Cover Big Bee and Kevin Poon (Photography: YongYing)

Spotted all of the city’s cool kids hanging on the corner of Sun Street in Wan Chai one Wednesday night in June? They were there for Sandworm, US artist Charlie Roberts’ new solo exhibition, held at World of Amazing Wonders (WOAW) Gallery with Case Studyo, and hosted by Hong Kong entrepreneur Kevin Poon. The exhibition which began on June 24, was a first in the city for Norway-based Roberts.

“We love up-and-coming artists and emerging art. Charlie Roberts is a great artist that people should know about,” says Poon. “It’s important to foster new talent and give talented artists a platform to showcase their work. His pieces are a little bit more abstract, which allows you to dream.”

The title of the show is inspired by US novelist Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction series Dune, in which the sinister, desert-dwelling creature acts as gatekeeper to Melange, a powerful drug and valuable commodity among humans. The nine-piece exhibit served as a metaphor to showcase the contradiction between nature and human civilisation by infusing Roberts’ love for pop culture, hip-hop, high-end sneakers and watches with psychedelic elements across a collection of paintings and sculptures.

The guest list was packed with art fans and collectors, including Jonathan Cheung, Federico Tan, Jonathan Crockett, William Zhao, Yvonne Fong, Kayla and Irisa Wong, Fiona McLeish and Victoria Tang-Owen. After the opening, they hit the dancefloor of The Diplomat, the chic speakeasy and brainchild of mixologist John Nugent.

By the end of the evening, even Poon was finally able to relax and took a turn on the DJ decks to play his favourite R&B tunes, including classics from his hit-making friend Pharrell Williams. Eyes closed, hands in the air, the crowd heralded a unique new art exhibition—as well as the long weekend ahead.