For a dose of playful and whimsical art this summer, we’re spoiled for choice. Whether you enjoy peeking into particularly groundbreaking slices of art history, or experiencing installations that aim simply to bring joy and colour into our lives, August is a vibrant month for art exhibitions in Hong Kong. Take a look at our picks below for the best places to engage with creative art this summer.
Millions of Bubbles
When: 2–20 August (Every Friday to Sunday)
We’re a sucker for large scale public art, and this month, Tsim Sha Tsui will play host to Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki and his travelling exhibition ‘Millions of Bubbles.’ The work is essentially that: an installation and flash performance at Harbour City of his ‘Bubble Machine,’ which will produce 10,000 bubbles per minute using non-toxic soap. According to the artist, bubbles are one of the simplest ways to bring people into a state of childlike joy. Twenty bubble performances will be held at the Ocean Terminal Forecourt, with 45 bubble machines installed at different levels. Bubbles will be made at 2:30pm and 6:30pm each day, from Friday to Sunday.
Ocean Terminal Forecourt, Harbour City, 3-37 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Desiring — Post 97 Hong Kong Ink Art
When: Through 31 August
If you’re a lover of ink art, this group show co-curated by Daphne King and Eric Leung is one not to miss. As one of the city’s longest established professional gallery of Chinese contemporary art (having celebrated its 35th anniversary last year), Alisan Fine Arts is a natural authority on the development of the ink art scene over the decades. During this show, you can appreciate the innovations in ink art from the post-97 era, slowly removing itself from literati style and taking on more modern concepts and experimenting with technology. The works of 10 artists are featured, including Fang Zhaoling, TC Lai, Lui Shou-kwan and Wucius Wong.
Alisan Fine Arts, 21/F Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2526 1091
Acts of Transgression
When: Through 31 August
Nine international contemporary artists are shown at Pearl Lam Galleries this month in a group show all about going above and beyond various limits: of identity; of artistic language; of material; of technology; and predisposed dialogues. From fantastical and elaborate installations to energetic paintings to works in beeswax, this exhibition is sure to inspire you and leave you hungry for more. Artists exhibited include Andy Dewantoro (Indonesia), Inci Eviner (Turkey), Ren Ri (China), Carlos Rolón/Dzine (USA), Yinka Shonibare (UK), Sinta Tantra (UK), Thukral & Tagra (India), Joana Vasconcelos (Portugal) and John Young (Hong Kong/Australia).
Pearl Lam Galleries, 601-605 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 1428
When: Through mid-September
Three street artist legends band together at Above Second for a highly anticipated collaborative show. Featuring master graffiti writers CRASH and BIO from the Bronx and Bristol stencilist Nick Walker, new canvases are created: with the bubblegum colours and eyes from CRASH’s works mixed with BIO’s heart motifs and cameos of Nick Walker’s ‘gentleman vandal’ mascot, these synergistic works demonstrate how artistic barriers can be broken even further — even in the disruptive and dynamic world of street art.
Above Second Gallery, 9 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong +852 3483 7950
When: 11–31 August
Dedicated to radical contemporary programmes, Over the Influence Gallery’s ‘Greater China Summer Program’ summer shows are imbued in fun and playful vibes. Last month saw the solo exhibition of Taiwanese artist Reach, where his works enveloped the gallery in a wash of millennial pink. This month places a spotlight on Hong Kong illustrator and graffiti artist Catherine Grossrieder, also known as Cath Love. ‘Fast Taste’ offers a more tongue-in-cheek expression of the world’s fast food cultures: from sexy Colonel Sanders to googly eyed cartoons poking fun at stigmas and stereotypes associated with the culture of greasy deliciousness. If you worship fried chicken, this will be the show for you.
Over the Influence Gallery, 1/F, 159 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2617 9829
When: Through 26 August
German artist Markus Brunetti has been researching collecting photographic images of the facades of European cathedrals, churches and cloisters since 2005. Covering sites of varying architectural styles, from Moorish to Renaissance, he has assembled the individual images into coherent and brand new, fictional facades — likening the process of the forgotten craftsmen who left their mark on history by building these sites.
Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Unit D, 15/F Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2503 2220
When: Through 24 August
Pace Hong Kong’s summer show is a solo presentation of paper and sculpture works by Sui Jianguo — his first show in Hong Kong in nine years. Sui is widely viewed as an avant garde pioneer in the world of contemporary Chinese sculpture, and many may recognise his Mao suit and red toy dinosaur sculptures which propelled him into international recognition. For this exhibition, new paper works created in 2017 are shown next to his 1992 work Earth Force, one of his more well known pieces consisting of 20 boulders each wrapped in a web of ribbed steel to demonstrate the resistance of force between the two materials. It’s a look back at how the artist’s sensitivity to material has matured over the two decades.
Pace Hong Kong, Shop 15C, Entertainment Building, 30 Queens Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2608 5065
One Second Ago
When: Through 26 August
Sensual, delicate and poignant, Edouard Malingue Gallery’s latest exhibition is a deep dive into the poetry found in the passing of time — as well as the awareness of the inevitability of it. The gallery invites five international artists to offer their takes: He Yida and Tao Hui from China, Handiwirman Saputra from Indonesia, Jeremy Everett from America, and Phillip Lai from Malaysia and the UK.
Edouard Malingue, 6/F, 33 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0317
When: 4 August–10 September
The best way to remedy this sweltering heat is to dig into a bowl of shari shari shaved ice dessert, or devour the biggest gelato cone you’ve ever laid your eyes on. After sating your stomach, you’ll want to feast your eyes on Osamu Watanabe’s works at Whitestone Gallery this month. A forerunner of the Kawaii movement in Japanese contemporary art, the ‘Prince of Sweets’ of the art world is bringing more than 20 of his sugar-inspired, ‘resin cream art’ pieces to Hong Kong.
Whitestone Gallery, UG/F, Lee Roy Commercial Building, 57-59 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2523 8455
Points of Departure
When: Through 9 September
Through the lens of three Chinese painters and photographers — Gao Ludi, Lu Song and Xie Nanxing — this exhibition examines the evolution of painting, particularly exploring the appropriation art that was common in America in the 80s that used found imagery for topical social commentary. From small scale oil sketches to humorous painting done over landscape photographs to paintings of artificial light, it’s a mesmerising collection that’s worth an afternoon of musing.
Lehmann Maupin, Unit 407, 4/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2530 0025