Cover A Web of Encounters in Motion (2022) by Gretta Louw (Image: courtesy of Tang Contemporary and the artist)

This month’s showcases feature artists and photographers who have fundamentally changed the cultural scene and conversation on gender

From Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, whose work deals with wartime trauma and her experience at a psychiatry hospital, to New York photographer Diane Arbus, known for her intimate shots of strippers and acrobats that thrusted photography into the fine art scene, and even a former French president’s daughter, this month’s exhibitions has brought some of the biggest names in the art world to Hong Kong.

Don't miss: M+ hosts Yayoi Kusama Exhibition, Asia’s Biggest Outside of Japan

1. LGDR & Wei: Sweet Spot

Baltimore-born and Brooklyn-based visual and performance artist Derrick Adams is known for exploring his Black identity by referencing themes, patterns and motifs from American Black culture in his work. His art spans paintings, sculptures, collages, sound installations, videos, performances and fashion. This exhibition presents work from his latest series: Motion Picture Paintings, which is inspired by the artist’s observations and memories of Black films in the 1990s.

From November 10 to December 15, 2022. LGDR & Wei, 2 Ice House Street, Central. Find out more at lgdr.com

2. David Zwirner: First Coming and Men from the Sixties

David Zwirner plays host to two concurrent but separate solo exhibitions in its two-storey gallery space: American photographer Diane Arbus and American visual artist Alice Neel.

Arbus forged a reputation for taking intimate black-and-white portraits of strippers, carnival performers, nudists and people with dwarfism in the 1940s and 1950s. While she wasn’t widely recognised for her talent during her lifetime, Arbus gained fame posthumously when a retrospective exhibition of her photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1972, a year after her death, showed her capacity to realistically capture the experiences of her subjects, which had all previously been relegated to fictional arts such as novels, paintings, poetry and films. Since then, she had been credited for getting photography recognised as a form of fine art.

Neel, on the other hand, focused on frank watercolour portraits and drawings of the human body from the 1940s and 1950s, a time when avant-garde artists renounced figuration—the depiction of the figure. She said to The New York Times in 1976 that “I paint to try to reveal the struggle, tragedy and joy of life.” Through capturing herself and her subjects in a compassionate and candid manner, she also reflected the world she lived in.

From November 17 to December 21, 2022. 5-6/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central. Find out more at davidzwirner.com

3. JPS Gallery: Chop Suey 2008-2022

Not only does Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh combine traditional Chinese fine-brush ink painting with elements of local pop culture in his work, he also dabbles with colour pencil drawings, digital print collage, oil and acrylic on canvas. In this exhibition, he presents a selection of old and new pieces that demonstrate his exploration of gongbi ink painting—which is realist painting with delicate elements—when he experimented with this form of art from 2008 and 2022.

Until November 27, 2022. Shops 218-219, 2/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central. Find out more at jpsgallery.com

4. Villepin: Murmuration

Marie de Villepin—French artist and the daughter of former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin—portrays her personal experiences in abstract form and in a way that emphasises the ideas and emotions within. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Hong Kong. In June this year, Marie was selected as one of the 12 artists to receive Le Prix Antoine Marin, an annual programme in collaboration with the city of Arcueil, France that supports young visual artists.

Taking inspiration from a murmuration of birds, Villepin captures this energy with an abstract use of colours, shapes and rhythm in her brushstrokes.

From November 17, 2022 to March, 2023. G-2/F, 53-55 Hollywood Road, Central. Find out more at villepinart.com

Read more: Hong Kong British Actress Champions Representation in ‘My Neighbour Totoro’

5. Tai Kwun: Gender and Space

Curated by Dr Anita Chung, Tai Kwun’s head of heritage, the exhibition examines the experiences of invisible women and gendered spaces in the first 100 years of the former police station, which was a compound created by and for men in the then dominantly patriarchal society. The show further explores the experiences of women who endured gender inequality and sought changes.

From November 5, 2022 to January 15, 2023. 10 Hollywood Road, Central. Find out more at taikwun.hk

6. Denny Dimin: Here Nor There

Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Valdez incorporates quilting, sewing, dyeing, weaving and painting in her art to explore subjects of the human body, physical and mental changes and, recently, motherhood. Weaving and the use of the grid in quilt making is a nod to the gendered history behind the materials, as well as the geometric patterning in the Minimalist and Conceptual art movements of the 1960s and 1970s in New York.

From November 12 to December 23, 2022. Unit 612, 6/F, Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road. Find out more at dennydimingallery.com

7. Gallery Exit: The Sensitive Body

Hong Kong painter Lulu Ngie’s artwork takes inspiration from her allergies and emotional episodes, and produces paintings that examine her hypersensitive bodily reactions to emotions.

Until November 26, 2022. 3/F, 25 Hing Wo Street, Tin Wan, Aberdeen. Find out more at galleryexit.com

8. Woaw Gallery and K11: Hot Concrete: LA to HK

Curated by Los Angeles gallery Sow & Tailor and co-organised by Ouyang Art Consulting, this first major group presentation of 30 Los Angeles-based artists in Hong Kong offers an in-depth look into the zeitgeist sentiment of contemporary West Coast art scene. The show also explores the impact of the pandemic, gender and identity.

Until November 13, 2022. 6/F, K11 Musea, 11 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Find out more at k11musea.com

In case you missed: ‘Hong Kong’s Met Gala’ K11 Night Names Director William Chang as Co-Chair

9. M+: Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now

This Hong Kong show of Yayoi Kusama’s works will be the biggest retrospective of the artist outside Japan in Asia, featuring more than 200 works from major collections from museums and private collections in Asia, Europe and the US and the artist’s private collection. Kusama—who voluntarily lived at a psychiatric hospital for four decades to cope with her hallucinations and panic attacks—is known for using mirrors and bright colours that envelop visitors.

From November 12, 2022 to May 14, 2023. West Kowloon Cultural District, 38 Museum Drive, Kowloon. Find out more at mplus.org.hk.

10. Young Soy Gallery: Echoes

Hong Kong-based Canadian artist Peter Yuill paints in circles, which represent, to him, a spiritual practice through which he focuses on his bodily sense and innate drive. The solo exhibition presents his new body of work where he explores the intertwining of the scientific, philosophic and spiritual energies.

From November 17 to December 5, 2022. KONG, G/F, 3 Staunton Street, Central. Find out more at youngsoy.com

11. Tang Contemporary Art: Glimmer Shrine

Five female artists—Alina Birkner, GrettaLouw, Jialin Ren, Super Future Kid and Yuchu Gao—present their works in Glimmer Shrine, which explore their different identities and surroundings. Taking shrines, typically sacred spaces with religious significance, as the overarching theme, the artists examine the inner world at moments of vulnerability.

From November 3 to December 10, 2022. 10/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central. Find out more at tangcontemporary.com

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