Art in Use: Sculptural Objects

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 December, 2009, 12:00am


Related topics

Art in Use: Sculptural Objects
Hong Kong Arts Centre

This exhibition of works by 18 artists from Hong Kong, the mainland, Brazil, Britain, South Korea and Japan sets out to reinterpret everyday objects as sources of intrigue and beauty. Its stated aim is to 'defamiliarise' our surroundings.

The show is a playground for the imagination, by turns humorous, puzzling and surreal.

Zhang Xiaogang, for instance, presents us with a metre-long bronze fountain pen, bent and buckled in ways that defy the rigid materials from which it would ordinarily be made. His Lamp No 2 is an outsized, caved-in light bulb that also challenges our conceptions of scale and matter.

A wicker-covered bicycle (below) by Jarbas Lopes looks as comfortable and pleasing as a chair on a tropical beach, blending fun with function.

There are other interpretations of furniture in the show that also confound our expectations.

Zhu Xiaofeng's Cloudery is a stunningly beautiful form made of Surell, a hard, smooth, cool material with the feel of engineered stone - at once at odds with the work's title. It's designed as a seat, and seems irresistibly inviting, yet it's impossible to sit on thanks to its slippery surfaces, perilous angles and unyielding humps.

Ron Arad's steel A.Y.O.R. (At Your Own Risk) is also a seat - a biomorphic rocking chair - and poses a similarly impossible challenge to any would-be occupant, threatening to spill them onto the floor.

Shao Fan offers two chairs, King Black and King Red, each one a graceful, 19th century elm crestail armchair rudely split by the insertion of a sharply angular lacquered square seat in its middle.

And just to remind us of the indeterminate boundary between imagination and the stuff of everyday life - the possibilities that artistic practice can bring to the mundane - there are Yu Hong's Fictitious Existence pieces: two transparent resin laptop computers that seem less real than the vivid images that spill from their screens, onto their keyboards and threaten to invade the physical world. Just like the imaginative energy behind this show.

5/F, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, Inquiries: 2582 0200. Until Dec 30