Doretta Lau

  • picks February 25, 2015

    Heman Chong

    Singaporean artist and writer Heman Chong’s show “Never, a Dull Moment” examines communication and the process of putting together an exhibition. Chong, who trained as a graphic designer, often employs text in his practice. This particular body of work features more words than images, across painting, installation, performance, readymade sculpture, digital prints on cloth, and a short story that doubles as the press release.

    A number of the works here are the result of instructions from the artist to the hosting institution. Smoke Gets In (Your Eyes), 2015, for instance, provides an area where

  • View of “Lee Kit: You.,” 2014.
    picks March 29, 2014

    Lee Kit

    Over the last few years, Taipei-based Hong Kong artist Lee Kit has been expanding upon his preoccupations with painting, everyday life, the passage of time, the absurd, and the mundane. For “You.,” 2014, a large-scale installation mounted in a refurbished former slaughterhouse built in 1908, Lee has taken elements from his “You (you).” exhibition at the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale and has interwoven new paintings, videos, and sculptures.

    A replica of a guard booth adorned with a beach umbrella sits at the main entrance of the exhibition space. It is empty; without a person inside, the object does

  • View of “Hanart 100: Idiosyncrasies” at Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2014.
    slant February 28, 2014

    Together Again

    PICTURE HONG KONG’S cultural and political landscape in 1983. PRC Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were still a year away from signing the Sino-British Joint Declaration that would return sovereignty of the region to China in 1997. At the time, no one in the colony thought it necessary to learn Mandarin. The film industry was pre-piracy and flourishing, with Jackie Chan’s Project A a hit at home and abroad. It was in this context, in December of that year, that Hanart TZ Gallery held its first exhibition in a basement in Kadoorie Hill. Hanart director Chang

  • Atul Dodiya, Grace, 2013, watercolor on paper, 22 x 15".
    picks January 01, 2014

    Atul Dodiya

    Indian artist Atul Dodiya showcases his wit and range, as well as his preoccupation with art history, in his first Hong Kong solo exhibition, “Duplicator’s Dilemma.” The show features his signature paintings made upon metal shutter doors (which conceal canvases underneath), as well as new works on paper. Mirror, Stretcher, and Eyes (all works 2013) have Roy Lichtenstein reproductions on their exteriors. Each security shutter—a ubiquitous object in Mumbai’s urban landscape—rolls up via a remote-controlled motor to reveal equally vibrant canvasses beneath that mesh Lichtenstein’s familiar Pop art

  • View of “Do Ho Suh,” 2013.
    picks December 21, 2013

    Do Ho Suh

    “I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods,” wrote Truman Capote in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. London-based South Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s “Specimen Series” exudes that same sentiment—it revisits living spaces via memory—delivering sculpture rather than prose. For his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, Suh continues to explore the personal and the domestic with polyester fabric works modeled on appliances and fixtures from places he once resided. Here, he recalls dwellings in New York, Berlin, and Seoul.

    The six largest sculptures—a radiator, refrigerator,

  • Left: Dealer Jay Jopling, Kate Moss, artist Jake Chapman, and Rosemary Ferguson. Right: Paul McCarthy's Complex Pile. (All photos: Doretta Lau)
    diary May 26, 2013

    Blow Up

    IN THE DAYS leading up to the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, the city made headlines around the world because a giant rubber duck floating in Victoria Harbor—essentially a marketing tool for Hong Kong Art Week—had mysteriously deflated. On social media, the fowl was said to be a victim of the avian flu. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman had titled his unfortunate piece Spreading Joy Around the World, and indeed the city rejoiced when the duck was revived last Tuesday, the day before the fair’s private view.

    That night, many out-of-towners journeyed to the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade,

  • View of “Grace to be born and live as variously as possible . . . ,” 2012.
    picks November 10, 2012

    Cerith Wyn Evans

    The title of Cerith Wyn Evans’s current solo exhibition in Hong Kong, “Grace to be born and live as variously as possible . . . ,” references the inscription on poet Frank O’Hara’s tombstone in Springs, New York. The line is from O’Hara’s poem “In Memory of My Feelings,” which is dedicated to the AbEx painter Grace Hartigan. It begins: “My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent / and he carries me quietly, like a gondola, through the streets.” This disarming image sets the tone for the exhibition, which has a calm and uncanny quality to it. Aspects of these works do not announce themselves

  • View of “No One to Hear You Scream,” 2012.
    picks March 17, 2012

    “No One to Hear You Scream”

    Explorations of space—physical, liminal, temporal—provide the unifying theme for this ambitious group exhibition. Curated by Robin Peckham, it is the first official show at Saamlung, a commercial space that opened last November. Here works by Chen Chien-jung, Gao Weigang, Frank Havermans, João Ó, John Powers, Piers Secunda, and Yaohua Wang transform seemingly familiar buildings, architecture, or objects into something altogether otherworldly. This feeling is underscored by the show’s title, a reference to the 1979 Ridley Scott film Alien, which was promoted by the tagline: “In space, no one can

  • Heman Chong, Monument to the people we've conveniently forgotten (I hate you) (detail), 2008, one million business cards, each 3 1/2 x 2”.
    picks February 15, 2012

    “Two Thousand Eleven”

    For his debut exhibition as the executive director of Para/Site, Cosmin Costinas has curated a group show with work by Olga Chernysheva, Heman Chong, Federico Herrero, and John Smith. On first glance the title of the show is something of a conundrum, since all of the works––except for Herrero’s Intervention in and around Para/Site, 2011––were created before 2011. Cleverly, Costinas chose to bisect the gallery with a wall that cuts through the space diagonally, forming a triangle that highlights the impact of Chong’s Monument to the people we’ve conveniently forgotten (I hate you), 2008, which

  • View of “For Your Pleasure (Remake/Remodel),” 2011.
    picks July 29, 2011

    Scott Redford and Hiram To

    For its one-year anniversary, 2P Contemporary Art is showing Scott Redford and Hiram To. The artists first met in 1986 in Australia, where Redford still resides; To is based in Hong Kong. For this exhibition, the pair, who have separately contributed works to such group shows as “This Is Not America” in 2006 at QCA Gallery in Australia, use the band Roxy Music as a starting point to examine their own art practices. In one of their collaborative pieces for the exhibition, Redford and To have covered the gallery’s front window with the image that appears on Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure (1973).

  • Left: The entrance to Art HK's VIP area. (Except where noted, all photos: Doretta Lau) Right: Artist Gao Weigang, fair director Magnus Renfrew, and Lane Crawford’s Joanna Gunn. (Photo: Art HK)
    diary May 30, 2011

    Beautiful Way

    IT WAS A STORMY START for Hong Kong art week. Just as I left the house for all of Monday night’s gallery happenings, it began to rain. But inclement weather didn’t stop dozens of other art lovers from traveling to the week’s kickoff shows—Wang Keping’s “Eternal Smile” at 10 Chancery Lane and Miquel Barceló’s opening at Ben Brown Fine Arts, in the historic Pedder Building. Comparing itineraries with another writer at the latter space, I discovered that we would hardly have a moment apart from each other. “It’s like we’re on a theme vacation together,” she said.

    The next night I was back at the

  • Wilson Shieh, Famous Hong Kong Film Actors, 2010, color pencil on archival cardboard, 19 x 39”.
    picks February 05, 2011

    Wilson Shieh

    Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh’s latest exhibition, “Mortal Coil,” is an examination of celebrity, power, pop culture, and history. In the fourteen works shown here, rendered in colored pencil on cardboard and various types of paper, it is apparent that he is continuing on a similar trajectory to the one established by his 2009 exhibition “Chow Yun-Fat’s Fitting Room,” but here his scope has expanded beyond Chow to a host of other personalities and preoccupations.

    In Famous Hong Kong Film Actors, 2010, Shieh depicts nine performers in iconic roles; the drawing acts as a survey of Hong Kong film