Moveable feast for art lovers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 March, 2011, 12:00am

Duck egg shells, train tickets and cat flaps are some of the artworks that will give this year's ArtWalk a quirky edge. To be held on Wednesday evening, a host of independent artists including Nadim Abbas, Clara Cheung Ka-lei, Gum Cheng Yee-man, Ducky Tse Chi-tak and Yuk King Tan are joining 60-plus art galleries for the 11th edition of the annual event.

Alwin Reamillo is this year's ArtWalk artist-in-residence and, on the night, he will visit every gallery and leave either inside or near the premises a handmade duck egg (or balut, a Filipino delicacy).

The piece is a marathon performance, explains ArtWalk organiser John Batten, in which the Filipino-Australian artist will act as a balut seller distributing objects that have Hong Kong connections.

Reamillo is doing a one-month residency and will have an open studio later in the month, he adds.

Artist couple Cheung and Cheng will drop into all the galleries and do a 'five-minute panoramic portrait drawing' for the person who gives them the biggest donation at each stop. 'The role of the art walkers will be changed from a viewer to be part of a performance art piece,' they explain in a statement.

Similarly, Vivian Poon will be making a type of train tickets, as art, and offer them to ArtWalk participants for a nominal HK$5.

Abbas will team up with Joao Vasco Paiva in an interactive piece titled Hong Kong CatWalk 2011. They will block off both sides of the alleyway below Gallery Exit with two doors. Each door will have a cat flap, allowing entrance and exit for cats and other small animals - but not humans. 'In front of each doorway will be placed a CCTV style monitor with footage of cats - eating, roaming, chilling - captured from around Central, giving the impression that there is a mini feline party going on inside the alleyway ... there will be sound too,' says Abbas.

The work could be about both social inclusion and exclusion at a time when social networking has become a daily routine for many.

Other than participating in these art performances, holders of the HK$450 ArtWalk tickets will get a chance to visit the wide diversity of galleries, says Batten.

'Experimenta, for example, has opened and will host four artists in residence every year for a month, with each giving an exhibition,' he says. 'The up-market Edouard Malingue Gallery adds substance to the top-end of the gallery scene.'

Batten says the event encourages informal art practice - such as installations and performances - on the streets. 'Above all, it includes 130 art students in the formal 'market' side of the [local] art scene. No other event does that in Hong Kong,' the art critic says. 'Years later former art students tell me it was their first and often only event that allowed them to participate in and interact with an art audience.

'After midnight, we'll all have dinner - students, volunteers, gallery staff - and it is the only event that brings everyone in the art scene together. As a bonding event it is unparalleled.'

ArtWalk will again raise money for a local charity: the Society for Community Organisation, which received HK$428,000 last year.

ArtWalk 2011, Mar 16, 5pm to midnight, HK$450. Inquiries: