Updated: Nov 26
We've handpicked some art exhibitions and events to check out this January. Read on to discover more.
Peter Howson Solo Exhibition: Lacrimae Rerum
Flowers Gallery is delighted to present new works by Scottish artist Peter Howson, marking his first solo show in Asia. This exhibition of apocalyptic paintings and drawings borrows its name from the Latin phrase from Book 1 of Virgil’s Aeneid, Lacrimae Rerum, which translates as ‘the tears of things’, and addresses themes of crisis, violence, collectivity, technology and its impact on contemporary experience.
Throughout his career, Howson has confronted subjects of human conflict and destruction, both in his former role as a war artist in Bosnia in the 1990s and his own personal understanding of the struggles of everyday life.
In this new exhibition, Howson investigates these themes in highly detailed works that recall the fantastical dreamscapes of Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch. These epic tableaus teem with wrestling figures that are often pulled together by sinuous, wire-like tendrils, a compelling visualisation of the connective influence of the Internet on civilization, which Howson often depicts as a corrupting force. In these dystopian scenes, crowds clamber over felled buildings and leaking pipes. Often overlooking these sparring characters and the surrounding destruction are giant figures, a recurring motif in Howson’s work, the other worldly menace of whom echo the allegorical monsters of Spanish Romantic painter Francisco Goya.
While Howson often uses colour to punctuate the drama of his scenes, a series of smaller, largely monochromatic works on panel leave a distinctly different impression. The almost grisaille images endow the figures and their barren surroundings with a machinistic appearance that heightens the dystopic themes of this new body of work.
When: 17th November - 13th February 2023
Photograph: courtesy Flowers Gallery
Flowers Gallery, 49 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
(+852) 6208 7800
Vivian Ho: I Miss You
SHOUT Art Hub & Gallery is pleased to present Hong Kong artist Vivian Ho’s solo exhibition I MISS US from 16 December 2022 to 12 January 2023 at SHOUT Gallery Harbour City, featuring 22 pieces of unseen works from Vivian Ho.
Vivian Ho has created an immersive utopia throughout her artistic journey. She draws inspiration from Hong Kong cultures that she grew up with to bring audiences into her very own universe. After graduating from Wesleyan University with High Honours in Painting, she has been illustrating the world filled with fantastical sceneries of a hybrid between cities and nature. She tastefully creates sensory images that redefine aesthetics and challenges cultural values as she takes us on a visual ride.
The exhibition is Vivian’s venture to explore what “home” is. Home is where one feels in control and properly oriented in space and time. It is not just a place but a kind of loyalty. This loyalty, as Vivian sees it, is almost like a love relationship. When home is no longer predictable and secure, it is like the love relationship going sour.
The 22 illustration works reminisce the sparks and joys in a gone era. An era familiar yet far. The artist knows maybe there is no fixing in this failing relationship, but she’s not ready to let go.
“I miss us more than the ever-growing distance between us.”
When: 16th December - 12th January 2023
Photograph: courtesy Shout Art Gallery
Shout Gallery, Shop OT308A, 3/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 7 Canton Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Para Site is delighted to present the group exhibition Fanatic Heart from 10 December 2022 to 26 February 2023, opening reception 9 December 2022, 6–8pm. Seemingly an elixir of pop cultural offerings that alleviates us from the hardships of daily life, Fanatic Heart prompts the audience to realise the potent political power behind obsessive, fanatical desires and employ them to make sense of the radical world we live in.
Organised to embrace and expand the definition of fandom culture, the exhibition invites fifteen artists from Hong Kong, Japan, mainland China, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam to materialise the relationship between fandom and socio-political happenings that have taken place in Southeast and East Asia. Making eclectic references to celebrity worship, drag, postcolonial and post-socialist identities, social movements, religion, and technological advances, the artists investigate desire and affect to decipher the cultural unconscious of contemporary social landscapes.
The participating artists are: Haneyl Choi, BuBu de la Madeleine, Guhit Kulay (Maria Christina Castillo Anire, Cristina Balao-as Cayat, Jonalyn Macalalad Molina, and Marilyn Santiago Lopez), Ho Tzu Nyen, Yuree Kensaku, Dew Kim, Lu Yang, Green Mok, Yasumasa Morimura, Diane Severin Nguyen, Yoshiko Shimada, and Sin Wai Kin, seven of whom are presenting all-new commissions. The exhibition is curated by Cusson Cheng.
When: 10th December - 26th February 2023
Image: courtesy Para Site
Para Site, 22/F, Wing Wah Industrial Building, 677 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
+852 2517 4620
Stephen Thorpe: Enter The Forest At The Darkest Point
Ora-Ora is pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by UK-born, US-based artist Stephen Thorpe titled Enter the Forest at the Darkest Point. The title of the exhibition is drawn from a quote by US mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell, who urges us to “enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path.” In so doing, we find what American poet, Robert Frost, termed the road “less travelled we learn to find our truest selves through a constant process of internal death and rebirth”. The show will open between November 24, 2022 and January 8, 2023 and present a new body of work created over the summer of 2022.
Having taught at the former Hong Kong campus of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) as a Professor of Painting for several years, Stephen Thorpe returns to the city with a new body of work solely featuring his acclaimed “corner” paintings, this will be the first time the artist presents this aspect of his practice in a holistic, immersive manner. Surrounded by richly-coloured walls and an enticing wall graphic motif designed exclusively by the artist, the corner paintings question the concept of our own interiority, our own psychic space.
In the words of Ora-Ora co-founder and CEO, Henrietta Tsui-Leung, “Stephen Thorpe’s interiors are epic journeys into our real selves. Enter the Forest at the Darkest Point raises the stakes even still further, enacting the primeval drama of the forest.” Dr Tsui-Leung continued: “Stephen Thorpe is an exciting talent whose work is tremendously popular with our collectors. Although we have shown Stephen’s paintings twice this year, at Art Basel Hong Kong, and at KIAF in Seoul, we are delighted to be presenting him for the first time in our new Tai Kwun gallery.”
When: 24th November - 8th January 2023
Image: courtesy Ora Ora
105-107, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
+852 2167 8735
Jade Ching-yuk Ng Solo Exhibition: GUSH
Tang Contemporary Art is delighted to announce the opening of “GUSH,” a solo exhibition for Hong Kong artist Jade Ching-yuk Ng (b. 1992) on December 15 in Hong Kong space. This is Ng’s first solo show with Tang Contemporary Art, featuring her recent paintings and woodcut prints.
“GUSH” stems from Ng’s belief that water is the source of life. The title of the show brings to mind the various forms of water: tears, bodily fluids, bodies of water, clouds, and rain. Water is infinitely changeable, existing within all things as an indispensable part of bodies and nature, but water’s relationship with human bodies and natural things is also quite fluid. “GUSH” evokes a geyser, a thermal spring, or a vital energy secretly stored until it suddenly bursts forth. It also conjures the outpouring of human emotion from the depths of the soul. Through narrative depictions of figures, Ng controls a profusion of myths, histories, and realities, seeing cosmological relationships and human emotional layers from the inside out. “GUSH” is a phenomenon, an open emotion, an organ-less body; it finds freedom in constant generation and flows.
Ng’s paintings are a distillation of Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism; primitive and contemporary visual beauty overflow onto her canvases. She focuses on the body, seeking out ideal human emotions, the entanglements and collisions between figures, and the multi-dimensional and complex perceptual experience of intimacy and estrangement. In this way, she opens up a humorous, contradictory, passionate, and subtle mode of artistic expression. The friction between reality and fantasy evokes an intoxicating development of the self, or a way to handle a disjunction, a differentiated other. It could be self-destructive, but it also implies the possibility of redemption. Interactions between the figures serve as a kind of psychological and intellectual training that guides our way of looking and experiencing the paintings.
When: 15th December - 16th January 2023
Image: courtesy Tang Contemporary Art
10/F, H Queen's, 80 Queens Road Central, Central
+852 2682 8289
Dan Oliver: Nature
JPS Gallery is pleased to present Our Nature—a solo exhibition by Dan Oliver at the gallery’s Hong Kong location. The works on display reveal Oliver’s ongoing contemplation of nature, both in the sense of the outer, physical world, and as a symbol and metaphor in the mind, where nature becomes the language of dreams and meaning.
Our Nature presents a world inherently teeming with both beauty and danger. It reminds viewers that we are part of nature, we impact it, and that nature also defines us, highlighting the everlasting bond between nature and ourselves. The world is in constant flux. Ironically, our separation from nature and the desire to control it has led to human caused climate change, and the acceleration of change has created dangers that might be beyond our control. Our Nature becomes a moment of meditation and a reminder of our deep connection with nature.
In this time of uncertainty, Oliver offers us a sense of comfort. In his new work he represents human experience through the subject of nature, memory, and the ordinary world around us. Using recurring elements such as houses from his childhood in a small American town, entwined with undisturbed climbing bushes or human figures placed against unspoiled landscapes, Oliver creates his unique painterly vocabulary. He shows us the world as if filtered and simplified through memory or dreams, and viewers are invited to pause, observe, reflect on the many meanings embedded in the images and realise how nature can provide us with poetic elements that speak the language of the psyche.
When: 9th December - 7th January 2023
Photograph: JPS Art Gallery
Shops 218 - 219, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central Hong Kong +852 2682 6216
A Book Act 1
Karin Weber Gallery is proud to collaborate with twenty mostly local artists in the largest group show in its history. ‘A Book Act’ consists of distinctive Acts 1 and 2 across a three month period from December 2022 to February 2023. Act 1 features mechanical installations, prints, and paintings, while Act 2 focuses on sound installations, augmented reality and three dimensional objects.
Employing a book theme as a starting point, the works of participating artists offer a highly diverse, thought provoking, and often entertaining discourse.
Artistic angles include the exploration of physical book characteristics, such as their covers, or the mechanism of page turning. Artists also frequently reference personal subjects, such as A Diary by Hong Kong artist Chan Sai Lok in conversation with himself, sex education manuals, or sticker collection albums. Hong Kong artist Law Man Lok shares his memory of being unable to afford David Hockney’s highly coveted A Bigger Book, which led him to recreating his own version in a more accessible format.
Books capture and inspire the imagination of their creator and their readers. A Book Act 1 & 2 witnesses how books find a new expression expressed as an art form.
When: 3rd December - 14th January 2023
Photograph: courtesy Karin Weber Gallery
G/F, 20 Aberdeen Street, Soho
+852 2544 5004
Bart Kok: An Acorn Fell On My Head
SENS Gallery's pleased to announce “An Acorn Fell On My Head”, a solo presentation of Dutch painter Bart Kok’s work in his debut exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition features transcendental landscapes emerging from within the artist’s illusive mind.
“An Acorn Fell On My Head” introduces the sublime forests standing tall in Bart Kok’s imaginary world. Whimsical landscapes come to life from the deep roots of art history, a symbiosis of the naturalistic yet abstract interpretations of Gustav Klimt’s landscapes, the bold tones of Fauvism and the shades of blue prominent in the nighttime works of van Gogh. Kok envisions a forest wonderland, pairing cooler shades against warmer tones to create the quirks of life. Kok’s fascinations with the mysteries and contemplations of life and death elude underneath the transience of nature.
Bart Kok strolls around his surroundings and wanders the canvas to find interest in the little details. Kok captures the small nuances which accentuate the complexity of the forest in the moment, from glimmers of light peeking out from tree branches to the colour transformations between the forest and outer fields. Limitations in the Dutch and Flemish geography he is familiar with provides him the opportunity to utilise his imagination to create mystical forests. Photography acts as a guideline to portraying the wondrous and the fantastical - though inspired by real life landscapes, he distances from reality to create an enigmatic image of nature. His brush techniques cite from rich stylistic repertoires of art history, in tandem with the elements of contemporary digital visual culture, like the oversaturating tones of light mimicking the brightness of colours on a computer screen.
When: 16th December - 14th January 2023
Image: courtesy SENS Gallery
SENS Gallery, 1908 Landmark South, 39 Yip Kan Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong
Hylozoism: An Art & Technology Exhibition
Hylozoism, also known as animism, advocates that all things in the world possess a distinct spiritual essence. It is a philosophy indeed. As technology is undoubtedly one of the many things intertwined with human lives, such neo-nature is not only consisted of flowers and plants but orchestrates a new ecology. This exhibition demonstrates the connections between the world, the earth, and the people. What would the intervention of humans and technology do to nature in the context of arts and technology? From the picturesque landscape to the subject of neo-nature, arts and technology are instrumental in foretelling the near future. Curated by Ms. Joel Kwong and Mr. Keith Lam, the exhibition features aninternational and local artist lineup, including Living Architecture Systems Group/ Philip Beesley, Keith Lam, Ellen Pau, Ryuichi Sakamoto X Daito Manabe, and fuse*. Like the five elements, the five artworks in the exhibition present a neo-nature to propose the concept of symbiosis - like an endless cycle of mutual benefits and coexistence. In the belief of hylozoism, let us forge ahead with arts and technology as engines and fuel on with all matter through thick and thin. Advanced booking is required.
When: 3rd December - 2nd April 2023
Image: courtesy The Hong Kong Design Institute
HKDI Gallery at Hong Kong Design Institute, 3 King Ling Road, Tseung Kwan O www.hkdi.edu.hk