Doretta Lau

  • Ellie Ga, At the Beginning North Was Here, 2009, still from a color video, 7 minutes.
    picks December 12, 2010

    Ellie Ga

    The Arctic landscape, though barren and disorientating, proves to be a fertile ground for New York artist Ellie Ga. Her solo exhibition “At the Beginning North was Here” is divided into three chapters, with the works drawing upon Ga’s experience as the sole artist-in-residence on a scientific research sailboat, the Tara. For months, Ga worked on the vessel as it drifted, course unknown, through ice. Even the length of the stay was uncertain. In the Arctic, Ga tells us, predicting the weather can become a form of divination. The future shifts with each fissure in the ice.

    The works in this exhibition

  • Edward Burtynsky, Urban Renewal #6,
 Apartment Complex, JiangjunAo, Hong Kong, 2004, color photograph, 48 x 60”.
    picks October 17, 2010

    Edward Burtynsky

    Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong offers works made between 1985 and 2008. His longtime preoccupation with the effect that industrial operations have on the earth is apparent: The large-scale photographs show how various industries currently dominate landscapes around the world, from oil fields to highways, electronics factories to car lots. That Burtynsky’s practice involves a good deal of research comes through in the level of detail in each photograph. Though the camera hovers, for the most part, at a bird’s-eye view, it somehow approaches close enough

  • View of “Spectral Evidence,” 2010.
    picks August 06, 2010

    “Spectral Evidence”

    “Spectral Evidence,” the first of two exhibitions curated by Steven Lam at 1a Space, features works by Lin + Lam, Sreshta Rit Premnath, and Simon Leung. The pieces in the exhibition use the media, materials, and language of documentation to create narratives that provoke us to question how we perceive the world. Premnath’s Horizon (all works cited 2010) is a group of photographs depicting various monuments to Christopher Columbus, but the statues themselves have been removed from the images, leaving only the pedestals. Alongside these altered pictures is a faux granite tablet bearing a line from

  • Candida Höfer, Biblioteca Uffizi Firenze II (The Uffizi Library Florence II), 2008, color photograph, 78 3/4 x 111 7/8”.
    picks June 14, 2010

    Candida Höfer

    Hong Kong’s buildings, nearly all built in the past hundred years, form a sharp contrast to Italy’s architecture, as seen in Candida Höfer’s series of eight photographs,“In Italy, Naples, and Florence,” 2007–2009. The Pedder Building—site of Höfer’s latest exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts—was built in 1924 and is classified by the city’s Antiquities and Monuments Office as a historic building. Though a charming structure from the colonial era, and an excellent space for galleries and shops, it was simply not built to inspire awe. Particularly remarkable in this setting, Höfer’s photographs—featuring

  • Left: Sir David Tang and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority CEO Graham Sheffield. (Photo: Enrich Publishing) Right: ARTHK10 director Magnus Renfrew. (Photo: Doretta Lau)
    diary June 02, 2010

    A Fair to Remember

    Hong Kong

    LAST MONDAY, shortly before the vernissage of the third annual Hong Kong Art Fair, the city’s government inaugurated the first-ever Hong Kong Art Week. That night, Ben Brown Fine Arts held an opening for Candida Höfer’s stately exhibition “In Italy, Naples, and Florence,” which served as an unofficial kickoff to the attendant slew of private views, parties, and panels. Conversation moved from unfettered admiration for the photographs (“I love these!”) to focused anticipation for the fair, whose list of exhibitors had increased by some fifty galleries since the preceding year. The crowd, which

  • Natvar Bhavsar, Akal I, 2008, pure pigment on canvas, 23 x 21".
    picks March 14, 2010

    Natvar Bhavsar

    Natvar Bhavsar continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with pure color pigment in his solo exhibition “Rang,” which consists of twenty-two paintings created during a twenty-year span, with many made in the past two years. Each piece comprises anywhere from eighty to two hundred layers of pigment sifted onto acrylic gel. The oldest work in the show is Veebha, 1989; its inclusion allows viewers to see how the artist’s technique has evolved over the years. Here, a textured swirl of red, yellow, and blue atop black pigment surrounds a luminous green center, giving the impression of an

  • Yukihiro Taguchi, Away, 2009, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks October 27, 2009

    “A Blow to the Everyday”

    For “A Blow to the Everyday,” curator Yuko Hasegawa presents several works that transmute ordinary aspects of urban life. Japanese artists Kenichi Hagihara, Meiro Koizumi, Ayako Okubo, Yukihiro Taguchi, and Shiro Takatani and collectives Chim↑Pom and Wah engage with the seemingly mundane via performance, photography, video, installation, and painting.

    In the performative installation Away, 2009, the Berlin-based Taguchi documents his visit to Hong Kong. A bamboo scaffold provides the physical framework for the installation, mimicking the look of buildings under construction. A series of found

  • Shahzia Sikander, Dissonance to Detour, 2006, still from a digital animation, 3 minutes 30 seconds.
    picks September 11, 2009

    Shahzia Sikander

    “The pursuit of detail––not the decorative kind but of the nano––is an engagement with time,” Shahzia Sikander notes in an interview with Fereshteh Daftari. For Sikander’s first solo exhibition in China, titled “Authority as Approximation,” the artist presents five video works that date from 2003 through 2008, which illustrate with clarity her consummate ability to engage with the seconds and minutes that compose our histories.

    Bending the Barrels, 2008, unfolds over a number of different scenes and depicts members of the Pakistan Army playing various musical instruments in solos, pairs, and