Hong Kong’s exhibition schedule is filled with appealing options this week, June 8-14, with leading exhibitions from artists such as Mao Yan, Philip Guston, Lu Xinjian, and many others. Blouin Artinfo curates a list of these must-visit shows for its readers:
Liu Wentao at Pearl Lam Galleries
June 8 through July 17
A selection of recent pencil-on-canvas works by Liu Wentao (b. 1973) will be on view at Pearl Lam Galleries from June 8 onward, marking the Chinese artist’s first solo with the gallery. Pencil has been a fundamental tool in Wentao’s practice for over a decade, as the artist is “fascinated with the metallic reflection of light by the graphite,” the gallery says. Comparing his practice of drawing to meditation, Liu creates imagery that appears to be inspired by Minimalism and influenced by Eastern traditions. “My work is not about creating physical things; it is more about the investigation of depth within a state of mind,” Liu says. “It is more about the mental and contemplative practice in aspiring to an inner empty space of heightened awareness.”
“By The Edge” by Mao Yan at Pace
June 8 through July 12, 2018
Mao Yan’s third solo with Pace features a series of 10 new works, created during the past three years. Considered one of the top portrait artists in China, Yan continuously explores the potential of this art form, depicting “everyday faces with fine and delicate brushstrokes, guiding his audience to enter an era of meditation and tranquility against the fast-paced world,” says the gallery. The featured works include a continuation of his “Thomas” series, where the portrait of his model have been “depicted, deepened and dismantled repeatedly throughout the past two decades until the subject is transformed into an ambiguous, vague and nearly imaginary face,” Pace says. The show also includes still-life and landscape paintings in gray ashen tones by the artist, underscoring the breadth of his practice.
Also on View:
Awol Erizku’s “慢慢燃燒 Slow Burn” at Ben Brown Fine Arts
Through July 7, 2018
This is the Ethiopian-American artist Awol Erizku’s first solo exhibition in Asia, and the first to focus solely on his neon artworks. The show, consisting of seven new light works, reflects the history and significance of neon signage in Hong Kong’s streets and skyline. Erizku produced a “conceptual mix-tape” specifically for “Slow Burn.” “Powerful, culturally symbolic imagery which is recurring in Erizku’s oeuvre, such as the Black Panther, the bust of Nefertiti, and Erizku's iconic hand and rose are combined with potent phrases in Chinese characters such as 'Black Panther', 'Black Power' and 'Black Love', respectively,” the gallery says. “Erizku has been inspired and triggered by the visual impact and cultural history of Hong Kong during his visits to Asia over the last year, which have been equal parts cultural exchange and artistic interaction with local craftsmen.”
“Boogie Woogie” by Lu Xinjian at de Sarthe Gallery
Through July 7, 2018
The title of the exhibition is drawn from artist Piet Mondrian's famous work “Broadway Boogie Woogie," 1942-‘43. Artist Lu Xinjian’s first solo presentation in Hong Kong features unseen works from his three series of paintings “City DNA,” “City Stream,” and “Reflections.” It is Mondrian's painting that inspired the artist to create his series. Xinjian’s works decode the complexities of a number of metropolises by using simple lines and color blocks. His paintings depict the increasing globalization and homogenization in our societies, the gallery says.
“Richard Serra Drawings” at David Zwirner
Through June 30
The exhibition presents a series of new drawings by the American artist Richard Serra. Serra is best-known for his large-scale, site-specific sculptures, but he has also made drawings throughout his career. He began creating art with a paint stick in black since 1971, producing “drawings that resolutely defy any metaphorical or emotive associations, yet which manifest the notions of time, materiality, and process that characterize his work,” the gallery says. The works on view were first presented in his 2017 exhibition at Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.
“Philip Guston: A Painter's Forms, 1950-1979” at Hauser & Wirth
Through July 28, 2018
The American artist Philip Guston (1913-1980) was a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. Curated by his daughter Musa Mayer, the exhibition brings together nearly 50 paintings and drawings by the artist, created between 1950 and 1979. The works on view include some of the Guston’s celebrated abstract paintings and traces through his evolution of forms that turned toward figuration in the late 1960s. "Focusing on the most prolific three decades of his career, the exhibition is structured loosely by chronology, beginning with abstract paintings a section dedicated to his late figurative style, and concluding with his major late works and a survey of drawings," the gallery says.
Catherine Opie’s “So long as they are wild” at Lehmann Maupin
Through July 7, 2018
The Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie’s debut solo in Hong Kong combines a recent series of photographs and a series of ceramic sculptures of tree stumps. The photographs were shot in Yosemite National Park in California, evoking the works of the photographer Ansel Adams, but Opie distorts the landscape cliches with odd compositions and angles that challenge photographic orthodoxy. Opie’s new ceramic sculptures of tree stumps address similar concerns about human perceptions of the natural world. Made from clay, these are the first sculptures the artist has created as tactical representations of the nature in her photographs.
“New Waves” by Alex Israel at Gagosian
Through August 11, 2018
Marking Alex Israel’s debut solo in Hong Kong, “New Waves” brings together multimedia works and sculpture by the Los Angeles-based artist. On view are works related to Israel’s first feature-length film, “SPF-18,” 2017. The teenage romantic comedy is based on the themes of love and loss, where the Los Angeles sun and ocean depict power in a stylized representation. “In Israel’s work, Los Angeles is both city and symbol, reality and fantasy,” Gagosian says. “Brightly colored California sunsets become cinematic backdrops, glimpses of the beach appear in portraits and vignettes, and Hollywood’s mythologies shed light on the American dream itself, embodied by celebrity culture, surfer optimism, and the pursuit of luxury and thrill.”
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibitions.
Founder Louise Blouin