A large commercial neon sign from Hong Kong’s recent past introduces an exhibition that captures the flux of everyday life, both locally and globally. Displaying works in a variety of media to include photography, painting and sculpture, the exhibition aims to identify with the evolving nature of Hong Kong as it enters a phase of rapid development. Having responded to other cities and the conditions that signal change, each artist offers differing viewpoints relating to social, economic and political transformation.
Hong Kong defies predictions and categorisation. The megacity of glittering skyscrapers, which is home to the largest international corporations in the world, has in fact a long and rich history going back to 221 BC. Hong Kong as we encounter it today is shaped by its colonial history, which led to the booming developments of the 20th century, ushering in a period of great structural transformation. The political changes the city has forgone came along with social adaptation and reshaping of traditions.
Hong Kong is at the crossroads of East and West, modernity and the ancient, the local and the global, which is a key element of our fascination with this special city and the artists that work to illustrate and describe (and sometimes create) this identity. Some wonder if Hong Kong is a melting pot, or rather the most vivid example of a cultural mosaic, for as the artists in this show know well, assimilation is a fallacy. These artists practise all over the world yet are all fascinated with the basic machinations of modernity – these metropolises in which we live and work.
Hong Kongese is curated by Gregor Muir, Alia Al-Senussi and Abdullah AlTurki.