I got 2 exhibitions opening this week so here's a little blog about it all.
First up is a show at the Louis Vuitton on Canton Road. They have a gallery inside and they asked if I'd like to do an exhibition there. The only catch being I'd have to come up with something within a month. I have no spare paintings to show and a month is not enough time to produce new stuff, especially as I'd already committed to show new paintings at other projects.
So, instead I decided to show the photos I've been taking this year for a book I've written.
I had a bit of a life changing experience this year. I nearly died. So I wrote about it. I was also, through the ordeal, followed around by a couple of HK photographers. One is Wing Shya and the other is Stanley Wong (Anothermountainman). After they finished taking photos of me, I went off and took photos of many people that I knew. Finally we ended up with hundreds of photos which form a documentary of my life over the last 6 months.
Stanley Wong (anothermountainman) did all the production side, he did an awesome job.
the whole LV shop to myself
During the original photography, 6 months ago, Stanley asked me to produce a spontaneous piece of art within a couple of hours. I threw up a big messy drawing. You can see it here in the background.
LV asked me to repeat the experiment so there are now 2 sets of messy, spontaneous works on paper that also show at the exhibition. The new set was also done in just 1 day.
Here's the old set installed at LV
and here are the new set of drawings.
and all ready to go
Some of the photos, these b&w are Stanley's
these colour ones are mine
one of me by stanley wong
the LV consultant Jonathan with the layout
Opening was crazy busy, A.N.D. Josie, Dan Wu and Lisa S all showed up to support.
So that show opens Wednesday 19th November and is on until January.
The next show is at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. This is in the Cultural Centre in TST. That ugly pink building next to Star Ferry. This show is a group exhibition by 8 artists and is a response to an artist called Antonio Mak. This is a young HK artist who sadly died of cancer just as he seemed set for a wonderful art career. A very talented sculptor, he was only 43 when he died.
Here's one of his sculptures. Like me he has used tigers and horses in his work.
For my part of the show I came up with 4 connected pieces of art:
4 films of a real live tiger projected on 4 screens in a large black room. 10 minutes long each.
A set of 5 paintings (which have individual titles). there is another set of 4 blank canvases with no titles. sizes for all range from 3ftx3ft to 7ftx7ft
the paintings are called collectively 'Argonautica (All That Is)'
the blank canvases are called collectively 'Hamartia (All That Will Never Be)'
300 HK$100 notes folded (origami) into the shape of a tiger, signed and numbered. These are handed out to the audience by the artist at the opening
An empty space in the centre of the video room where a real tiger should have stood.
(explanations of the titles at the end of the blog)
Still from the film.
The film is of a tiger running around on a black background. It plays on 4 screens in a black room so it kind feels like a tiger is walking around you when you stand in the middle of the room.
The idea of the film is about freedom and restraint. The tiger is an endangered Bengal tiger and was filmed in a prepared studio, in UK, with the camera crew inside cages for their protection. It took a day to shoot with 2 tigers. the tiger looks beautiful and provokes an instant reaction, especially with the sad music in the background by the Polish composer Gorecki.
The film was supposed to also be projected on the outside of the
cultural centre (it's a large blank wall with no windows) but again,
the museum would not allow this.
Originally there would have been a real tiger in the middle of the room too but the museum would not allow it so instead i'll be sitting in the middle of the room handing out 'paper tigers'. These are origami, real, $100 notes folded to look like tigers. I'll be giving out 300 of them, the entire $30,000 budget that the museum gave me for my work, at the opening. My work cost way more than this to produce but the museum wouldn't give me any more money.
It will be interesting to see if people come to the show just to get the money (maybe the only way to get people to come to the museum of art). Also interesting if people keep the paper tigers as a piece of art or spend it. Anyway, it's a statement about how shit our art museum is and how worthless their money is. It's also a statement about the current financial crisis and how worthless money is becoming.
Here's the cash on the night
folded into origami tigers
Here's me at the opening giving away the $30,000 in cash, signed, numbered and folded into little tigers.
The artworks also represent past, present and future in relation to antonio mak. The paintings are the past, the blank paintings are the future and the film is the present. the paintings are of women in movement, some blurred, some clear.
This is me on my last day in the studio. Somehow managed to paint 12 works and make 4 films in around 2 months. I had only 1 day off and was working 12-14 hours a day.
The museum exterior
Here's the work stacked up for installation at the museum.
And again all set up.
Installing Antonio's work
Antonio's work all done.
One of the other artists work.
The opening was a great success, people seemed very moved by the film of the tiger. A.N.D. Shan came down to represent too. Good girl! Ryan and Candice were there too and 24 Herbs Eddie.
As for the titles:
Is an Armenian guy that killed a war criminal and was then aquited of the crime
Is an Greek adventure story, the other title is a word invented by Aristotle to describe a flaw or error.
Is a reference to Robin Hood who robbed the rich an gave to the poor.
Is a reference to the worst disaster at a circus where 139 died in a fire.
The whole installation is for Antonio Mak, he used tigers in his work, but is consistent with my continuing overall concept that relates to the idea of spectacle. There is also a few themes running beneath this that relate to science fiction, science fact, fun fairs and circus.
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