Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Until Oct 22
This international group exhibition of 13 artists now on display at the Arts Centre's Pao Galleries looks at the relationship between 2-D and 3-D works. Yet, considering the curatorial team - led by the director of Tokyo's Mori Art Museum Fumio Nanjo - the premise is surprisingly broad.
Setting aside the easy critique of a misalignment between curatorial intent and actual execution, the show moves from intriguing to baffling, in both its selection of works and installation.
With plenty of space dedicated to two installations by Tsang Kin-wah and the others claustrophobically packed into the awkward rooms of the Pao Galleries, the exhibition, while noble in its ambitions, seems a bit confused and misguided.
The Second Seal, the new text projection (below) by Tsang at the 5/F entrance, is appealing but step into the other rooms and one can immediately feel the space constraints. Here, Toyo Ito, the Japanese architect, has installed Vanishing Caves, a scaled abstraction of his Taichung Metropolitan Opera House. The work, while interesting, comes across more cramped and technical than evocative.
However, highlights are to be found: Yin Xiuzhen's Suitcase: A Reflection of a Globalised Era is a humorous look at multinational travel, with a group of suitcases containing cityscapes composed of local textiles that can be folded up and carried away, each its own little 'soft city'.
Local artist Lee Kit's There is a Light, a Certain Kind of Light and Philippine artist Patricia Eustaquio's Psychogenic Fugue are subtle, evocative works. Lee's site-specific installation is luckily in the cafe outside the gallery, but Eustaquio's work is given little room or context to let the crocheted cloth in the shape of an invisible piano play out its haunting qualities.
These few engaging moments barely make up for the apparent lack of consistency or clear vision, which could leave viewers wondering what this show is all about.