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13 Leading Hong Kong Artists Invite you to Look at the Bigger Picture

November 11, 2013 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

From Tuesday 5 November until 15 February 2014, Duddell’s presents Framed: Ai Weiwei and Hong Kong artists, an exhibition by thirteen prominent Hong Kong artists, curated by mainland artist Ai Weiwei, who is as synonymous with political activism as he is with art.

This is the first show curated in the SAR by Ai, who says that “it is easy to imagine the possibilities for China with Hong Kong’s existence … as a more democratic region”. The show includes work by Nadim Abbas, Kitty Chou, Ho Sin Tung, Frog King, Kum Chi-keung, Kwan Sheung-chi, Michael Lau, Kingsley Ng, MAP Office, Tozer Pak, Angela Su Tsang Kin-wah and anothermountainman.

At first glance, the thirteen artists’ works have been framed in Chinese rosewood, however on close inspection, viewers can see that each frame has different markings and dimensions that subtly allude to the geographical borders of China. With the goal of providing a platform on which to engage in “visual dialogue” with the artists about the many implications of Hong Kong’s distinct identity and situation both politically and otherwise, Ai welcomed each artist to interact with the frames in their own way. In some cases, the artists turned it around and included representations of Ai Weiwei in the framed artwork, in another, an artist made the taking away of the frame itself as part of the installation.

Ai Weiwei invites the Hong Kong public to join the dialogue and form an opinion on the exhibition’s significance. One thing is for sure: simplicity veils more complex messages.

Listen to Ai’s comments on the exhibition, via the below FTP, to find out more:

ftp://ftp.sinclairasia.com

login name: media

password: media

folder: Duddell’s/Events/Framed: Ai Weiwei and Hong Kong Artists

To mark the exhibition’s launch, M+ Executive Director Lars Nittve and exhibition organizer William Zhao led a panel to discuss with the participating artists the role of a frame and curator, particularly one as controversial as Ai Weiwei. Nittve opened with a strong statement: “The frame will always be there, there are always external matters that the artist has to relate to and encompass in the final work.”

The conversation revealed mixed reactions to Ai Weiwei’s decision to frame the artist’s work, with Tozer Pak kicking off the subject: “I found the frame too political, too strong for me … I wanted to escape it and ultimately decided to respond as if I were playing a game with Ai Weiwei. ” His playful response can only be seen if viewers ask a staff member to remove the frame.

MAP Office’s Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix incorporated the image of Ai Weiwei and his Framed situation in China into their visual: “We see Ai Weiwei as a castaway in Beijing … using this logic it is Ai Weiwei that’s framed”, whilst long-term friend of Ai Weiwei and theatrical artist, Frog King suggested that “Ai Weiwei was creating a discussion, a challenge” and that the frame was a very humble move on Ai Weiwei’s part.

In the artist and curator’s own words: “It is difficult to clearly explain the political and social implications of a work unless the artist is asked to give up a specific system of the language of art. When these artists have chosen to work with me at their own will, changes have already occurred, and change is what culture has longed for and worked towards.”

Put yourself in the picture: visit Duddell’s between now and February 15 to experience the thirteen Hong Kong artists’ work in their framed temporal existence.

For interviews and high res images please contact Rachel Pollard via rachel@sinclairasia.com  or (852) 5195 9574

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Ai Weiwei

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