Virtual Frontiers, Art and Tilt Brush

Hidden away in the corner of the Collectors Lounge is Virtual Frontiers, Art Basel‘s collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, the results of a group of artists who were invited to create works using the Tilt Brush virtual reality app. And if you wondered why you needed to upgrade your pc and buy a VR headset, Tilt Brush a 3D drawing and painting application is that reason. Released a year ago (sadly only for Windows) it is quite amazing both in the creative sense and in the exploration of other’s creations.

The artists invited to explore and create with Tilt Brush for Art Basel included Cao Fei, Robin Rhode, Sun Xun and Yang Yongliang who attended residencies at Google’s offices in Beijing and Paris to create the series of interactive works on display during the show and in which you can literally climb inside and explore the creations.

Eternal Landscape (2017), Yang Yongliang‘s Tilt Brush work uses the ‘Shan Shui’, traditional style of Chinese ink painting that depicts scenery or natural landscapes and is often considered to be one of ancient China’s most important contributions to the history of art. ‘Eternal Landscape’ recreates a traditional Shan Shui landscape in a virtual immersive realm, while trying to preserve the classical aesthetics.

With Gusheshe (2017), which in South African township slang translates to ‘go faster’ or ‘very fast’, Robin Rhode references the BMW E30, a model that was produced and driven on the streets of the townships of South Africa in the early 1990’s, a politically tumultuous time for the country. Rhode took inspiration from the iconic street culture in South Africa and re-imagined ‘Gusheshe’ animated in a virtual setting.

The Previous Life of the Yimatu Mountain (2017) by Sun Xun is a portrait of Yimatu, the highest mountain in Fuxin in Liaoning Province, the artist’s hometown. It focuses on the way the artist imagines what life around the Yimatu mountain would have been like in the past.

Cao Fei’s mixed reality film, titled Derivation Blurs the Virtual and Physical Worlds (2017), declares a utopian future where walls and societal restrictions are broken and new conversations and new possibilities emerge.

In addition to being able to explore the VR artworks the ‘Conversations‘ part of Art Basel features Cao Fei and Yang Yongliang in conversation with Freya Murray, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture. They will discuss the artists’ approach to making art in virtual reality, the impact virtual tools such as Tilt Brush can have on artistic practice and more broadly on the arts in general. The talk will take place at the fair in the auditorium on level 1, at the entrance of Hall 1A of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, on Wednesday, March 22 at 3.30pm. If you can’t make it, all the talks from the fair can be watch here later www.artbasel.com/hongkong/conversations.

Twenty-Five Minutes Older @ Art Basel

_DSC7701

One of Art Basel‘s off-site exhibits this year is Twenty-Five Minutes Older by local artist Kingsley Ng. Ng’s ‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’ turns two of Hong Kong’s iconic trams into moving camera obscuras, creating an altered reality and allowing passengers to experience Hong Kong in a new way – in reverse.

Moving images of the city, created via a ‘pin-hole camera’ in the side of the blacked out tram, are accompanied by spoken extracts from Liu Yichang’s famous stream-of-consciousness novella Tête-bêche. The live images of passing street life displayed inside the tram blend and flow alongside Liu’s poetic incantations. The familiar re-experienced in a completely new way – it’s quite surreal as the upside down world floats in the darkness as Liu’s words flow from headphones that remove the everyday sounds.

Kingsley_Ng__25_Minutes_Older__Images_Courtesy_of_the_Arts_Develo_HiRes

‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’, was first presented in 2016 as part of ‘Human Vibrations: The 5th LargeScale Public Media Art Exhibition’ that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Arts Development Council in Hong Kong, runs on the different parts of the tram tracks until the 28 March. Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance here.

Art Central VIP Preview @ Central Harbourfront – 20 March, 2017

_DSC7603

The sun emerged, after weeks in hiding, to shine on the start of Art Week and turn Art Central’s two massive tents into impromptu saunas. That didn’t deter the opening day crowds who flocked to see what was on show.

Again there’s a little of something for everyone but the trend still seems to be for massive works that look fine in a big tent, but would be out of place in our space saving flats. Last years paint a massive picture cut it up and give away the pieces has in true HK style been replaced with a massive painting where you can buy a small square…

Art Central runs until the 25 March, click on any photo for the full gallery.

_DSC7558

_DSC7607

_DSC7525

_DSC7594

_DSC7513

Abigail Reynolds and The Ruins of Time: The Lost Libraries of the Silk Road

British artist, Abigail Reynolds, winner of the BMW Art Journey will unveil her project The Ruins of Time: Lost Libraries of the Silk Road at Art Basel later his month.

A five-month-long exploration into the complex religious and secular narratives of Europe and Asia, Reynolds journeyed along the Silk Road by motorbike to investigate the sites of former libraries she discovered in her research, and document what she found at each location. You can read her fascinating travelogue here http://bmw-art-journey.com/journey/abigail-reynolds

Reynolds said of the project, “A library is a compendium of knowledge, a group identity. I went to places where all that meaning has been voided, recently or in the distant past. The journey itself was challenging and huge, encompassing three quarters of the globe, traversing multiple cultures, none familiar to me. The journey brought me to the edges of my knowing, just as the lost libraries brought me to the edge of visuality.”

Reynolds’ journey took her to sites in China, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Iran dating from 291 BC to 2011. Where she gathered material in various forms including 3D scans, photography, microscope imagery, written text, plans and cataloguing systems. Based on this extensive research, she has created a cluster of book forms, prints, collages and moving-image works which will be on display at Art Basel.

Images, texts and other documents originating from the trip are going to be included in a book – thus completing a journey that both starts and ends with the institution of the library.

Art in March

The art world focuses on Hong Kong in March with four exhibitions bringing thousands of art pieces from emerging and established artists mainly from across Asia.

One man’s art though is another’s trash and you’ll wonder exactly what the attraction of some pieces are – but there’s enough variety that you’ll probably find a few things to discus and enjoy.

Art Central
A contemporary art fair at the Central Harbourfront from 20-25 March 2017 with exhibitors showcasing new talent alongside some of the most established galleries from across Asia and the globe.

Art Central
Date: 20-25 March, 2017
Venue: Central Habourfront
Tickets: $500, $230 from HKTicketing
More info:
20 March: 5-9pm
21 & 22 March: Noon–5pm
23 March: Noon–9pm
24 March: Noon-7pm
25 March: 11am-7pm

Art Basel
Many of the world’s leading Modern and contemporary art galleries will exhibit paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, prints, photography, film, video, and digital art by over 4,000 artists.

Art Basel
Date: 22–25 March 2017
Venue: HK Convention and Exhibition Centre
Tickets: $850, $650, $450, $350, $250 from HKTicketing
More info:
22 March: 5-9pm
23 March: 1-8pm
24 March: 1–9pm
25 March: 11am–6pm

Asia Contemporary Art Show
Artworks from Asia and the world at the 10th edition of the Asia Contemporary Art Show, March 17-20 at the Conrad Hong Kong. Browse and buy original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and photography by artists from around the world.

Asia Contemporary Art Show
Date: 17-20 March, 2017
Venue: 40/F-43/F, Conrad Hong Kong
Tickets: $220
More info:
18 March: Noon–9pm (5- 9pm Friday ART Night)
19 March: Noon–8pm
20 March: Noon–6pm

Harbour Art Fair
A new hotel art fair at the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel from 24-26 March. Riding on the current trend of Korean culture, the Harbour Art Fair will be exhibiting nearly 60 emerging Korean galleries and over a hundred art works. The fair will also feature art talks, workshops, and tasting sessions.

Harbour Art Fair
Date: Noon-8pm, 24-26 March, 2017
Venue: 7/F, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel
Tickets: $100

Updated: 6 March, 2017

Belgium Week Brings Vibrant Culture to Hong Kong

belgium-hkAn eclectic introduction to modern Belgium culture is perhaps the best description for Belgium Week which runs from the 12-19 November and showcases a diverse range of artists including Filip Jordens, Jacques Brel, Peter Lenaerts, DJ Maxime Firket, Yves Ullens de Schooten, Harold Ancart, Sophie Whettnall, Belgian comics and gastronomy.

The weeks events launch with DJ Maxime Firket at Kee Club on the 12 November. On Sunday one of the more interesting performances is Filip Jordens Homage a Brel where he performs a repetoire of the legendary singer-songwriter and actor Jacques Brel songs at Ping Pong Gintonería in Sai Ying Pun, tickets are $500.

The most unusual event is sound artist Peter Lenaerts MicroSleepDub ‘residency’ at Wing in Chai Wan from the 17-27 November. MicroSleepDub is about micro sound, architecture and urbanism. It’s a durational performance built around a sound composition for dub plates where Lenaerts listens and looks for sounds that are too quiet, too vague, or too low to be heard normally. Using a microphone as a microscope, he zooms in and amplifies these neglected, underexposed and discarded sounds. MicroSleepDub is an all night performance, where listening and sleeping are both encouraged. Entry is free, but registration is required.

andy-wauman-gutterdust-8-580x433A series of art exhibitions at the Kee Club and Artone will showcase established and new artists from Belgium whose artworks reflect Belgium as a country; rich in culture and artistic expression. Exhibition curator Emilie Rolin Jacquemyns commented that “I wanted to showcase a wide spectrum of artists that could really give a deeper feeling of Belgium. Each time I look at their artwork, there is a part of our culture, history and way of life that I see. Light is at the core of all their work, everything is subtle, minimalist and perfect. To me, there is a calming sense that unite all these pieces, and a sense of brightness, an expression of colour, that brings Belgium closer to home for me here in Hong Kong.”

Artists exhibiting at the KEE Club include:
Harold Ancart: born in Brussels but now lives and works in New York, he will be presenting an untitled piece. Using space and repetition for his architectural installations and works on paper, his work is often minimalist with recurring motifs of parrots, the jungle and palm trees.

Ann Veronica Janssens: an artist who uses distribution of light, colour, and reflective surfaces to reveal the instability of perception of time and space. She will showcase her art piece named Magic Mirror.

Sophie Whettnall: lives and works in Brussels and focuses on light but also has an eye for its absence, as well as landscape – a frequent theme in her work, uses raw and natural elements to reflect contradictory concepts and perceptions and will be exhibiting Border Lines #26.

Poetic Views
Date: 11am-11pm, 14-18 November, 2016
Venue: KEE Club
Tickets: Free

Photographer Yves Ullens de Schooten who will be showcasing The Theatre of Lights using abstract photography as his medium to express emotion and energy brought by light and colour at ArtOne.

Matières et contrast (Materials and Contrast)
Date: 10am-9pm, 12-19 November, 2016
Venue: Artone
Tickets: Free

In addition to the KEE and ArtOne exhibitions, Michel Mouffe has a solo show at the Axel Vervoordt Gallery and Andy Wauman, a solo show at Art Statements, Wong Chuk Hang. There is also an exhibition of photography, by Jean-Pierre RuelleHong Kong and Islands at the Lightstage Gallery, Sheung Wan.

For a full program of events see www.belgiumhk.com

Belgium Week
Date: 12-19 November, 2016
Venue: Various
Tickets: See individual events
More info: www.BelgiumHK.com

Bowie/Collector

David Bowie-gavin-evans

Many people know of David Bowie through his music and films and his influence transcended music to shape the wider culture of our time. As well as being a talented artist, Bowie loved art and in a way that isn’t possible today, courtesy of social media and camera phones, took an active role in the art world both buying art at auction, meeting artists and sitting on the editorial board of renowned art magazine Modern Painters.

“Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the mornings. The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I’m going through.” David Bowie – NYTimes 1998 

The breadth and scope of Bowie’s personal art collection was revealed with the release of Sotheby’s online auction catalogue earlier this month. It features over 400 pieces including a ‘spin’ painting that Bowie created in collaboration with Damien Hirst, an altarpiece by Renaissance master Tintoretto, as well as works by 20th Century British Masters such as David Bomberg, Stanley Spencer, Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff.

Damien Hirst-with-bowie-beautiful-hallo-space-boy-painting

A selection of Bowie’s collected artworks are on display in Hong Kong ahead of next months Sotherby’s auction. For further information: www.sothebys.com/BowieCollector

Bowie/Collector – Hong Kong Preview
Date: 10am-6pm, 12-15 October, 2016
Venue: Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery,  5/F, One Pacific Place, Admiralty
Tickets: Free

peter-lanyon-witness-1961

Bruce Lee… Welcome to Hong Kong

hk airport bruce lee

Hong Kong’s favourite son Bruce Lee is welcoming arrivals to our wonderful home town at Chek Lap Kok courtesy of a series of awesome illustrations by Milton Wong.

The eleven 10 foot tall illustrations, set against the backdrop of Victoria Harbour, feature Bruce Lee with his nunchaku in the film Game of Death.
bruce lee 1

The exhibition, which runs until November, is organised by the Bruce Lee Foundation. All images by Milton Wong

hk airport bruce lee 8

hk airport bruce lee 3 hk airport bruce lee 1 hk airport bruce lee 2