Cover Frog King (Kwok Mang-ho), Kindness Happy Frog-Topia, 2021. Artwork donated by the artist and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

Asia Art Archive patrons Elaine Kwok, James Lie, Edward Tang, Chloe Suen and Nicole Ching reveal their favourite works ahead of the auction gala on October 29

It’s that time of year again! Get ready to bid as the Asia Art Archive’s (AAA) annual fundraising gala and live auction makes its return on October 29.

Every year, the AAA gala dinner brings out the very best of the art community in Hong Kong. The event is a key fundraiser for the non-profit, which since 2000 has aimed to make contemporary art more accessible in Asia. All the funds raised at the ritzy affair go directly towards building collections on the history of contemporary art in the region, as well as towards keeping the materials free and accessible for research and education.

This year marks an exciting shift in the AAA’s management too, with the addition of new executive director, Christopher K. Ho, as the co-founder and executive director for the past 20 years, Claire Hsu, transitions to her new position as board co-chair.

This year’s auction features 48 works by artists including Birdhead, Luis Chan, Elizabeth and Iftikhar Dadi, Simryn Gill, Jeff Koons, Andrew Luk, Sopheap Pich, Song Dong, Angela Su, Charwei Tsai, and Cecilia Vicuña. Generously donated by artists, individual donors, institutions and galleries across the globe, all the pieces are set to go under the hammer this month.

Online bidding will take place between October 12 and 29 at aaa2021auction.com, with a preview exhibition at the Christie’s showroom from October 20 to 23. The live auction will take place at the gala dinner on October 29.

We asked five AAA patrons—Elaine Kwok, James Lie, Edward Tang, Chloe Suen and Nicole Ching—to talk us through their favourite pieces this year.

James Lie’s Picks

Cecilia Vicuña, Untitled (Precarios), 2018

“Cecilia Vicuña has created these little sculptures since the Sixties, using natural debris from ancient sites in Peru. It's a way of spiritually and poetically engaging the body to the material and the site, hence these “precarios” become almost like visual poems”.

Pinaree Sanpitak, Number 5, 2020

“[In a work that] evolved from her installation at the Setouchi Triennale last year, Pinaree Sanpitak created these ‘breast stupas’ by applying natural paper on top of various vessels including containers and utensils, which created new narratives for the sacred and the sensual.”

Luis Chan, Untitled (Hidden Treasures), 1983

“This Luis Chan work from 1983 is an iconic, fantastical landscape painting that is similar to the ones from the HKMoA collection.”

Ed Tang’s Picks

Luis Chan, Untitled (Hidden Treasures), 1983

“This diptych by Luis Chan is wonderfully vibrant and whimsical. Dating back to 1983, it really captures the pioneering spirit of Luis Chan.”

David Diao, Lissitzky Curves and Breuer’s UNESCO; Lisssitzky Letterhead; Lissitzky Curves and Herman Miller Logo, 2021

“I have always admired David Diao’s multi-layered practice. These bold, abstract works are a nod to modernist formalism and reference cultural giants like Marcel Breuer and Herman Miller. The palette and composition are beautiful.”

Nicole Ching’s Picks

Patty Chang, Milk Debt (Hong Kong), 2020

“How can we ever repay our mothers for bringing us into this world? I love that this work tackles this existential question head-on and then takes us into the realm of collective healing. It is a much-needed salve for the times we inhabit.”

Song Dong, Fireworks under the midsummer moon with Western porridge, 2014

“These sauce paintings are just super! I love the idea of food as ‘the great connector’—able to cross cultures and borders and foster meaningful exchange.”

Pinaree Sanpitak, Number 5, 2020

“I love how Sanpitak has juxtaposed the softness of the breast stupas so delicately with the rigidity of the bronze vessel in a quiet but compelling exploration of domesticity and femininity.”

Elaine Kwok's Picks

Frog King (Kwok Mang-ho), Kindness Happy Frog-Topia, 2021

“Frog King is a Hong Kong icon, beloved for his performances, costumes, and instantly recognisable collages, paintings and installations. This work features many of his signature frog symbols, as well as self-portraits, stamps and positive affirmations, such as ‘smile,’ ‘improvise’, and ‘happy’.”

Jen Liu, The Pink Detachment: Factors of Production (Land, Labor, Capital, Entrepreneurship), 2017

“There is something so haunting and evocative about this painting. It reminds me of a surreal dystopian universe à la Handmaid’s Tale. American artist Jen Liu tackles gender, power and labor, and this work was created in 2017—the same year she received a Guggenheim fellowship.”

Annie Wan Lai-kuen, Tung Zan Baak Fo—Robot, 2020

“Annie Wan is a Hong Kong conceptual artist who works primarily with ceramics and this robot is part of a series of toys and everyday objects like utensils and apparel. The artist fashioned these objects into ceramic items, exploring the issues of function and value, as well as what is real and fake. I also love her large-scale installation Where is My Peaceful Home, which is part of the current exhibition Poetic Heritage at Tai Kwun Contemporary.”

Chloe Suen’s Picks

Angela Su, Aster, 2019

“Angela Su’s drawings always challenge our perception by transforming biological reality. I love her pseudo-scientific style. The imaginary hybrid flower here is beautifully drawn and has a quiet strength.”

Vishwa Shroff, Corridor Project, 2018

“I love Vishwa Shroff’s sensitive observation and meticulous approach, shown through her sharp lines and intense detail. The change of perspective also draws attention to specific areas of the room and makes you feel a magical presence of some sort.”

Au Hoi-lam, Poem 03 (Looking through the misty clouds), 2007

“Au Hoi-lam’s typical hermetic symbols and codes are transformed into a traditional couplet here. It makes me reflect on the future of traditional Chinese art in a digital world in which people tend to type instead of write.”

Now Read:

Asia Art Archive Announces Christopher K Ho As Its New Executive Director

Asia Art Archive Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary At The Hong Kong Country Club

Claire Hsu On Asia Art Archive's Upcoming Exhibition at Tai Kwun—And What's Next For The Organisation

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