Stephanie Bailey

  • Ho Sin Tung, Mystery of Love, 2019, pencil, ink, and gouache on paper, 53 × 39 1⁄2".

    Ho Sin Tung

    Ho Sin Tung’s “Swampland” collapsed a spectrum of failed utopias into one exhibition, from the breakdown of the artist’s relationships commemorated in Same Old Sweet (all works cited, 2019)—in which melted chocolates, candies, and antacid pills gifted by former paramours are molded with clay and resin to appear like feces in storage vessels—to the implosion of sociopolitical projects evoked in Dead Skin, comprising nine child-size ghosts, their hollow eyes cut not from bedsheets but from the flags of no-longer-extant states, colonies, and empires. These defunct territorial entities, which include

  • Tao Hui, Pulsating Atom, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 14 minutes 12 seconds. Installation view. Photo: Kwan Sheung Chi.

    Tao Hui

    In “Rhythm and Senses,” a four-part treatise divided into three rooms, Tao Hui ruminated on the relationship between the individual and the collective, as mediated through digital-display infrastructures designed to reflect the physical world. The show opened with two small holograms, Untitled (Holographic Building 01) and Untitled (Holographic Building 02) (all works 2019), depicting po-mo apartment—block facades that appear to float on black glass. Positioned on the floor nearby was Screen as Display Body, 2019, a trolley with four LED screens racked up in succession, each broadcasting a single

  • Anahita Razmi, New EastEnders— THE SPOILERS, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 5 minutes 1 second.

    Anahita Razmi

    “Take Me to Your Leader” was not an easy exhibition—even if it appeared so for all the wrong reasons. Hanging at the center of the gallery’s back wall, which was covered in vinyl wallpaper photo-printed with black-and-white Soap Opera Digest covers, a screen displayed a short video, New EastEnders—THE TRAILER, 2018. The video introduces six characters that Anahita Razmi created for a hypothetical serial. All are played by Razmi, and all embody over-the-top stereotypes. They include the chador-cloaked Desperate Housewife; the Ching Chong CEO, wearing glasses and a shanzhai Giorgio Armani top that

  • Haejun Jo and Kyeong Soo Lee, A Ship Believing the Sea is the Land, 2014, mixed media, dimensions variable.
    picks September 08, 2018

    “Tell Me A Story: Locality and Narrative”

    This exhibition, curated by Amy Cheng and Hsieh Feng-Rong, reflects on Asia’s evolving identity through the eyes of twelve artists. The show opens with Haejun Jo and Kyeong Soo Lee’s A Ship Believing the Sea is the Land, 2014: a wooden fishing boat coated in paraffin, inside which a small screen plays the film Scenery of Between—inspired by a boat discovered on reclaimed land in Gunsan City, home to a US military base. Around this installation are artifacts, from a wax kangaroo to a wooden turtle, and framed drawings hung on the wall illustrating Jo’s father’s memories of Korea’s twentieth

  • Lawrence Lek, 2065 Game, 2018, open-world video game, sound.

    Lawrence Lek

    In the belly of Hong Kong’s mass-transit railway system, along the underground walkway connecting the East Tsim Sha Tsui and the Tsim Sha Tsui lines, is Chi K11 Art Space, in the basement of the K11 Hong Kong Art Mall, where Lawrence Lek’s exhibition “2065” took place. Viewable through the glass panes that separate this project space from the transit walkways, the show was modeled after a gaming parlor and assembled in a low-lit, red-carpeted space. Here, a suite of high-definition, computer-generated-image (CGI) videos and five playable open-world video-game simulations—old-school consoles

  • Brisa Amir, Untitled Walls, 2017, oil, graphite, and emulsion on paper, 60 x 68".

    Brisa Amir

    “Slow Painting” was an impressive display for an artist just out of college. The “paintings” were constructed out of sheets of thick paper stained by raindrops, coffee spills, and paint splatters, among other liquids, often overlaid or connected at their edges, and worked on with smudges, lines, splashes and splatters of graphite, emulsion, acrylic and oil paint, and charcoal—details that “finish” what are essentially action paintings executed in gradual time. Thirty-one small examples of such work were presented on the back wall of this gallery’s main space: The studies reflected a commanding

  • Izumi Kato, Untitled, 2017, wood, soft vinyl, acrylic, 74 1⁄4 × 17 1/4 × 19 5/8".

    Izumi Kato

    Most of the sculptural characters that Izumi Kato crafted for this exhibition (all works Untitled, 2017) have heads made of granite that the artist collected from the reclaimed landfill close to his coastal studio. He selected these pieces of rock for their shape and texture, which recall those of suiseki (decorative stones) or scholar’s rocks, and treated them minimally, attaching them to bodies made mostly from wood, painting them a variety of colors, and standing the results on simple wooden pedestals. (The artist made other figures from pieces of leather and soft vinyl, their “limbs” splayed

  • Hank Willis Thomas

    “The Beautiful Game,” Hank Willis Thomas’s first solo exhibition in London, built on his ongoing study of the relationship between sports, nationalism, and the history of slavery in the United States. Previous works have included photographs such as Scarred Chest, 2004, which shows the Nike logo digitally rendered on a black body as a raised scarification, and The Cotton Bowl, 2011, depicting a US football player in a starting pose mirrored by a man picking cotton. Here, taking the transnational legacy of European football as his focus, Thomas presented ten quilts composed like (or even directly

  • Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, An Icon of a Marble King I, 2016, wood and marble, 6 3/4 × 14 5/8 × 3 1/8".

    Hera Büyüktaşçıyan

    One work in particular captured the essence of Hera Büyüktaşçıyan’s solo exhibition “Write Injuries on Sand and Kindness in Marble.” The Relic, 2016, is a bronze cast of two hands extending to mid-forearm and resting on wooden blocks, in front of which other blocks hold arrangements of gray mosaic chunks. The hands are turned palms up to reveal the imprints of mosaic tiles on their surfaces—an homage, Büyüktaşçıyan notes in the accompanying publication, to the workers who, legend has it, lost their fingerprints (or fingers) during the Taj Mahal’s construction, when sanding and smoothing

  • View of “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs,” 2017. Photo: Eddie Lam.

    “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs”

    “Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs” is a dense and unruly assemblage of things, ideas, and histories that express the complicated, tumultuous, and “intertwined lines of tension and narratives” that exist today in “the Asian sphere and beyond,” as its curators, Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero, write. This show—a collaboration between Para Site and Kadist, first presented in a different configuration at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila in 2016—includes work by forty-five artists or artist collaborations. Some feature in one of three specially curated interventions,

  • Wong Ping, Who’s the Daddy, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 9 minutes.

    Wong Ping

    “Who’s the Daddy” felt like a peep show of the infantile perversions of a Hong Kongese otaku, one of those techno-isolationists who’ve replaced real life with virtual fantasy. It opened with two vacuum bags—one filled with Froot Loops, the other with candy—each encasing a 3-D-printed fetus. Titled Indulgence 2016 and Indulgence 1999, respectively (all works 2017), they hung by the gallery’s entrance, near Unfilial Hell, a large LED panel positioned in a corner like a grand stele, its colored lights depicting a phallic mountain complete with an occasional lightning streak, in front of