Hong Kong has successfully established itself as the art hub of Asia. Auction houses, galleries, and various art institutions have flocked to the city, exposing the public to works by international and regional artists, both renowned and upcoming. Simultaneously blossoming, although perhaps with a lower profile, is the local Hong Kong art scene. Over the past few years there has been a significant rise in efforts promoting the works of talented Hong Kong artists. Conversations in Ceramics, currently showing at Karin Weber Gallery, as a part of their ‘Material in Focus’ series, is exemplary of this kind of initiative. The show features the works of four young artists, Alice Chan, Lau Yat Wai, Man On Yee, and Ng Ka Ho.
Ng Ka Ho, Insight Message, 2017, black clay, oxidation firing, synchronous motor, wire, synchronous motor, wire, Image courtesy Karin Weber Gallery.
Ng Ka Ho, Insight Border, 2017, black clay, oxidation firing, Image courtesy Karin Weber Gallery.
Ng Ka Ho utilizes oxidizing firing on black clay, and reductive techniques to carve intricately cut holes across surfaces of his sculptures. The placement of these exposes space and allows light to flow through, casting delicate shadows and creating a sense of movement. As can be seen in Insight: Message and Insight: Border, (both pictured above), the concept of materiality and and an objects interaction with its space is what is most significant in Ng’s work.
Alice Chan, Calming the Waves 1, 2017, ceramic, Image courtesy of Karin Weber Gallery.
Alice Chan, Calming the Waves 2, 2017, ceramic, Image courtesy of Karin Weber Gallery.
Alice Chan’s prickly spiked creations evoke a sense of danger contrasting the visually fragile aesthetic, naturally drawing and engaging viewers. She also views the process of sculpting as meditative and healing, characterizing her compositions as being the result of a highly process driven and personally reflective process.
Ma On Yee, Under The Wrinkles no.2, 2017, paper porcelain, glaze, stain, Image courtesy of Karin Weber Gallery.
Man On Yee’s poignant tablet-like works fuse together two mediums: ceramics and print making. The content of her work alludes to her relationship with her grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The use of traditional white and blue porcelain colors imposed over classical floral patterns are imageries which one could easily associate with grandmothers, create a nostalgic feeling. This is further enhanced by the glaze and staining methods used on the pieces. The fragmented, disjointed components, as seen in Under the Wrinkles No. 1, further refer to the disconnected memory and orientation that Alzheimer’s patients experience. The presence of two enjoined hands in Under the Wrinkles No. 2 reaffirms the emotional nature of her work.
Lau Yat Wai, Mute Tumult of Memories XII, 2017, stoneware, Image courtesy of Karin Weber Gallery.
Lau Yat Wai, Mute Tumult of Memories XVI If the moon was half left, the moon is half left, the moon, 2017, stoneware, glass, Image courtesy of Karin Weber Gallery.
Also referencing the concept of memory, are structures made by Lau Yat Wai. Characterized by the usage of stoneware, glass, and occasional strokes of bolder colors, his works lightly contest the concept of private and public spaces. For instance, Mute Tumult of Memories XII, he constructs a blue trunk/treasure chest, commonly representative of a place to store or hide, things of value, including memories. The accessibility of the placement of memories and valuables is what is being challenged, by keeping them hidden in chest or locker - as depicted in Mute Tumult of Memories XVI.
Conversation in Ceramics, is truly reflective of efforts to highlight the scope of local and contemporary talent Hong Kong has to offer. The works of the four artists, in a way, portrays the evolution of the local hong kong art scene. As they all happen to be students of renowned local artist Annie Wan, a ceramic artist and sculptor, with a penchant for transforming the commonplace into the extraordinary. What started as a strong interest and foundation in traditional ceramics, became a practice that adapted a traditional methodology to produce art is relevant to it’s time. The exhibition documents this passing down of this craft from teacher to student, with this current generation interpreting ceramics in a personal, relatable, and innovative way.
For information about the exhibition click here.
Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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