Forces of Nature

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 April, 2010, 12:00am

The Rotunda
April 19 to 30

For a fortnight starting next Monday, five veteran local visual artists will bring to Central's pulsating financial district a touch of Zen and calmness with works that are made of natural materials such as earth, bamboo and metal.

Caroline Cheng Yi, Kum Chi-keung, Man Fung-yi, Mok Yat-san and Tony Ng Kwun-lun will appear in Forces of Nature, a group show at the Rotunda in Exchange Square that sets out to put urbanites back in touch with a world outside the concrete jungle. It is 'an exploration of places and phenomena many of us in Hong Kong don't get to see very often - at least not in our daily lives. The five artists ... have lent their abilities to help reconnect us with the spaces beyond this city,' says Hongkong Land, organiser of the exhibition.

The artists express the show's theme of nature either through their chosen medium or through an idea explored such as rocks, clouds or seeds.

No stranger to the five elements - metal, wood, water, fire and earth - concepts that she had used in her pottery work, Cheng's clothing and ornament series bat + clothes = bliss features 8,000 tiny ceramic butterflies stitched on an ancient Chinese robe that is 180cm wide and 160cm long.

Installation artist Kum will showcase his signature bamboo birdcages that he uses to symbolise Hongkongers' confinement. For this show, the focus is more on the material, the bamboo, which stands for longevity. In his Gene series, Kum has woven long bamboo sticks into shapes of fruit that are fundamental products of nature.

Man draws inspiration for this show from the I-Ching, or Book of Changes, which states that silence and stillness is the way of the universe. Like Kum, the sculptor has picked fruit and plants such as calabashes, leaves and seeds for her subjects. But her choice of medium - stainless steel and brass - conveys the heaviness that reflects the more philosophical tone of her works.

Mok also works with metal but his inspiration comes from Chinese ink and landscapes. In his Borrowed Stones series for this show, Mok uses bronze, steel and iron to illustrate the strength of nature. However, the way he polishes and gilds his sculptures also brings out the tenderness of these materials.

Trained in Chinese ink, Ng comments on his personal experiences, cultural perspective and social changes through sculptures and installations such as his Artificial Phenomena Series II (above).

For his Lab Study Series, Ng combines mixed concrete, mud and water in glass containers to simulate the changes of landscapes, and documents through photography the process of the mixture's natural transformation as it dries day by day. And for his Diaries of Clouds Series, the artist attempts to give an 'impression' of clouds using acrylic panels of different shapes.

'Both works are intended to explore his ideas of the 'sedimentation of thoughts', and the 'real' versus the 'unreal' and the laws of nature,' says the show's artistic statement.

Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central. Inquiries: 2522 0405