28–31 MARCH 2024
CENTRAL HARBOURFRONT
HONG KONG

Rony Plesl

The Big Game, 2023
Crystal cast glass, uranium cast glass
approximately 200 x 300 x 170 cm
Presented by Kvalitář

Renowned Czech glass artist Rony Plesl creates a surreal scene with his delicate glass sculptures. Fascinated by religious art and architecture from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the artist brings sacred motifs to modern times by using sophisticated technology to cast glass like bronze. The resulting landscape, created with fallen and uprooted tree trunks, flower bouquets, and a broken angel, achieves a classical vanitas symbolism that suggests the transience of life. The striking contrast between the gradation of white in the crystal cast glass and the vivid red and green in the red and uranium cast glass constructs a dramatic and dreamlike scene that evokes questions about what endures after a catastrophe.

Image: Thorn, 2023, uranium cast glass, 32 x 70 x 170 cm. Photo by Anna Pleslová.

Sam Shendi

Frequency I, II & III, 2023
Stainless steel, (i) 120w x 90d x 232h cm, (ii) 160w x 100d x 140h cm, (iii) 120w x 90d x 210h cm
Presented by AN INC.

The recent sculpture series, Frequency, by Egyptian-born British artist Sam Shendi arrives at Art Central fresh from its celebrated debut at the Royal Academy London 2023 Summer Exhibition. His striking abstract sculptures are inspired by the human form and are crafted through meticulous mechanical production, with each stainless steel section undergoing hours of manual sanding to achieve a minimalist aesthetic. The sculptures are then adorned with vibrant colours that evoke human movements and forms, despite their lack of recognisable features. Shendi’s use of sleek, curvy lines directs the viewer’s eye to move with rhythms, creating a sense of playful joy that transcends cultural boundaries. His artwork is a testament to the power of combining form, line, and colour to create a universal language that resonates with all people.

Wataru Yamakami

World of the world – Sequence of presence and absence, 2024
Acrylic painting on cotton cloth
350 x 700 cm
Presented by wamono art

Transport yourself to a different universe with this large painting by Japanese artist Wataru Yamakami. The impressively scaled artwork serves as a window into Yamakami’s imaginative world while also as a powerful metaphor for our own. Void of human presence, the landscape is filled with drifting objects that evoke a sense of conflicting emotions – a tranquil confusion that is both mesmerising and mysterious. The objects seem to be lost or carried by the air, capturing a poignant moment in the midst of a storm. The colossal, two-sided painting prompts viewers to contemplate how they situate themselves in a vast and complex universe. Are we trapped in the past, as if right after a traumatic event, or are we free to embrace the potential of the future?

Andrea Samory

Chimera 1.6, 2024
3D-printed resin, expanded polyurethane, lacquer, pigments
189 x 156 x 270 cm
Presented by Wan Gallery

The Tokyo-based Italian artist, Andrea Samory, has created a magnificent sculpture that mirrors our hopes and fears of the future. With the help of 3D sculpting and printing techniques, the artist has masterfully blended forms from the natural and digital worlds to produce a new entity. The result is a colossal iridescent creature that emerged from the realms of folklore and science fiction. By drawing upon the collective memory of popular culture and contemporary mythologies, Samory invites viewers to ponder over their utopian or dystopian visions of tomorrow. In a world that is no longer immune to the dangers of bioengineering, environmental disasters, and the threat of chemical and radiation emergencies, Samory’s uncanny sculpture encapsulates our fascination and revulsion, our fear and excitement regarding the future that looms ahead of us.

Sangsun Bae

Threadless Renewal, 2024
Rope soaked in dye, ceramic, archival pigment print
Dimensions variable, approximately 500 x 500 x 250 cm
Presented by LEE & BAE

Kyoto-based Korean artist Sangsun Bae unveils a new installation that delves into her extensive research of knots as symbols of womanhood. Bae derives inspiration from the traditional Korean craft of maedeup, which involves intricate knotting techniques and is often associated with decorative handcraft. The artist employs various materials, ranging from ropes to ceramics, to create her knots, which represent emotional experiences as a mother and wife. The elaborate process of tying enormous ropes and the firing process that transforms clay knots into ceramics convey a sense of female resilience that is both strong and delicate. Bae’s work also alludes to the idea of forging new connections, such as through marriage, often referred to as “tying the knot,” or through childbirth, represented by the umbilical cord.

Enoch Cheng

Curatorial Director

Enoch Cheng is an artist-curator whose practice spans moving image, installation, curating, dance, events, theatre, writing, fashion, performance, and pedagogy. His work explores the boundaries among various disciplines and traditions, with recurrent themes of belonging, travel, care, cross-cultural history, value, fiction, memory, time, migration, and extinction.

Fresh Connections

The year 2024 heralds a return to normal in Hong Kong. The past years have taught us to value the experience of seeing art in person – being in the presence of large-scale artefacts can be a profound experience that challenges us to pause and truly observe, allowing us to see and feel as if it were our first time. These experiences awaken a sense of wonder and allow us to appreciate the world beyond the ordinary. 

These sensory experiences are alive in Art Central’s 2024 Yi Tai Sculpture & Installation Projects. Take, for example, Sam Shendi’s elegant and spirited steel sculptures that reveal a universal pleasure—that something simple, yet at times chaotic, can also be rare and precious. Or Rony Plesl’s glass installation that prompts reflection on the location of sacred space in society. Andrea Samory’s otherworldly 3D-printed creature captures our collective psyche about the wild tomorrow. While Wataru Yamakami’s giant painting of drifting objects presents us with the moment between clarity and confusion, as if we have just awakened from an apocalyptic event. Sangsun Bae’s installation of ceramic and rope knots represents the strength and tenderness of womanhood, essential to our collective existence.

An interesting life is not lived by the status quo. This maxim reminds us of the importance of artists in society, who see the world through a unique lens and create works that inspire us with emotional truths. Art provides an opportunity to refresh our senses and deepen our understanding of topics we may forget, neglect, ignore, or not know at all. Therefore, experiencing art on a grand scale can be an exceptional occasion to train our curiosity about life and help us become more imaginative, sentient beings.

28–31 MARCH 2024
CENTRAL HARBOURFRONT