Cover Whale by d’strict (Image: d’strict and Oi!)

Don’t fret if you’ve missed Art Basel and Art Central. These new art exhibitions, suitable for art fanatics and families alike, will keep you busy and creatively indulged for the month

From reflecting on the pandemic and gender identities, to exploring astrology and nature, local and international artists have created a number of innovative and visually stunning shows around town. Some of the exhibitions even incorporate technology that enables visitors to walk into the artworks.

1. Villepin: The Loss of Human Face?

The human face fascinated great artists, such as Rembrandt, Modigliani and Van Gogh, as a source of attraction and repulsion and an expression of humanity and fraternity. Inspired by this, Villepin’s new exhibition is an international  dialogue between five artists who explore truths and identities hidden behind visages: Francis Bacon, Adrian Ghenie, Zeng Fanzhi, George Condo and Yukimasa Ida.

The gallery team has also been working on an accompanying catalogue for the exhibition. It includes texts and essays by curators and contributors including Didier Ottinger, the deputy director of Centre Pompidou; Edwin Becker, the head of exhibitions at Van Gogh Museum; and Dominique de Villepin, the co-founder of Villepin.

From June 2 to November. G-2/F, 53-55 Hollywood Road, Central. Find out more at villepinart.com

2. Perrotin: The Driver

San Francisco-based artist Koak creates emotionally charged portraits of figures imbued with a sense of agency and inner life, as she examines the hierarchies of gender. Her style is influenced by comics and she is known for using intense palettes of jarring colours. Her first show in Asia, The Driver, features new paintings and sculptures. The painting that gives the exhibition its name stands out for having a particular focus on delineated contours that express the state of the subject: a woman in negotiation for power.

Until July 9. 807, K11 Atelier Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Find out more at perrotin.com

3. Flowers Gallery: Silberblumen

French German artist Elger Esser’s work is concerned with the long relationship between painting and photography. By using historical materials and printing the photographs on silver-coated copper plates, he merges memory with landscape to create lyrical and introspective images. Rivers, lakes, country scenes and bodies of water are his signature subjects, which he employs as metaphors for sources of life and theatres of danger.

Until July 23. 49 Tung Street, Sheung Wan. Find out more at flowersgallery.com

4. SC Gallery: The Sunshine Is Still There!

Six young and emerging Hong Kong artists, Ho Sin Tung, Chan Wai Lap, Tobe Kan, Frank Tang, Yau Kwok Keung and Lau Yin Yeung, are invited by this gallery, which opened in April, to express their feelings and understanding of resilience from the trauma, difficulties and darkest times of the past two years. The theme “the sunshine is still there” is open to the artists’ interpretation. For instance, Yau explores his own emotional journey and suggests the futility of believing in hope is akin to the way a moth is burnt by flying towards a lightbulb. Chan reflects on the paradox of people’s need for sunshine and the avoidance of the sun for those who subscribe to the pale beauty trend.

Until June 26. Unit 2, 19/F, Sungib Industrial Centre, 53 Wong Chuk Hang. Find out more at instagram.com/sc_gallery_sharon

5. Galerie du Monde: Retrograde

Curated by Cusson Cheng, this group exhibition contests the dominant heteronormative logics of desire and the homogeneous models of gay modern identities. Artists from Hong Kong and overseas, including Jes Fan, who is known for injecting hormones into glass objects, reimagine queer histories, subjectivities and futures. The name of the exhibition takes inspiration from the retrograde motion in astrology, which is contrary to the normal forward motion. It represents how the artists challenge convention.

From June 16 to August 13. 108 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central. Find out more at galeriedumonde.com

6. The Shophouse: Another Asian Artist

Asians are often overlooked as part of a singular ethnicity, and it doesn’t help when globalisation, which has peaked in the 21st century, has eroded individuality and cultural distinctiveness in the art world. But since the pandemic, social distancing and travelling restrictions have created a greater focus on local cultures and self-reflection of identities. Nine artists of the Asian diaspora seek to rediscover their identities in the post-pandemic era in this exhibition, co-curated by Japanese art coordinator Taku Santiago Sato, Korean contemporary art writer Sungah Serena Choo and Chinese artist Yang Jian.

Until June 19. 4 Second Lane, Tai Hang. Find out more at otherthings.theshophouse.hk

7. Gagosian: Onslaught

Los Angeles-based, Geneva-born painter Louise Bonnet is known for absurdist paintings that depict grotesque, contorted bodies. She writes in a press statement, “There are all these rules about openings in the body; about things leaking out. That’s interesting to me—the body out of control.” Onslaught is her first exhibition in Asia. It comprises two groups of three large canvases, displayed as triptychs. These new works focus on bodily fluids as objects of societal disgust, a subject rarely depicted in art. She investigates aesthetic and ideological conventions that complicate the ways in which fluids are now received in the modern times.

Until August 6. 7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central. Find out more at gagosian.com

8. Oi!

The expanded Oil Street art space reopens with ten art projects, including two highlight exhibitions that celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. American architectural group Diller Scofidio + Renfro created Joyful Trees (Arbores Laetae), which is a kinetic art installation with three Chinese junipers planted on rotating turntables to create an “unnatural nature”; Korean art group d’strict created d’strict Remix, which shows anamorphic projections of ocean waves and a blue whale swimming in the sea. These artworks blend technology and art, and explore how installations can create an immersive experience for visitors as they walk into the space. There are also other interactive art projects on show that connect art and the community.

From May 24. 12 Oil Street, North Point. Find out more at lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Museum/APO/en_US/web/apo/oi.html

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