hypeart hong kong basel art week nanzuka kaikai kiki allrightsreserved the shophouse jps double q gallery
hypeart hong kong basel art week nanzuka kaikai kiki allrightsreserved the shophouse jps double q gallery
HypeArt Spotlights Asia-Based Galleries & Platforms for Hong Kong Art Week
Exclusive artwork highlights from Kaikai Kiki, NANZUKA and more.
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Hong Kong is once again playing host to the international-traveling Art Basel fair amid strict COVID-19 restrictions and mass lockdowns. Initially set to launch in March, the fair will now run from May 25 to 29 in the similar off- and online “hybrid” model which was introduced last year. The fair’s “ghost booths” will be staffed by local employees instead of representatives by dealers as the city is hampered by inbound travel restrictions and a mandatory quarantine. Altogether, 130 galleries from 28 countries and territories will be participating in the event with 15 of the bunch as first-time exhibitors.

“Museums and non-profit institutions are expected to reopen gradually after 20 April, with further social distancing restrictions relaxed, and we are fully prepared to present another successful Hong Kong edition in full compliance with government guidelines,” said Adeline Ooi, Art Basel’s director in Asia, in a statement.

While restrictions in Hong Kong may deter international travelers as well as locals from attending the city’s art-related festivities, HypeArt wants to bring the community together digitally to celebrate Asia-based galleries and platforms that are spearheading dynamic curation. We reached out to Kaikai Kiki, NANZUKA, The SHOPHOUSE, Double Q Gallery, JPS Gallery and AllRightsReserved for an exclusive spotlight of respective works for our HypeArt Market, programs they are launching this week and their connection as well as inspiration behind the pieces presented.

Check out our exclusive spotlight with these galleries and platforms below and get a closer look at the works in our HypeArt Market here.

Kaikai Kiki Gallery

Credit: ©2021 Mr./©2022 Otani Workshop/©Shoko Nakazawa/©Kasing Lung/©Hisashi Eguchi/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Tell us about the core theme of your contribution for Hong Kong Art Basel 2022.

Directed and curated by Takashi Murakami, the underlying theme of Kaikai Kiki gallery is rooted in his idea of Superflat, a philosophy discussing westernization, consumerism and the breakdown of tradition in the post-war world.

Apart from your roster of artists are there any artists you’re also presenting?

In addition to Kaikai Kiki Gallery represented artists, Mr., MADSAKI, and Otani Workshop, we would like to invite our guest artists of Kasing Lung, Shoko Nakazawa, VERDY, Hideyasu Moto, DABSMYLA, and last but not least, Hisashi Eguchi to participate in this presentation to visualize the ideology that Takashi Murakami aims to picture.

NANZUKA

Credit: Courtesy the artists and NANZUKA

What are you showcasing for Hong Kong Art Week?

NANZUKA proposes a special exhibition “HUMAN” for Galleries sector at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022. The exhibition brings focus to the historical fact that humankind has developed through the effects of mutual exchange despite repeatedly engaging in various conflicts over the course of history, and serves to embody the free and diverse energy generated by artists as a mirror of the world that is becoming closed and exclusionary in the midst of the pandemic that commonly confronts us all today.

Can you tell us more about the artists involved?

Keiichi Tanaami is a legendary Japanese artist who continues to depict his childhood memories of World War II through a pop and a psychedelic means of expression. Harumi Yamaguchi captured “female sexuality” from the perspective of women and became a representative artist of the women’s liberation movement in Japan in the 1970s with her pin-up style works of female figures asserting and celebrating their own existence.

Hajime Sorayama, fused science fiction with themes of sanctity and sexuality through his Sexy Robot work series. Drawing influence from Japanese manga (comics), Javier Calleja depicts portraits characterized by their distinctly enlarged eyes through referencing and reinterpreting European surrealist methodologies. Japanese artist Masato Mori whose practice finds its roots in street culture. Haroshi creates his series of amicable sculptural figures titled “GUZO” through unique and self-taught woodworking skills that entails utilizing parts from used skateboard decks, while French artist Jean Julien paints the joy and beauty of everyday life through clear and refreshing brushstrokes. The young Nigerian artist Wahab Saheed presents a new image of contemporary African people at once with an air of lightheartedness and strong sense of conviction.

THE SHOPHOUSE

Credit: Courtesy the artists and The SHOPHOUSE

What is your connection to the artists and how did this curation come about?

Alex Chan, founder of THE SHOPHOUSE: Self identity as an Asian / Hongkonger is a daily issue most of us encounter on a daily basis. As a gallerist, artist, collector or an individual, oscillating between one’s local roots and the pressures of globalization, resulting a balancing act of meanings and values in the ever-changing world.

Yang Jian (CN), curator of ‘ANOTHER ASIAN ARTIST’: The theme of “ANOTHER ASIAN ARTIST” was a result of conversations between me and Alex. So when we are planning to exhibit with Japanese and Korean artists at the same time, I would hope the artists I selected would have more Chinese characters and native. Pu Yingwei is an artist with political narrative and characteristics, Hou Zichao has a reflection of traditional landscape painting, and Zhang Yibei’s sculpture language occupies Eastern Zen philosophy, with usage of contemporary material and personal intuition. When we look at the three artists with the prevailing narrative of the contemporary art world, their artistic grammar is totally present.

Taku Sato (JP), curator of ‘ANOTHER ASIAN ARTIST’: I first worked with Taku Obata in a group show I curated in 2013 in Singapore ( https://www.ikkan-art.com/pdf/tokyo_street_wows.pdf ). This exhibition featured artists I have been and went on working with. Ever since I’ve been assisting Taku in his overseas exhibitions alongside his exhibitions at the gallery I currently direct, PARCEL.

Sungah Serena Choo (KR), curator of ‘ANOTHER ASIAN ARTIST’: The Korean artists in this show have the experience participating in my curatorial practices before with continuous interest. I also wrote statements for the artist’s major catalogue. Considering how the pandemic era has changed individuals and the art world, I wanted to present the attitudes of the artists who devotes each language paying attention to their basic forms and philosophies in a more in-depth way on each generation. The three artists-Osang Gwon, Hyunsun Jeon, and Hyori Jo-reinterprets the universal sense of the subject, and deals with illusionary depth between the virtual and reality. At this point, finding rather than isolating, revealing the Korean Art which dynamically activates from emerging to the established artists reminds us how it makes us creative and flexible ahead.

“What makes us diverse can also mislead us.”

Tell us about the inspiration behind the exhibition you’re curating for Hong Kong Art Week

THE SHOPHOUSE is presenting “ANOTHER ASIAN ARTIST”, curated by three Asian curators – Taku Santiago Sato (Japan), Sungah Serena Choo (Korea) and Yang Jian (China), the exhibition features 9 cutting-edge Asian artists from around the world, rediscovering what makes us unique as an Asian artist in the post-pandemic era.

Asians are often labelled as a singular group, in particular of this new generation of Asian artists, a cultural identity has gone beyond geographically. The art world has become more universal but losing its individuality at the same time. There is a saying that globalisation inevitably led to the total loss of cultural identity. Undoubtedly, prior to the pandemic and thanks to the ever-changing technology, globalisation has reached its peak – 60 percent of the global population are active internet users. With social media’s algorithm, we are accessing to wider yet similar information. What makes us diverse can also mislead us.

JPS Gallery

Credit: Courtesy the artists and JPS Gallery

Tell us about the inspirations behind these works.

The meaning behind Okokume’s artwork title “Never” represents all the children affected by war. Okokume’s self- portrait on the television references the fact that we always watch these wars on the television in our homes and never have to experience it ourselves.The artist wanted to change the roles so that she and the viewer were on the television in the background and the spotlight was back on the children at war.

Through a magical porthole, a street-front laundromat in Hong Kong and a living room in Britain become connected and transpassable in Aya Annfa’s ‘The Magical Hoop.’ Annfa creates an imaginary scene where the continuous waiting at the laundromat vibrates with Hong Kong emigrant’s sense of longing and fatigue in a foreign land. Under the pressure of high housing prices and unsettling social transformation, both the laundromat and the emigrant’s home embody Hong Kong people’s longing for glimmers of hope and one day returning home.

For Paul Hunter Speagle’s ‘Billions and Billions Served’ (2022) work the artist describes that in this world, the innocent are harmed. Powerful dictators and corporate villains that stomp in and force feed us their agenda cause so much pain and suffering to innocent humans and animals. They make us believe in them by selling us on the idea of fast convenience and that it’s easier to eat a quick mass produced cheeseburger or take a pill rather than really just facing the situation head on.

“We curated a space that highlighted each artist’s personality, painterly style and key characteristics.”

What is your connection to the artists and how did this curation come about?

Instead of asking the artists to create works surrounding a specific theme, we wanted to create a space that celebrated the artist’s diverse variety of practices. The participating artists range from those we have collaborated with for many years to new artists we have only started introducing to our audience in the past months. After extensive discussions with each artist and having a greater understanding of their vision, we curated a space that highlighted each artist’s personality, painterly style and key characteristics. Each artist has their own designated space and area so the audience can fully immerse themselves into the dreamscape the artists are trying to evoke in their paintings.

Describe your curation for Hong Kong Art Week.

As this is Hong Kong Art Week, it was important for us to spotlight artists from Hong Kong as well as international artists because we are committed to providing them with a platform to gain global exposure. In light of the recent events, feelings of struggle, isolation and trauma have been experienced by many. We believe that the selected works will not only resonate with audiences at Art Central but hopefully provide escapism and a glimmer of hope.

Double Q Gallery

Credit: Courtesy the artist and Double Q Gallery

Tell us about the inspirations behind the artwork.

Queenie (Double Q Gallery Founder): Primarily inspired by the aesthetics of animated films in the region, Mátyás Erményi responds to the abundant cultural reference from Soviet and post-Soviet eras, such as cartoon characters, anthropomorphic trees and craft objects. His portraits outlooking from huge tree trunks full of burrow-like holes, depicting the relationship systems of unknown family trees. His standing, wobbling and cheerfully chugging tile stoves fuse with the basic motifs of geometric abstraction, giving the strangely ambivalent feelings of

What is your connection to the artist and how did this selection for the work come about?

During my journey from collecting to establishing a contemporary art space in Budapest (Q Contemporary), I met rising talents, like Matyas, from Europe and America who lacked the opportunity to expand into Asia. So the programme of our Hong Kong gallery (Double Q) is focused on giving them exposure. We selected this work here as we see the artist’s potential in Asian art market, and it will be a meaningful opportunity for the artist’s growth.

AllRightsReserved

Credit: Courtesy the artist and AllRightsReserved

Tell us about the inspirations behind the artwork.

Over the years, AllRightsReserved (ARR) has designed and organized numerous creative art projects and we mark the 20th anniversary this year. Last year, the digital and physical collectables platform, FWENCLUB was launched, and it had been working hand in hand with the creative brand ARR. With an understanding of the impact of art, and how it bringing people together, FWENCLUB collaborates with different artists and brands to capture previously unimaginable opportunities. From physical, to now digital collectibles, FWENCLUB creates art that can traverse between both worlds, and shape a new digital culture.

This March, we collaborated with our long-term partner, Spanish artist Joan Cornellà’s to release his first NFT collection, “MOAR by Joan Cornellà.” The strange and surreal journey of Cornellà started from social media platforms years ago and continues to poke fun at the world in another sphere of the digital space, where fans can take part in a survivor adventure in the metaverse. It is a story of a mansion in the metaverse called “MOAR” – an intentional misspelling of “more”, used online as a humorous demand — where 5,555 creatures with their souls minted with the ERC721 blockchain as NFTs.  While the world is in lockdown due to the invasion of aliens, guests staying at the MOAR, including humans, zombies and cyborgs, live peacefully together. MOAR is a rather unusual mansion where one will find shops, games and virtual exhibitions, to be launched within 2022.

The market demand of this project was huge during the public sale on April 7th (HKT). The trade volume has even reached at 11.4K ETH (about US$26.6 million*) as of 11 May (HKT), surpassing Bored Ape Yacht Club & AZUKI in 7-day volume after the unboxing.

“Digital art has long been undervalued in large part because it is so freely available.”

 

What is your connection to the artist and how did this selection for the work come about?

At the very beginning we were just impressed by Cornellà’s work and would like to create something cool together. In these years, we have a very close relationship and share the same values, that’s why we have been working and growing together. Cornellà is highly-regarded on the international stage. With a social following of more than eight million amassed over the years, Cornellà is now diving into an emerging art form where fans can continue to show support for his incredibly entertaining and thought-provoking creations.

Digital art has long been undervalued in large part because it is so freely available. The introduction of NFTs has shook the art world, adding the crucial ingredients of authenticity and scarcity to show the value of digital art. The movement is an effort to economically legitimize artists’ talent and creative process. It is quickly becoming one of the most valuable art forms of our time. Having worked on digital art for years, Cornellà is now turning a new page in the virtual world.

 

Describe your curation for Hong Kong Art Week and why it’s important to spotlight this particular piece.

“MOAR by Joan Cornellà” debut is met by crazed following and will enter the metaverse within 2022. Grand opening of “MOAR” and a virtual exhibition will take place. Before getting in the metaverse, the mini game “SIEIBMOZ” of “MOAR by Joan Cornellà” is just announced and will be launched this June. It is a strategic adventure game set in the metaverse with zombies’ invasion. Humans, zombies and cyborgs would be locked in the MOAR building. MOAR’s NFT holders will start the game as survivors of the metaverse and battle against zombies to save the granny. Winners would earn a special reward. FWENs can check out the pieces here and stay tuned for the coming release!


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