Cover No Title (1987) by Raymond Pettibon (Image: Raymond Pettibon, David Zwirner and the artist)

Live art exhibitions are back. Apart from Art Basel in May, here are ten new gallery shows not to be missed

If the prospect of a major art festival like Art Basel finally returning to Hong Kong isn’t enough of a culture fix, check out these art exhibitions featuring a strong line-up of local and international practitioners who use non-traditional materials or address contemporary social issues. Don’t forget to check out a number of new gallery spaces that kickstart this postponed art month with a fresh beginning.

1. Massimo De Carlo: The Extinction Agenda

Italian art dealer Massimo De Carlo founded his gallery in Milan in 1987 and has spent 30 years expanding his business to London, Hong Kong, Beijing and Paris, in each of which he and his team work with young, counter-current and international artists. His Hong Kong gallery recently relocated from Pedder Building to Tai Kwun, and opened in March with The Extinction Agenda by Harlem-based interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers. This is Biggers’ first solo exhibition in Hong Kong and fourth with the gallery. It features new sculptures and installations that belong to the artist’s ever-evolving Codex and Chimera series, which is inspired by his favourite musical album by hip-hop duo Organized Konfusion and explores the communication of knowledge and the authenticity of traditions between different cultures and nations.

Until June 6, 2022. Tai Kwun, Barrack Block, 2/F, Shop 03-205 & 206, 10 Hollywood Road, Central. Find out more at massimodecarlo.com

2. Kwai Fung Salone: Angels from Infinity

A recipient of the Worldʼs Outstanding Chinese Designer award in 2015, Hong Kong-raised, US educated artist and designer Chi Wing Lo explores aspects of architecture, sculpture, interior, furniture and object design in his artwork. In Kwai Fung Salone’s inaugural exhibition, Lo, who returns to the city after more than 40 years, reconsiders the perception of aesthetics, life and civilisation in his collection of sculptures, which are inspired by his spiritual figures, whom he calls “angels”, for having guided him in a small fishing village in eastern Hong Kong when he was a child.

Until June 30. Shop 03-G07, G/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central. Find out more at kwaifunghin.com

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3. Tai Kwun Contemporary: Double Vision and Emo Gym

Curated by Erin Li, associate curator at Tai Kwun, Emo Gym is a group exhibition of seven young emerging Hong Kong artists who confront and dissect contemporary issues faced by the world, especially Hong Kong. By investigating social conditions, global geopolitics, technological acceleration, the global pandemic and impending climate disaster, the artists raise an important question: does our vulnerability constitute a fundamental state of human existence and the world we live in?

Happening simultaneously is Double Vision, a group exhibition curated by Tobias Berger, Jill Angel Chun, and Daniel Szehin Ho. Featuring 14 artists from around the world, the exhibition deals with the concept of double forms of vision such as twinhood and déjà vu. The show takes place on the first and third floors of the exhibition space in Tai Kwun, and the layouts of both spaces, enhanced by arrangements of structural and spatial repetition, are similar to one another to create a sensation of déjà vu.

Double Vision runs until June 12. Emo Gym runs until June 19. Tai Kwun Contemporary, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central. Find out more at taikwun.hk

4. Proper Weight

In the intimate and raw Fo Tan studio of three Hong Kong artists, everyday objects are reimagined in contexts in a different way to what they’re usually associated with. Mark Chung uses steel wires; Ko Sin Tung uses debris from the space; and Dave Chow uses blades and venetian blinds. Through adjusting the weight and density of these different displayed objects, the artworks examine the notions of perception, history, and our understanding of the world as we know it.

Until June 2. Flat 11V, International Industrial Centre, Kwei Tei St, Fo Tan. 

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5. Kiang Malingue: What a Big Smoke Ring

In the newly renovated space in Tin Wan, now called “Kiang Malingue”, Hong Kong artist Yeung Hok-tak’s first solo exhibition showcases more than 20 recent humorous and vibrant paintings that celebrate his artistic practice, developed over 20 years. The title of the exhibition is inspired by his experience of misremembering the title and lyrics of local singer William Fung Wai-lam’s 1981 hit What a Big Web. Stemming from this, Yeung’s series explores the dynamic of memory, nostalgia and history, and expands to the concept of how history not only can be rewritten in the generations to follow but subjected to fabrication and manipulation.

Until May 30. 13/F, Blue Box Factory Building, 25 Hing Wo Street, Aberdeen. Find out more at kiangmalingue.com

6. Pace: Moon in the Morning

Multidisciplinary sculptor Arlene Shechet, who lives and works in New York City and the Hudson Valley, is known for her slumped, Buddha-like figures made from plaster and paint skins in the 1990s. In 2015, The New York Times called All At Once, a previous show on view at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, “some of the most imaginative American sculpture of the past 20 years, and some of the most radically personal.”

Moon in the Morning is Shechet’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. It explores her longstanding interest in the connection between seemingly disparate, incongruous materials and forms. Shechet's sculptures highlight the beautiful and disorienting quality of the moon, and toy with how the natural phenomenon of seeing a moon in the morning can be a visual paradox. This show features new and recent work, including nine sculptures of both large and small scales. 

From May 20 to June 30. 12/F, H Queen's, 80 Queen's Road Central. Find out more at pacegallery.com

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7. CHAT: A Net (Dis)entangled

Following its first series that showcased 15 artists and designers who create pieces according to the notion of “East Asia”, this second chapter of the Spinning East Asia exhibition series  presents a line-up of 16 artists and artist groups from the East Asia region. Informed by their own cultures’ perception of textile, individually or collaboratively, they create works that examine textile’s materiality, techniques, subject matters and the identities and history associated with this industry.

Until August 7. CHAT, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan. Find out more at mill6chat.org

8. Current Plans: Perfect Sense

In the inaugural exhibition by a gallery that focuses on contemporary art, artist Chris Shen presents five site-specific installations that are activated with motion sensors. These installations are built with ready-made objects and positioned in covert places, waiting to be triggered by unsuspecting visitors. Shen asks the question: if automated devices were created to assist our lives by easing our burdens, they require our full trust and total consent. But what if they don’t follow our instructions as we thought they would?

Until May 31. 2F Tak On House, 13 Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po. Find out more at current-plans.com

9. Contemporary by Angela Li: Spinelessly Planting

Born in 1987, Hong Kong artist Cheung Tsz-hin captures the natural elements and vegetation of his home, the northern New Territories; Sandy Ridge, where he grew up; his grandmother’s home in Ta Kwu Ling; and Yuen Long’s village studios. His paintings capture more than landscapes, experimenting with space and light and imbuing shadows with the artist’s anxiety towards humanity and the mundane. This solo show features his latest works after he moved his studio from Yuen Long to Fo Tan.

Until June 25. G/F, 248 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. Find out more at cbal.com.hk

10. Para Site: Minding the G(r)a(s)p

Curated by Celia Ho, this exhibition features seven mid-career artists or artist collectives. The title of the show ‘Minding the G(r)a(s)p’ is a triple entendre: gap, gasp, grasp. It toys with the concept of the space between seeing a piece of art and learning the implications beyond the preconceived notions related to the artwork. The show encourages the dialogue between artists, curators and viewers, through reconfiguring the power dynamics between them.

Until August 14. Para Site, 22/F, Wing Wah Industrial Building, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay

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