Meeting an artist and hearing about their work first-hand is a privilege and a special experience. Make sure you visit the popular sector “ Artist Dialogues” at this year’s Asia Contemporary Art Show.
At this time of year, Hong Kong becomes a creativity mecca and embraces the art world. It’s a wonderful experience for those new to the city, and indeed those of us who’ve been here a while. As a city, Hong Kong is transitioning to embrace a more creative identity. Events like Art Month have been central to the city’s evolution; we’ve gone from being famous for finance to now intriguing the world with our vibrant art scene.
That evolution of Hong Kong’s art scene goes on as events like the Asia Contemporary Art Show bring a world of art to our colourful city. The Show, running from March 29th – April 1st, will present Erica Hestu Wahyuni, a promising artist from Indonesia whose works have been sold at auction, including Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Bonhams and other reputable houses. Timofey Smirnov is a unique graphic artist from Russia who has won recognition from the Russian Academy of Arts. The Show is also excited to present Gao Jiayu, a Chinese artist who works in porcelain. Her works explain the close interplay between humans and the universe and Kim Il Tae, the first and only artist who paints, sculpts, and etches pure gold on canvas instead of gold leaf or gold foil. Kim’s paintings are made with 24 karat gold, with 999 parts per thousand of gold in its purest form.
Now in its 14th edition, the event features a special experience: a chance to hear directly from artists through “Artist Dialogues” which is dedicated to solo or joint artist presentations. Spread across more than 20 dedicated spaces, visitors can enjoy a viewing, learning, and art buying experience.
Show Director Mark Saunderson explains that the Show provides a unique opportunity for visitors to connect with art and those who create it. “In Artist Dialogues, viewers, enthusiasts, and collectors can learn about the inspiration and artistic practice of each artist. It is a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the modes, methods, and motivations that go into creating art. On show will be a series of works including paintings ranging from landscapes to abstracts, from mixed media to ceramic sculptures.”
Expat Living caught up with three artists participating at the Show’s much-awaited “Artist Dialogues”, for a sneak preview of what they’ll be presenting at the Asia Contemporary Show.
Tae-Ho Jeong is a well-known architectural photographer in South Korea. For his “Buddha” series, Jeong used untainted documentary photography instead of the traditional approach of an architectural photographer, showing the Buddha images “as they are”.
What are the major impressions you have in terms of differences in architectural photography and taking Buddha images?
Architectural photography strongly involves capturing the beauty of artificial design and natural aspects together. Also, it is related to finding harmony between space and time. On the contrary, reinterpreting the figures of delicately carved Buddha into conventional photographs was challenging. At the beginning of my work, I spent several months visiting the same sites, consistently looking for the most perfect lighting at different times of the day. I eased myself as a photographer and tried to confront and reflect the nature itself as they are without artificial lighting and techniques. I made my best effort to “show them as they are” in purely documentary style photos.
What is your inspiration on showing Buddha images, and what is the message you’d like to convey?
I am a believer of Buddhism myself before I start my career as an architectural photographer and the teachings of Buddhism have encouraged my career with a favourable result as a photographer. Not only just as a believer, but also as an architectural photographer, I think compiling and publishing all the images of the Buddhas scattered around Korea is one of the ways to contribute my skills to Buddhism in a meaningful way. Over the 10 years of my project, I am strongly aware that numerous Buddhas were damaged from poor maintenance. I hope we all develop awareness of our vulnerable history. I want to share the beauty of the lines of Vairocana Buddha. I hope this collection can bring more interest in Korean culture and Buddhism to everyone.
Lynda Faulkner created her ‘Dogs on the Red Carpet’ series with an aim to bring the personality of dogs living in her area of Central Queensland to people, so they can love them as much as she does.
They say, ‘Never work with children or animals’; what’s the biggest challenge you face capturing your subjects?
Definitely portraying the individual personality of my subject and capturing that for everyone to see. I feel it’s very important to try to get to know the animal, even if it’s no longer with us. I always ask about the dog’s character, likes and dislikes, and also what the human themselves find most endearing in their much-loved pet. I consider doing animal commissions a privilege and I treat each one with the respect and love that it deserves.
Will you capture any Hong Kong dogs while in town?
Absolutely. In fact, I have one in this show. Her name is ‘BB’. She’s a sweet, long-eared Chihuahua. I was showing art in the autumn of 2017 with Madeleine Ekeblad at the Asia Contemporary Art Show, and I often saw this little lady sitting outside the laundromat near my hotel. I would always stop and pat her and often talked to the humans that looked after her. I still have a real soft spot for BB; she was so gentle, patient and friendly. I will certainly be hoping to meet many more Hong Kong dogs as my future subjects.
Eleanor McColl is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Hong Kong. Eleanor’s work is rooted in place, with a focus on the urban environment.
What drew you to Hong Kong after your graduation from Uni all those years ago?
I came with a friend from University who had grown up here. Initially we came for a few months for some work experience with the Youth Arts Festival as part of our degree course. A year later we were offered jobs to set up an art school on HK Island. Two years later I set up my own art school which I ran for 10 years.
You capture a lot of signage plates in the city, what draws you to these HK icons?
As a child, I was blown away by Piccadilly Circus on a trip to London. I love the contrast of the sand and limestone-coloured buildings, punctuated with the bold vibrant colours of the signage – and, of course, the London buses and taxis passing by. When I first came to Hong Kong at 19, I had the same feeling; it’s so visually intense. Causeway Bay felt like a living piece of Pop Art.
I do have to have my fix of green blustery walks though, and this is what my recent works, ‘Belonging’ and ‘Looking Back’ stem from.
Interested in hearing more about these artists and their bodies of work? Visit the Asia Contemporary Art Show from 29 March to 1 April 2019. See full event details in our events listing and get your tickets here.
See more in our Things to do section: