Curated by Ying Kwok, Projects 2019 provided Art Central with a platform to support the presentation of contemporary art with aspirations of scale and non-traditional approaches.
Seungean Cha (South Korea)
Triple Twill Triptych, presented by Atelier Aki
Korean artist Seungean Cha creates paintings through a weaving method, in reference to Korean and Western modern abstract work. The newly commissioned work to be shown at Art Central is deeply entwined with the idea of time and progress – through the act of weaving, the theme of ‘arranging the time’ is realised by the artist, with the next step of the process not able to happen without observing the time needed to complete the previous one. With the features of her work being both textiles and paintings, these contrasting characteristics allow her to contemplate relationships between painting and weaving, visual representation and tactile existence, and ideas and substance. Cha sees her work as an opportunity to rearrange the tangled time and experiences of the past in conjunction with the present.
Lê Giang (Vietnam)
Phản Niệm, presented by Vin Gallery
A traditional building from ancient Vietnam, the đình is a public space for worshipping and communal gatherings. Using the same architectural methods as traditional craftsmen, emerging young artist Lê Giang has recreated four sculptural replications, each holding important values from the Lê dynasty. The corner object, decorated with typical đình motifs, evokes a sense of spatiality found particularly in this traditional architecture, while the altar placed in the center embodies the spiritual core of the structure. The scroll ornament engraved with the words “Phản Niệm” proposes a variety of associations and underlying questions: Is this a reﬂection of a memory, or a statement against the idea of conceptualism?
Angela Yuen (Hong Kong)
City Rhapsody – Project Roseate, presented by Contemporary by Angela Li
Hong Kong artist Angela Yuen’s art practise focuses on urban culture; a tangible expression of the disappearing city’s values and the local cityscape. Angela looks to explore the correlation between urban development and the city’s value via the mediums of installation and photography. City Rhapsody – Project Roseate is an imaginary skyline made from locally sourced manufacturing objects, each marking a signiﬁcant era from Hong Kong’s manufacturing past in the 1950s and 60s. Using plastic toys, the artist has constructed a series of “dreamscapes” – a fantasy homeland that people from that time may have visualised. The spinning sculpture, meanwhile, resembles the once-endless sprawl, and the motion of spinning is a metaphor of the city’s dynamic movement. The closer people engage with the city, the more complex and dynamic it becomes.
Cheuk Wing Nam (Hong Kong)
AK7 shou3, presented by Contemporary by Angela Li
Hong Kong interdisciplinary artist Cheuk Wing Nam incorporates new elements into a site-specific reworking of the audience participatory Ak7 shou3, an installation comprised of a violin, a cello, cassette players and speakers. With sensors attached to the edge of the installation, sound will be emitted as members of the audience approach the work. Each subtle interaction will influence the delicate balance between the string instruments and the tape, revealing the interrelationship between past, present and future. Cheuk Wing Nam is devoted to developing new concepts by mixing sound and other media with modern computer technology in her art, with an interest to demonstrate the relationships between light and shadow, and between sound and space.
HOPE, ROCK, KISS, LIVE, presented by Art Seasons
HOPE, ROCK, KISS, LIVE, presented by Singapore-based contemporary art and design collective PHUNK, aims to evoke positive emotions about the current state of the world, which is filled with uncertainties brought about by technological disruption, climate change, social inequality and political injustice. The artwork is formed by the changing appearance of street posters, where the peeled off layers reveal the impermanence of current events. The aftermath of the paper tears serves as a memorial to the past, and a reminder to embrace change as a renewal of the human spirit.
Heri Dono (Indonesia)
Smiling Angels from the Sky, presented by The Collumns Gallery
Smiling Angels from the Sky is an installation by renowned Indonesian artist Heri Dono. Known for his characteristic merging of contemporary influences with traditional and folkloric elements, Heri Dono represented Indonesia in the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015 and his works have been acquired by major institutions such as the Deutsche Guggenheim, the Fukuoka Art Museum, the Singapore Art Museum, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Tropenmuseum, among others. A recurring element of Heri Dono’s work, the angels are unrelated to any particular religion but are a symbol of the ethereal spirit.
In this iconic configuration, Heri Dono’s smiling angels represent enthusiasm in facing the future. The angels who come from the sky are a symbol of the discourse of life, where imagination, fantasy, dreams inspire the building a noble life, culture and civilization for humans and the wider universe; bringing ‘Chakra’ energy from the gods, the fire of life.
About the Curator, Ying Kwok
Ying Kwok is an independent curator based in Hong Kong. She works independently with a diverse range of art and cultural institutions nationally and internationally, from artist’s initiatives, art festivals, to public museums and the commercial sector. Her research-based curating often synthesizes different art forms in contemporary visual art, from site specific commissions, performances, to film and video. Kwok has been the curator for Contagious Cities: Far Away, too Close for Tai Kwun Contemporary and Wellcome Trust, the lead curator of LOOK International Photography Festival 2017, and guest curator at M+ for Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief as Hong Kong presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. Before embarking on her independent career, Kwok was the curator at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester UK, between 2006 and 2012.
Apart from curating, Kwok also founded Art Appraisal Club with a group of local art professionals in 2014, in order to encourage critical thinking and initiating effective art discussions in Hong Kong. The group provides regular exhibition reviews and their articles are published in magazines, various cultural networks and their own bilingual journal, Art Review Hong Kong.