Occupy Central By Art
Wong Shun Kit X Chau Shik Hung
- Wed 12-03-2014 to Fri 21-03-2014
Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery
Social and political awareness have become crucial topics in contemporary art discourse. At the beginning of the 1990s, a group of Hong Kong artists began to integrate social elements into their practices, utilising the language of art to reflect upon, question and critique the course of history and societal developments. This practice liberated art from a state of self-indulgence and an extended period of isolation, giving rise to the 97-art movement. The 97-era embodied a lack of democracy and freedom of expression. By contrast, Hong Kong today stands at a critical junction for democratic development. At this sensitive intersection, however, the media is not offering enough scope on the subject for reflection. In this age of “self media”, it is imperative for art to engage in the process of societal change, facilitating different perspectives and interpretations. This has become a vital issue for the contemporary art scene in Hong Kong.
“Occupy Central By Art” was conceived of by artists Chau Shik Hung and Wong Shun Kit, and represents an extension of their long-standing and socially informed practices. Over a decade ago, Chau Shik Hung started satirising political figures through his portraiture, with later works utilising the devices of local customs to further critique society, including Fa Pai (bamboo structures adorned with flowers, commonly used in traditional festive celebrations), buildings with political connotations, and conceptual political texts. By surveying the social landscape, he has created his unique style and artistic language.
In the mid-1990s, Wong Shun Kit started producing installations and oil-paintings that interrogated the drifting and tenuous Hong Kong identity. For over a decade, Wong participated in “Head of HKSAR”, a performance-art piece that ridiculed the so-called election process of the Special Administrative Region. More recently, the artist has dedicated himself to creating Chinese ink collages of historical, art historical, religious, and social iconography, expressively exploring the undercurrents of society.
The two artists have established a framework rooted in tradition, and have developed their unique contemporary artistic styles. Chau Shik Hung transforms and redefines the everyday Fa Pai tradition into a mode of expression, while Wong Shun Kit revolutionises the local ink art landscape by introducing social elements into his idiom.
“Occupy Central By Art” features a creative series, presenting a personal and stylised dialogue in the contemporary age.
- Wong Shun Kit
To me, the most important element in the creative process is an honest reflection of my immediate environment and instinctual emotions. The foundation of my artwork is based upon a trove of cultural iconography that is highly symbolic to traditional Chinese culture. So using the historical treasures of Chinese heritage to inform the framework of my art is a core value of my compositions. To me, this series has resulted from an extended period of meditation, and the creative journey is often fraught with difficulties. The process begins with an indistinct concept, followed by a journey of reflections and re-interpretations in search of the most relevant expression. In the “Fa Pai” series, I embedded ancient cultural totems and symbols among flower stands, and presented the subject with colour schemes that resist the traditional. I would not describe the work as a “drawing”, instead the conceptual language has been developed through the subtle employment of traditional techniques, symbols and metaphors, as well as embedded personalised text. These parameters allow for a central theme to be developed, thereby succinctly conveying my artistic vision through a complex and colourful composition that concurrently prevents the instabilities of emotional fluctuations. I wish to play the part of a messenger, allowing the audience to see new meanings in the city of Hong Kong.
- Chau Shik Hung
Exhibition period: 12th – 21st March, 2014 10 am to 10 pm
(Closed on Sunday and public holidays)
Opening cocktail: 12th March 7 pm
Enquiry: +852 2525 4416 / email@example.com