Back to the Future, 21 Jan 2016 — 20 Feb 2016

Back to the Future

The Cat Street Gallery and China Art Projects presents Back to the Future, an exhibition exploring themes illustrated in the popular American adventure comedy.

In 1985 the release of the movie Back to the Future became a popular worldwide phenomenon and led to two sequels and a cult following to this day.

Hong Kong is experiencing an interesting time in its history. A barren and rocky island at the extremity of the Qing Empire in 1842 when it was forcibly annexed by the British Empire, Hong Kong has grown into a major world finance and business center. Such rapid social and civil change must have left a profound impression on the thinking and cultural development of this society.

Today Hong Kong seems to be struggling to both maintain and reinvent its position as both a Chinese and an international city of commerce, trade and political independence.
Hong Kong is certainly vying for a place as a vibrant and dynamic art center in the Asia Pacific region – in 2015 the Hong Kong art world is energized by the development and planning of major art establishments such as M+ West Kowloon Art District, the Central Police Station and PMQ Married Police Quarters in Hollywood Road, Central. There are government supported artists run spaces such as Oil Street, Cattle Depot, Fotan Studios and the respected Para/Site Art Space (who have recently moved to bigger quarters in Quarry Bay). As well as the established Pedder Street and Hollywood Road art galleries, new centres are now competing for attention in a bustling commercial art world such as SoHo 189 Art Lane, South Island Cultural District and Chai Wan art district. With important art fairs, Art Basel HK and Art Central and the major world auction houses of Sotheby’s, Christies and Bonham’s all established in Hong Kong for some years, it is no wonder there is an air of optimism and excitement in the city in regards to the future of the art scene.

Where does Hong Kong find itself in the now thriving art and cultural world of an emergent Asia – does it look backward for inspiration for both its present and its future or does it ignore its past histories and speed full throttle into the future?

Where does a Hong Kong artist look to pose the above questions – Back to the Future – their long Chinese heritage or the very much shorter 156 years of colonial history imposed upon their society since 1842 to the handover to China in 1997 – or indeed – Forward to the Future.

The Cat Street Gallery and China Art Projects have invited 18 Hong Kong artists to address these questions in a unique body of work for this two phase exhibition over two 6 week periods in two venues.

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