Touching down in Hong Kong was the perfect entrée to a 3-week trip through Asia, launching right into an international crossroads packed with people, cars, boats and heat. With just three days to take it all in, the Pedder Building—headquarters to a number of the most celebrated galleries in the city—was an ideal stop on a whirlwind itinerary. During this transitional time when galleries emerge from the relatively quiet weeks of late summer, several shows were installed, but had yet to officially open to the public—allowing for a perfect early preview for some of Hong Kong’s major autumn exhibitions.
Teresita Fernández’s Golden, 2013; gold chroming and India ink on wood panel (there I am in the reflection)
Ben Brown Fine Arts had just finished hanging British artist Tony Bevan’s show, Chinese Trees. Powerful charcoal and acrylic compositions portrayed a single tree from different angles, and as different objects—taking on abstract and even human form. The back annex of the gallery was devoted to a group of portraits by 82-year old elder statesman Frank Auerbach, some created as recently as this year.
Gallery installation of Tony Bevan’s Chinese Trees at Ben Brown Fine Arts
Hanart TZ Gallery featured a thoughtful exhibition of paintings by Chinese artist Chow Chun Fai, which explored the relationship between painting, film and theatre. Several painted works depicted “stills,” complete with Chinese and English subtitles, from the extraordinary play Red, which examined Mark Rothko’s work and process.
Detail view of Chun Chun Fai’s Reproducing “Hong Kong – Live It, Love it!”, 2012; acrylic on canvas
Chow Chun Fai’s RED, “We had nothing to lose and a vision to gain”, 2013; acrylic on canvas
At New York-based Lehmann Maupin, I was excited to catch Teresita Fernández’s show exploring landscape, gold, mining, and man’s association with each. Her stunning India ink on gold-chromed wood panels both absorbed and reflected the viewer, and her wall-sized installation, Epic, created from shimmering pieces of graphite, alluded to a weighted cloud and the Chinese continent.
Teresita Fernández’s Epic 1, 2009; graphite and magnets
Detail view of Epic 1
In May, MASS MoCA will mount a major solo exhibition of Fernández’s work, meaning another trip, to the Berkshires this time, might be in order.
An extra travel tip for anyone visiting the Pedder Building: do be sure to stop in to the nearly-hidden gem, Red Chamber, a jewel box (albeit a smoky one) of cigars and old-world, high-end leisure pursuits. Mr. Herzig was only too happy to stumble upon it.