: August 20, 2022 | Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 3/F, 25 Hing Wo Street, Blue Box Factory Building, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Pre-registration is required – [email protected] / +852 2541 1299
by Derek Aylward animal house (2022) | Acrylic on canvas, 152.4 by 182.9 cm
Above the influence
American figurative painter, Derek Aylward is known for his visual language that can be described as contemporary folklore. It combines humanoid figures that are usually depicted with animal or otherworldly qualities – dotted with superheroes and mid-21st century cartoons, and with a cubist-expressionist edge.
The title of the exhibition, animal house, can’t help but bring to mind the 1978 American comedy of the same name. The film tells the story of troublemaking fraternity members who defy authority with edgy, vapid humor. Like the film, its subjects are an unruly cast of characters, rendered in a defiantly affiliated style but with a folk art flair that is simple and nostalgic.
From vignettes to crowd scenes, he instills in Animal House paintings a dichotomy that harnesses both the energy of frantic characters and lively palettes, while distilling the works of a way that offers contemplation.
Until: August 27, 2022 | Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Address: G/F and 1/F, 159 Hollywood Road, Central
Irving Penn’s Black and white fashion with handbag (Jean Patchett) | gelatin silver print mounted on paper, image, 42.5 × 39.4 cm
Chewing Gum Vthe 5th edition of the Pace Gallery exhibition series, presents a selection of artists from different regional and cultural backgrounds, cultivating a dialogue between paintings, sculptures and photographs created between the mid-20th century and today.
Key works by big names in the Western and Asian contemporary art scene will be featured, including Zhang Xiaogang, Mao Yan, Irving Penn and Kiki Smith. Irving Penn, for example, was a famous American photographer. Worked as one of Vogue magazine’s top photographers for over sixty years, he was known for his signature style of elegant aesthetic simplicity.
Until: September 1, 2022 | Tue-Sat, 11am-6pm
Address: 12/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Nicholas’ party red forest (2022) | Soft pastel on linen, 135 x 145 x 3.2 cm
Hauser & Wirth
Swiss artist Nicolas Party is a figurative painter – well known for depicting landscapes, portraits and still lifes using a range of mediums. In his first personal exhibition in Hong Kong, Red Forest considers five elements of the material world as a starting point: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Composed of 13 new pastel landscapes and portraits created for this exhibition, they shed light on nature’s complex links with humanity.
Growing up in Switzerland, Party became interested in the natural world. In the midst of the current climate crises, Party presents the forest fires and purple hour (mauve twilight, moment of transition between day and evening) through different pastel shades. In doing so, he invites viewers to reflect on nature and their relationship to the environment.
Until: September 24, 2022 | Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Address: 16-15/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central
by Francis Bacon Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards (1984) | Oil on canvas, 101.6 x 63.5 cm
Through The loss of human face? exhibition, Galerie Villepin summarizes the way the human face is represented – whether in figurative or abstract representations. Twenty works by five Western and Eastern artists – including Francis Bacon, Adrian Ghenie, Zeng Fanzhi, George Condo and Yukimasa Ida – are presented in a transformed gallery space.
For example, a 20th-century British figurative painter, Francis Bacon’s works distort the faces of his subjects while unveiling their inner psychology. Looking to the east, Zeng Mask depicts the social tensions and anxieties the artist observed in modern China.
Collectively, these artists contribute to the global understanding of what humanity means. Through their diversity and varied backgrounds, they reveal their intense passion in their own unique visions.
Until: October 2022 | Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 11am-6pm
Address: 53-55 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Pre-registration is mandatory: https://www.villepinart.com/collector/book-a-tour/villepin
At Wong Hau-kwei’s lion’s rock | Ink and color on paper, 102 x 210 cm
Art Space K
Serenity • Hong Kong is a solo exhibition of 23 works by contemporary local artist Wong Hau-kwei. Through the depiction of urban and natural landscapes in Hong Kong, the artist hopes to bring a renewed sense of peace and calm to the anxious city darkened by the pandemic.
Blending traditional ink art expression with contemporary art, Wong developed a distinctive style and became one of the representative figures of the contemporary ink painting scene in Hong Kong. Accentuating the contrast between black and white, emptiness and fullness in the expression of light and color, his works break the border between China and the West, with a sense of urbanity that he experienced in his hometown.
Until: October 23, 2022 | Tue-Sun, 11am-7pm
Address: G105-106, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 109 Repulse Bay Road, Hong Kong