Contagious Cities: Faraway Too Close

Contagious Cities: Faraway Too Close 26 January - 21 April, 2019 Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong In 2003, the SARS outbreak led to a shutdown of Hong Kong. The virus infected 1,755 people in the city, killing 299. Fear of the epidemic led many, mainly expats, to flee. Those who didn’t leave avoided public spaces. A…

Rachel Kneebone: Ovid in Exile

Published in Artomity, Issue no.5, Summer 2017 British sculptor Rachel Kneebone forges the human condition out of clay. The great meta-narratives of humanity – creation and destruction, death and life, renewal, love, suffering, heaven and hell, the limitations and possibilities of the human body –  are all tackled in her sculptures. It is a rather…

Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief

Published in Artomity, Summer 2017 With over a decade of practice, artist Samson Young has made audiences question and examine their relationship to sound and music, and their relationship to history, politics, and identity through sound.  Young is a product of a certain time and place. Born in 1979 in Hong Kong he grew up…

Howard Hodgkin: Painting from Memory

Published in Artomity, Spring 2017, Issue no.4. I never interviewed Howard Hodgkin, who passed away on March 9 aged 84. The artist didn’t like to talk about his paintings, or attempt to explain them into relevance, although for the purpose of this review I’m going to do just that. Hodgkin’s paintings aren’t about narrative or…

Review: Marco Brambilla at Simon Lee Gallery

The merry-go-round symphony of Prokofiev’s 'Cinderella Waltz' sweeps you up into a dizzying vortex of imagery. Fragments of Hollywood films – culled from the The Sound of Music, The Big Lebowski, Eyes Wide Shut, Austin Powers, The Terminator, and over 400 others – dance past in a frenetic choreographed collage of totemic tableaus depicting heaven…

Review: Danh Vō at White Cube, Hong Kong

Published in Artomity, Winter 2016 What do demonic possession, Pleistocene mammoth bones, a crusader sword and a Budweiser carton box have in common? On first appearances, nothing at all. By installing them across two floors in White Cube Gallery, Vietnamese-Danish artist Danh Vō seems to be playing a practical joke on his audience. On the ground floor…

Review: Wang Zhibo at Edouard Malingue Gallery

Published in Artomity, Issue no. 2, Autumn 2016 The disembodied head of Mickey Mouse floats before the striated background of a canvas alongside the head of a putto and several archeological finds. But Wang Zhibo isn’t another Chinese contemporary artist dredging up Western iconography in an attempt at ironic kitsch. We’ve moved on from the…