In light of the coronavirus outbreak, it's no surprise that many city dwellers in Hong Kong might opt to stay cocooned in our own homes rather than roaming crowded spaces.
Yet, just as countless leading art fairs and exhibitions are being cancelled or postponed, there are perhaps just as many gallery owners and ardent tastemakers who are staying committed to bringing positivity to the city through art. As powerhouse collectors Dominique and Arthur de Villepin, who are unveiling their anticipated new gallery concept this month, aptly put it, "It is during these challenging times that we need art."
From invigorating new openings to immersive installations, we highlight some of the best shows being held across the city in the coming months not to be missed:
Energising the local art scene is the highly anticipated opening of new art gallery Villepin, the brainchild of acclaimed cultural dignitaries Dominique and Arthur de Villepin. Spurred by the father-and-son duo's own collections and knowledge of the Asian art market, the Hollywood Road gallery “created by collectors for collectors” will look to exhibit works by leading and emerging artists that the duo themselves would love to collect, prioritising long-term relationships with artists and sharing their expansive know-how of the art market. The gallery opens its door with an inaugural show Friendship and Reconciliation running from March 20 until September, featuring works of late Chinese painter Zao Wou-Ki most celebrated for his embrace of Eastern and Western artistic traditions.
Zao Wou-Ki, ST aqua, 2007; villepinart.com
Opening on March 17 at Blindspot Gallery is Anonymous Society for Magick, a group exhibit curated by homegrown independent curator and artist Ying Kwok. For this two-month-long show inspired by the concept of Magick – defined as science of understanding oneself and one’s conditions – she brought her analytical flair to assemble a collection of works by Chen Wei, Hao Jingban, Lam Tung Pang, Wang Tuo and Trevor Yeung – five young artists from China and Hong Kong making waves in the regional art scene. Among the works on show are Chen Wei’s 2016 photography work Mushroom marked by a cinematic quality, and Hao Jingban’s award-winning dual-channel video installation, Opus One, depicting a young Chinese couple in contemporary Beijing tracing the steps and history of authentic jazz.
Chen Wei, Mushroom, 2016; blindspotgallery.com
Founded by French entrepreneur and ardent art connoisseur Vanessa Robine, new gallery Metropolis museum located on Wong Chuk Hang Road raises the curtain with an innovative inaugural exhibit that pushes the boundaries of what is normally seen in the city’s art scene. "I am striving to create a museum experience where one can appreciate and learn about art through different media," says Vanessa. From 23 March - 5 September, the museum debuts Monet, Perception of Light and Colour, a first-of-its-kind exhibition showcasing 30 masterpieces from Impressionist artist Claude Monet created using commissioned hand painted reproductions and advanced technological activations such as 3D renderings, videos and augmented reality, bringing to life the works' intricate nuances in this immersive multimedia experience.
Interiors of the Metropolis museum; metropolismuseum.com
Taking over two floors of independent art space Para Site and the eighth floor of Sheung Wan’s Soho House is Garden of Six Seasons, a three-month-long group exhibit running from May 16 to August 30 and curated by Para Site’s director Cosmin Costinas. Exploring the aesthetic and cosmological lineages that have been marginalised through eurocentrism, the spotlight will be turned on the culturally specific practises of gardening, landscaping as well as traditional map-making, featuring eclectic works by artists such as Hong Kong’s Lam Tung Pang, Malaysia’s Tan Zi Hao, the UK’s Uriel Orlow and Guatemala’s Naufus Ramirez Figueroa, many of whom showcasing in Hong Kong for the first time.
Vvzela Kook, Columbus of Horticulture, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist; para-site.art