End in sight for seasonal exhibition drought

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 August, 2012, 8:21am

The annual summer drought in the local cultural and art scene is almost over, with a host of new exhibitions set to open in the coming weeks.

The one that interests me most is "Official Retraining Scheme" at C&G Artpartment, a group show that responds to the ongoing controversy over the introduction of national education in local schools. The Hong Kong public is worried about this, say curators Clara Cheung Ka-lei and Cheng Yee-man, citing how 90,000 people took to the streets recently to express their concern. Ten independent artists and art educators - including Man Ching-ying, Choi Tsz-kwan and Keung Chi-ming - will join the couple in exploring the question of "what went wrong" with this initiative.

In a tongue-in-cheek fashion, this conceptual art show sets out to "retrain" government officials so "they would understand what national education is themselves". "Official Retraining Scheme" opens on September 2.

Another exhibition that I'm looking forward to is "When Gold Blossoms: Indian Jewellery from the Susan L Beningson Collection" at the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre. Featuring more than 150 pieces of jewellery from the 17th to the 19th centuries, the show's title refers to the strong preference for gold in South India.

Para/Site Art Space is teaming up with Spring Workshop, a new non-profit arts space in Wong Chuk Hang, to present three international artists as part of its "Taiping Tianguo" performance programme. Melati Suryodarmo and dancer Zan Yamashita will perform at Spring Workshop
today while French choreographer Xavier Le Roy will present his
Product of Circumstances at Para/Site on on Tuesday. All three performances are free.

At least two local artists will have a solo show in the coming month: from September 6 for three weeks, Amelia Johnson Contemporary will showcase Tang Kwok-hin's "I Call You Nancy", an installation based on the life of his "fictitious sister"; and Claire Lee will open her new show "Sacrifice" and launch her poetry book in English and Chinese at New Gallery on Old Bailey on September 20.

Blindspot Gallery will host Yangjiang Group's first exhibition in Hong Kong, titled "After Dinner Shu Fa", starting on September 5. The three-member collective are known for their calligraphy that is "performed" after they get wasted on alcohol. Also from the mainland is Yue Minjun, known for his cynical paintings of laughing faces. He will host a sculpture exhibition at Harbour City from September 20.

Australian painter Guy Maestri will return to The Cat Street Gallery on September 20 with a new series of oil on linen landscape scenes of Australia's diverse terrain.