Saatchi Gallery launches international show of Hong Kong contemporary art

Updated: 2012-12-05 06:45:00


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LONDON, December 4 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese wash painting looking like a GPS map and an enormous wooden tank with smoke coming out of the barrel, they are among the works that Hong Kong artists brought to London.

An exhibition named Hong Kong Eye brought together some 30 contemporary art works by 18 budding artists to the Saatchi Gallery, which will run from Wednesday to January 12 next year.

"This is the first major collective show of contemporary Hong Kong art in the UK," said Chang Tsong-Zung, curator of the exhibition.

"It shows the humor of Hong Kong artists and their bond to the Chinese tradition," he said.

The biggest single piece at the exhibition was a wooden tank the same size as a real one, which was designed by visual artist Amy Cheung who took three weeks to make it.

"She is a mother of a 6-year-old boy and this big toy could meet the desire of the kid as a conqueror," Chang said.

Cheung told Xinhua that the inspiration dawned upon her during a visit to the Vietnam War Museum. "I was impressed by images of mass destruction of war," she said.

Inside the tank she installed three screens modelling the exhibition hall. By pulling a handle, one could fire at each piece of art work there, with flame appearing on the screen and smoke coming out of the tank.

After the destruction, a sad song resonated inside the tank, which was played in the war museum. "In the smoke, it was like the end of the world," she said. "One could reflect on the destruction just now, and would ask why do we have violence?"

Leung Kui-Ting spent four months to complete his scroll of scenery painting.

"The technique was tradition Chinese while I added some modern elements into the picture," he said. The entire painting was like a GPS map.

The 67-year-old Leung, previously a geometry teacher in a college, replaced the mansions and pavilions as appeared in tradition Chinese paintings by geometrical figures.

"Hong Kong has a special relationship with the western world and Hong Kong artists tend to combine Chinese and western art together so as to find their own path," he said. "I hope this exhibition could give foreigners a glimpse into the unique art of Hong Kong."

"This survey of work highlights an exciting new generation of artists who have recently emerged in Hong Kong, producing art that provides an arresting insight into the future of contemporary art in the region," said Nigel Hurst, chief executive of the Saatchi Gallery.

"Hong Kong Eye is set to play a key role in shaping our understanding of their work and provide an important gateway to the culture of their homeland," he said.

The Saatchi Gallery, opened in 1985, is a gallery of contemporary art. In 2008, an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art was staged at its new premises at the Duke of York's headquarters in London.