Archive: Hong Kong
The Obscenity, Profanity and Heartache in Neon

The Obscenity, Profanity and Heartache in Neon

Tracey Emin at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 2014

Tracey Emin at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 2014
Tracey EminTrust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA, 2014

Neon lights are commonly used to make attractive business signs and are mostly preferred for outdoor use especially at night. The colorful array of neon light options makes it a creative marketing tool since lights are used to illuminate an underlying text message or image. There is no limit to what medium an artist can use to express themselves and for Tracey Emin (b.1963), it has been over 26 years of using neon consistently as a creative medium. The process of creating an art piece for her often begins with coming up with a message, usually a thought or a feeling. This is then followed by bending light tubes to assume the curves and profile of what has been written. Many artists have used neon lights as a medium since the 1960s but while many preferred to use molded letters and neutral writing, Tracey Emin stands out because she has chosen to use her own handwriting. Art critics will admit that using one’s own handwriting is rather daring but also a way to stamp personality and individuality in all pieces created.

It is ironic how the artist uses simple every day phrases to provoke feelings and thoughts in the audience. By expressing her own emotions, thoughts, and aspirations, she connects to the soul of the observers. This is the role that art should play in people’s lives and finding the best medium to achieve it is the greatest hurdle for many. By incorporating poetry, mystery, color and light into an art piece, the artist immortalizes herself in the work she does.

Tracey Emin at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 2014
Tracey EminTrust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA, 2014

Tracey Emin at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 2014
Tracey EminTrust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA, 2014

Tracey Emin at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 2014
Tracey EminTrust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA, 2014

Tracey Emin at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 2014
Tracey EminTrust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA, 2014
Tracey Emin - Be Faithful to Your Dreams, 1998, blue neon on plexiglas, 40.5 x 223.5 x 7.5 cm
Tracey EminFaithful to Your Dreams, 1998, blue neon on plexiglas, 40.5 x 223.5 x 7.5 cm

Tracey Emin - For You, 2008, neon, 186 x 174 cmTracey EminFor You, 2008, neon, 186 x 174 cm

Tracey Emin - Her Soft Lips Touched Mine and Every Thing Became Hard, 2008, neon, 99.7 x 213.8 cm
Tracey EminHer Soft Lips Touched Mine and Every Thing Became Hard, 2008, neon, 99.7 x 213.8 cm

Tracey Emin - I Cried Because I Love You, 2015
Tracey EminI Cried Because I Love You, 2015

Tracey Emin - I Kiss You, 2004
Tracey EminI Kiss You, 2004

Tracey Emin - I Listen to The Ocean And All I Hear is You, 2011, Neon, 91 x 211 cm
Tracey EminI Listen to The Ocean And All I Hear is You, 2011, Neon, 91 x 211 cm

Tracey Emin - I Loved You More Than I Can Love, 2009, Neon, 76.2 × 191.7 cm
Tracey EminI Loved You More Than I Can Love, 2009, Neon, 76.2 × 191.7 cm

Tracey Emin - I promise to Love You, 2010, Neon, 145.8 x 143 cm
Tracey EminI promise to Love You, 2010, Neon, 145.8 x 143 cm

Tracey Emin - Is Legal Sex Anal?, 1998, pink neon, 34 x 148 cm
Tracey EminIs Legal Sex Anal?, 1998, pink neon, 34 x 148 cm

Tracey Emin - Meet me in Heaven I will wait For You, 2004, Blue neon, 32.5 x 164.1 cm
Tracey EminMeet me in Heaven I will wait For You, 2004, Blue neon, 32.5 x 164.1 cm

Tracey Emin - Meet Me In Heaven I Will Wait For You, 2016, 110 x 359 cm
Tracey EminMeet Me In Heaven I Will Wait For You, 2016, 110 x 359 cm

Tracey Emin - People Like You Need To Fuck People Like Me, 2007, Neon, 45 x 72.01 in
Tracey EminPeople Like You Need To Fuck People Like Me, 2007, Neon, 45 x 72.01 in

Tracey Emin - She Lay down Deep Beneath The Sea, 2012
Tracey EminShe Lay down Deep Beneath The Sea, 2012

Tracey Emin - The Kiss Was Beautiful, 2012, Neon 135 x 120 cm
Tracey EminThe Kiss Was Beautiful, 2012, Neon 135 x 120 cm

Tracey Emin - Trust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA
Tracey EminTrust Yourself, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami, USA, 2014

Tracey Emin - With You I Want To Live, 2008, neon, 76.2 x 99.1 x 5.7 cm
Tracey EminWith You I Want To Live, 2008, neon, 76.2 x 99.1 x 5.7 cm

Tracey Emin - You Loved Me Like A Distant Star, 2016
Tracey EminYou Loved Me Like A Distant Star, 2016

Tracey Emin - Your Lips Moved Across My Face, 2015
Tracey EminYour Lips Moved Across My Face, 2015

Tracey Emin - Your Name Try Cunt International, 2004
Tracey EminYour Name Try Cunt International, 2004

Tracey Emin - My Heart is With You Always, 2014, laser animation, The Peninsula, Hong Kong, China
Tracey EminMy Heart is With You Always, 2014, laser animation, The Peninsula, Hong Kong, China


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This is how Hong Kong looked like 60 years ago

This is how Hong Kong looked like 60 years ago

Fan Ho - Hong Kong Venice, 1962

Fan Ho - Inferno, 1962
Fan Ho – Inferno, 1962

Photographer Fan Ho was born in Shanghai, China in 1931 and immigrated to Hong Kong in his teens where he then began to photograph the drama of city life, ranging from the teeming markets to desolate alleyways. A Hong Kong Memoir completes Ho’s trilogy that he began with Hong Kong Yesterday and The Living Theatre, in which he introduced viewers to Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s, using his exceptional eye for light, structure, and his patience, waiting for the right moment to take the photo.

His photobook, A Hong Kong Memoir, illuminates the differences in Hong Kong during different times, and highlights the differences in wellbeing when so many different people were immigrating to Hong Kong, many fleeing Shanghai due to the Nationalist-Communist Civil War, serving to create an assortment of cultural diversity and language barriers, and of course social inequality. The government provided those who were born in Hong Kong with housing and education, the incoming refugees were not provided with the same opportunities by any means. This discrepancy is highlighted in Ho’s photos, as you can see the distinct differences between precarity and affluence, while the use of light and dark emphasizes the dualistic nature of life in Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s.

The influential photographer Fan Ho shows the beauty of life while also showing disparity that accompanies social and economic inequality- using light and dark to contrast the images.

Fan Ho - A Day is Done, 1957
Fan HoA Day is Done, 1957

Fan Ho - World Upside Down, 1960
Fan HoWorld Upside Down, 1960

Fan Ho - Works, 1964
Fan HoWorks, 1964

Fan Ho - W, 1959
Fan HoW, 1959

Fan Ho - The Omen, 1964
Fan HoThe Omen, 1964

Fan Ho - The Lone Ranger, 1954
Fan HoThe Lone Ranger, 1954

Fan Ho - Sun Rays, 1959
Fan HoSun Rays, 1959

Fan Ho - Street Scene, 1956
Fan HoStreet Scene, 1956

Fan Ho - Steps
Fan HoSteps

Fan Ho - Private, 1960
Fan HoPrivate, 1960

Fan Ho - People Crossing, 1957
Fan HoPeople Crossing, 1957

Fan Ho - Pattern, 1956
Fan HoPattern, 1956

Fan Ho - On the Stage of Life, 1954
Fan HoOn the Stage of Life, 1954

Fan Ho - Obsession, 1964
Fan HoObsession, 1964

Fan Ho - Mother's Helper, 1967
Fan HoMother's Helper, 1967

Fan Ho - Man Carrying Box, 1954
Fan HoMan Carrying Box, 1954

Fan Ho - Lines & Forms, 1959
Fan HoLines & Forms, 1959

Fan Ho - Journey to Uncertainty, 1956
Fan HoJourney to Uncertainty, 1956

Fan Ho - In a Chinese Street, 1959
Fan HoIn a Chinese Street, 1959

Fan Ho - In a Buddhist Temple, 1961
Fan HoIn a Buddhist Temple, 1961

Fan Ho - Hong Kong Venice, 1962
Fan HoHong Kong Venice, 1962

Fan Ho - Her Study, 1963
Fan HoHer Study, 1963

Fan Ho - Flare, 1966
Fan HoFlare, 1966

Fan Ho - Danger, 1965
Fan HoDanger, 1965

Fan Ho - Daily Routine, 1961
Fan HoDaily Routine, 1961

Fan Ho - Coolies and Hawkers, 1958
Fan HoCoolies and Hawkers, 1958

Fan Ho - Construction, 1957
Fan HoConstruction, 1957

Fan Ho - Childhood, 1959
Fan HoChildhood, 1959

Fan Ho - Busy Harbor, 1964
Fan HoBusy Harbor, 1964

Fan Ho - Between Showers, 1962
Fan HoBetween Showers, 1962

Fan Ho - Ashore, 1963
Fan HoAshore, 1963

Fan Ho - As Evening Hurries By, 1955
Fan HoAs Evening Hurries By, 1955

Fan Ho - Arrow, 1958
Fan HoArrow, 1958

Fan Ho - Approaching Shadow, 1954
Fan HoApproaching Shadow, 1954

Fan Ho - A Day is Done, 1957
Fan HoA Day is Done, 1957


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Would you consider these gigantic blow-up sculptures art?

Would you consider these gigantic blow-up sculptures art?

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA 4

FriendsWithYou - Happy Rainbow, Tuen Mun Town Plaza, Hong Kong, 2012
FriendsWithYouHappy Rainbow, Tuen Mun Town Plaza, Hong Kong, 2012

Highly interactive visual art has forged its way into the hearts and minds of the public. This new caliber of art is quirky, but it manages to so effortlessly fuse art, technology, and fashion in a trendy way that has us all captured.

One such collective is run by Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, who were born in Florida and Havana respectively. The Los Angeles based duo is more commonly referred to by their moniker, FriendsWithYou. The pair has collaborated since 2002 to produce joyful pieces of work intended to “spread Magic, Luck, and Friendship.

FriendsWithYou brings a flair of kid-friendly fun to any proceeding with its bouncy castles, smiling and at times, glowing celestial bodies, brightly colored balloons and blow up structures. The pair uses a broad range of pop-infused media including extensive experiential installations, sculptures, paintings, playgrounds, published artwork, as well as live performances to exhibit their installations.

The two collaborative artists embrace play while subtly highlighting themes of technological innovation, iconography and religion. Their works challenge the progression of mechanical innovation while effectively juxtaposing human feelings such as delight and gratification. This art is effectively bringing change to how people socially experience places, spaces and other people around them, therefore supplying individuals with an enriching experience every time.

Often, Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval have been aptly described as progenies of Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama. Since their work is so calculatingly playful, it might be difficult for some people to classify it as fine art. Instead, the artists represent their art disguised as bouncy castles or as anthropomorphized items. Recently, the crew introduced the first wave of a virtual reality experience aimed at giving people the opportunity to explore their emotions. For instance, their virtual reality ‘Light Spirit’ piece occurs in a metaphysical plane designed to affect people’s sentiments.

When asked why the size of their installations matter, the pair feels that size is essential as it dwarfs the audience, which helps in cultivating a sense of serenity and peace. At the end of it all, their pieces are intended to inspire emotions such as love, magic, and peace into the hearts of the audience. The pair continues to produce art that creates a blur between reality and imagination. Their focus remains to supply people with an active experience that is also interactive at the same time. So if you feel the need to undergo a calming and delightful experience that makes you yearn for light and love, watch out for the duo’s next installation.

FriendsWithYou - At This is not a toy exhibition Design Exchange - Toronto, 2014 2
FriendsWithYou – at This is not a toy exhibition, Design Exchange, Toronto, Canada, 2014

FriendsWithYou - Super Moon, 2016, Seokchon Lake, Seoul, South Korea
FriendsWithYouSuper Moon, 2016, Seokchon Lake, Seoul, South Korea

FriendsWithYou - Super Moon, 2016, Seokchon Lake, Seoul, South Korea 3
FriendsWithYouSuper Moon, 2016, Seokchon Lake, Seoul, South Korea

FriendsWithYou - Super Moon, 2016, Seokchon Lake, Seoul, South Korea 2
FriendsWithYouSuper Moon, 2016, Seokchon Lake, Seoul, South Korea

FriendsWithYou - Starry Eyes - Inflatable by FriendsWithYou 15 feet H x 10 feet W, 2006
FriendsWithYouStarry Eyes, 2006, inflatable, 15 feet H x 10 feet W

FriendsWithYou - Mafli heads- Inflatable, 8 feet x 8 feet, 2006
FriendsWithYouMafli heads, 2006, inflatable, 8 feet x 8 feet

FriendsWithYou - Starburst, Inflatable Sculpture- Ripstop Nylon, 300 inch diameter, Unique Piece, Brookfield Place Toronto 2013, Photo Ernesto DiStefano 4
FriendsWithYouStarburst, 2011, inflatable sculpture, ripstop nylon, 300 inch diameter, Brookfield Place Toronto, Canada, 2013
Photo: Ernesto DiStefano

FriendsWithYou - Starburst, Inflatable Sculpture- Ripstop Nylon, 300 inch diameter, Unique Piece, Brookfield Place Toronto 2013, Photo Ernesto DiStefano 2
FriendsWithYouStarburst, 2011, inflatable sculpture, ripstop nylon, 300 inch diameter, Brookfield Place Toronto, Canada, 2013
Photo: Ernesto DiStefano

FriendsWithYou - Starburst, Inflatable Sculpture- Ripstop Nylon, 300 inch diameter, Unique Piece, Art Basel Miami Beach 2010
FriendsWithYouStarburst, 2011, inflatable sculpture, ripstop nylon, 300 inch diameter, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2010

FriendsWithYou - Starburst, 2011
FriendsWithYouStarburst, 2011

FriendsWithYou - Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Art Basel Miami, USA, 2013 2
FriendsWithYouSomewhere Over the Rainbow, Art Basel Miami Beach, USA, 2013

FriendsWithYou - Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Art Basel Miami, USA, 2013 1
FriendsWithYouSomewhere Over the Rainbow, Art Basel Miami Beach, USA, 2013

https://vimeo.com/146832545
FriendsWithYouLight Spirit

FriendsWithYou - Rainbow city, Miami Basel 3
FriendsWithYouRainbow city, Art Basel Miami Beach, USA

FriendsWithYou - Rainbow city, Miami Basel 1
FriendsWithYouRainbow city, Art Basel Miami Beach, USA

FriendsWithYou - Rainbow city, Highline
FriendsWithYouRainbow city, Highline, NYC, USA

FriendsWithYou - Rainbow city, Highline 3
FriendsWithYouRainbow city, Highline, NYC, USA

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA
FriendsWithYouLight Cave, 2014, inflatable, 55ft x 25ft x 14ft, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA 4
FriendsWithYouLight Cave, 2014, inflatable, 55ft x 25ft x 14ft, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA 3
FriendsWithYouLight Cave, 2014, inflatable, 55ft x 25ft x 14ft, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA 2
FriendsWithYouLight Cave, 2014, inflatable, 55ft x 25ft x 14ft, The Standard High Line Plaza, NYC, USA

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery
FriendsWithYouLight Cave, 2014, inflatable, 55ft x 25ft x 14ft, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery 1
FriendsWithYouLight Cave, 2014, inflatable, 55ft x 25ft x 14ft, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

FriendsWithYou - Light Cave, 2014, inflatable approximately 55ft x 25ft x 14ft, Photo Alyssa Ringler
FriendsWithYouLight Cave, 2014, inflatable, 55ft x 25ft x 14ft
Photo: Alyssa Ringler

FriendsWithYou – Inflatable by FriendsWithYou,
FriendsWithYou – 2006, inflatable, 10 feet x 8 feet

FriendsWithYou - At This is not a toy exhibition Design Exchange - Toronto, 2014
FriendsWithYou at This is not a toy exhibition, Design Exchange, Toronto, Canada, 2014

FriendsWithYou - Wish Come True Festival, Luminato 2010, Toronto, Canada 2
FriendsWithYou – at Wish Come True Festival, Luminato 2010, Toronto, Canada

FriendsWithYou - Wish Come True Festival, Luminato 2010, Toronto, Canada 2
FriendsWithYou – at Wish Come True Festival, Luminato 2010, Toronto, Canada

FriendsWithYou - Wish Come True Festival, Luminato 2010, Toronto, Canada 2
FriendsWithYou – at Wish Come True Festival, Luminato 2010, Toronto, Canada


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The power of laughter

The power of laughter

Yue Minjun - One of 14 A-maze-ing Laughter bronze sculptures in Morton Park, Vancouver, BC

Yue Minjun - Untitled, stainless steel sculpture, 95x197x143cm
Yue MinjunUntitled, stainless steel sculpture, 95x197x143cm

Yue Minjun was born in Daqing in Heilongjiang, China in 1962. For most of his life, Yue moved from place to place, because his family had to move from oilfield to oilfield to find work. Before starting to work as an electrician, he graduated from Hebei Normal University in 1989, where he studied oil painting. 1989 was the same year in which China was left shocked by the infamous student-led demonstrations and the suppression of such on Tiananmen Square. These movements played a large part in the inspiration and mood of Yue’s work. In order to fight the dark mood of the hour, the dark reality of the time, he created vibrant self-images embodying an almost mania; The laughing image.

Laughter never necessarily means happiness. Laughter can be nervous. It can be spiteful. It can be healing. A smile or a laugh can be genuine but can also be a mask. They can mask feelings of loss, feelings of helplessness, feelings of confusion. Although the smile on Yue’s sculptures and paintings has often been interpreted as a joke or bliss, the meaning behind the smile often is so much deeper.

Yue was influenced by the Chinese modern art revolution, during which old ideas were being broken down and new thoughts were being created. He grew up in a time when market economic policies were beginning to release and there was accelerated development. This was also a period of global economic prosperity. These social and economic changes that were happening on a global level, especially within China pushed artists like Yue Minjun to quickly grow and evolve grow. Within this group of artists, Yue is without a doubt one of the most successful. He is also known as an influential member of the Cynical Realism movement.

His famous self-portraits take place in various settings, with an infamous expression of wide-toothed laughter. The figures featured in these self-portraits with disproportionately large faces, gleefully open mouths and eyes closed, have become recognizable to admirers around the world. Throughout his work, Yue utilizes humor as a tool to convey a tempestuous stage in modern China.

In more recent years, Yue’s sculptures have become the most famous and most visible works around the world. His sculpture A-mazing Laughter is a permanent installation in Vancouver, Canada. Yue’s Warriors were installed at LongHouse Reserve in New York.

In portraying himself within his paintings he allows himself more freedom of expression. Through this expression he is able to look at himself and society. He has the ability to question reality, and the laugh that is portrayed in his portraits and sculptures is one that is relatable for his countrymen and women who have experienced the changes in society. The smile that is so large and convincing often has something else behind it. Sometimes in any given situation all we can really do is smile.

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver 1
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver 2
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver 3
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - A-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - Amazing Laughter, 2009, Photo Matthew Grapengieser
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada
Photo: Matthew Grapengieser

Yue Minjun - Amazing Laughter, 2009
Yue MinjunA-Maze-ing Laughter, Vancouver, Canada

Yue Minjun - Today Art Museum
Yue Minjun – Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

Yue Minjun - Beijing, China, Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters
Yue Minjun – Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors 2000 Fiberglass, paint, iron base, 60x53x186cm, 2000
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2000, Fiberglass, paint, iron base, 60x53x186cm

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors Series No. 6, 2005, Bronze, 46x61x288cm
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors No. 6, 2005, Bronze, 46x61x288cm

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors No. 9, 2006, Set of 25, Bronze, 190.5x61x61cm
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors No. 9, 2006, Set of 25, Bronze, 190,5x61x61cm

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, installation view, Pete and Repeat, 2009 at Zabludowicz Collection, London. Photo- Thierry Bal
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 2009
Photo: Thierry Bal

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005 (detail)
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors (detail), 2005

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, LongHouse Reserve garden, East Hampton, NY, USA
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, 2005, LongHouse Reserve garden, East Hampton, NY, USA

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House, United Kingdom

Yue Minjun - Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House 2
Yue MinjunContemporary Terracotta Warriors, Chatsworth House, United Kingdom

Yue Minjun - Flexible Latitude 2010
Yue MinjunFlexible Latitude, 2010

Yue Minjun - Laugh 2, 2009 Stainless steel, iron 200 x 80 x 80 cm
Yue MinjunLaugh 2, 2009, Stainless steel, iron 200x80x80cm

Yue Minjun - Milwaukee Art Museum 1
Yue MinjunChinese Contemporary Warriors, at Milwaukee Art Museum, USA, 2011

Yue Minjun - Milwaukee Art Museum 2
Yue MinjunChinese Contemporary Warriors, at Milwaukee Art Museum, USA, 2011

Yue Minjun - One of 14 A-maze-ing Laughter bronze sculptures in Morton Park, Vancouver, BC
Yue Minjun – One of 14 A-maze-ing Laughter bronze sculptures in Morton Park, Vancouver, BC

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 2
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 3
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 4
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 5
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 6
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012 7
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012

Yue Minjun - The Tao of Laughter, Harbour City – Part II , Hong Kong, 2012
Yue MinjunThe Tao of Laughter, Harbour City, Hong Kong, 2012


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Ai Weiwei flips off whole world

Ai Weiwei flips off whole world

Ai Weiwei - Study of Perspective – Tiananmen“, 1995-2010, C-Print, 32,5 x 43,5 cm
Ai WeiweiStudy of Perspective, Tiananmen, 1995-2010, C-Print, 32,5×43,5cm

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist and activist whose activism comes out in his artwork. He has been vocal and openly critical of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. His work has captured global attention and served to bring attention to social injustices, human rights violations, and systemic violence.

Study of Perspective is a photographic series produced by Ai Weiwei, taking place between 1995 and 2011. Throughout the series, viewers see Ai’s left arm extended forward with the middle finger raised to famous and significant landmarks and backdrops from around the world. These pictures mimic tourist’s photos. His images demand that viewers challenge their own unquestioning acceptance and adherence towards the establishment, institutions, authority, and governments. This series speaks out about Ai’s beliefs regarding freedom of speech, empowerment of the people, and democratic values.

The first in this series was shot in Tiananmen Square in 1995, where during the 1989 democracy movement protests hundreds to thousands of unarmed protesters were killed. In Study of Perspective – Tiananmen Square, the photo first appears to be a classic tourist photo in which Ai sticks his middle finger up at Tiananmen Square Gate. Other landmarks featured in Ai’s series include the White House in Washington D.C., the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and The Reichstag. The gesture is the focal point of the photo, as the objects that are closer to the eye appear larger, thus his statement is the key point in the photo.

The series achieved worldwide recognition following Ai posting the images on his blog (2005-2009). In 2011, Ai was arrested and interrogated by the Chinese police regarding the Tiananmen photograph. Following Ai’s detention, other people began to post similar images of themselves on the internet as a signal of solidarity. His work has not only brought attention to a number of social issues but has garnered support and inspired other activities.

Ai Weiwei - Study of Perspective, Mona Lisa, 1995-2003
Ai WeiweiStudy of Perspective, Mona Lisa, 1995-2003

Ai Weiwei - Study of Perspective - White House, 1995 - 2003
Ai WeiweiStudy of Perspective, White House, 1995-2003

Ai Weiwei - Study of Perspective – Eiffel Tower, 1995-2003, Gelatin silver print, 38.9x59cm
Ai WeiweiStudy of Perspective, Eiffel Tower, 1995-2003, Gelatin silver print, 38.9x59cm

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Is this bus falling off a roof?

Is this bus falling off a roof?

Richard Wilson - Hang On A Minute Lads... Ive Got A Great Idea - Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, 2015 - Day time - 1
Richard WilsonHang On A Minute Lads… Ive Got A Great Idea, full-sized 11 meters replica coach, 2015, Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

The sculptural installation by Richard Wilson titled Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got a Great Idea showcases a full-sized replica of a old-fashioned twin-axel Harrington Legionnaire coach that looks as if it is teetering precariously on the edge threatening to fall off The Peninsula’s seventh-floor.

The sculpture was inspired by classic 1969 British heist movie ‘The Italian Job’. The dynamic sculpture weighs six tons at its core, and uses hydraulic equipment that is makes the coach rock by up to 12 degrees at random periods, making it seem that the coach could very well plunge of the ledge to the ground at any moment from. The installation draws onlookers’ attention to the hotel’s distinctive architecture, serving to highlight and accent the building in different and unanticipated ways.

Seeing the piece causes onlookers a surge of adrenaline- and rightfully so, seeing such a large vehicle perched “insecurely” (no fear, it is secure) and seemingly unsteadily should bring everyone a hint of that natural fight or flight reaction. Once the shock associated with the spectacle subsides you can embrace the creativity, the unique building designer, and the contrast between the coach and the hotel in what is undoubtedly awe.

This project was a collaboration between Richard Wilson, The Royal Academy and the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong. The Peninsula Hong Kong is a historic and well-known hotel. The Royal Academy is an artist-led organization, with an emphasized focus on presenting British artists and architects abroad.

About Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson, born 1953, is one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors. He is internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space, which draw heavily for their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction.

Richard Wilson - Hang On A Minute Lads... Ive Got A Great Idea - Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, 2015 - Night time
Richard WilsonHang On A Minute Lads… Ive Got A Great Idea, full-sized 11 meters replica coach, 2015, Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

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Gigantic breathing lotus flowers by Korean artist

Gigantic breathing lotus flowers by Korean artist

Choi Jeong Hwa - Perth International Art Festival - Moving Flower, 2012
Choi Jeong Hwa – Moving Flower, Perth International Art Festival, Australia, 2012

Korean artist and designer Choi Jeong Hwa is mostly known for his large lotus blossoms. With motorized fabric leaves opening and closing, simulating the movement of a live lotus flower, his sculptures are often installed in public space and create a link between the modern world and one of the most important cosmological symbols in Asia.

Check out the videos below to see his lotus blossoms in action or read more about Choi’s latest installation in Hong Kong.

About Choi Jeong Hwa

Choi Jeong Hwa is an artist and designer who works across many disciplines including art, graphic design, industrial design and architecture, using a broad range of media involving video, molded plastic, shopping trolleys, real and fake food, lights, wires and kitsch Korean artifacts. His playful practice comments on the privileged environment of art institutions and questions the prized status of artworks amidst a consumer-frenzied world.

Choi has participated in many biennials of contemporary art, including the Arsenale Kyiv (2012), the 17th Sydney Biennial (2010), the Gwangju Biennale (2006), the Venice Biennale – Korean pavilion (2005), the CP Biennale (2005), the Liverpool Biennial (2004), the Lyon Biennale (2003), the Yokohama Triennale (2001), the São Paulo Biennale (1998) and the Taipei Biennale (1998). Choi Jeong Hwa was born 1961 in Seoul, Korea. He lives and works in Seoul.

Choi Jeong Hwa - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Breathing Flower, 2016
Choi Jeong Hwa – Breathing Flower, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA, 2016, Photo by Cassidy Hopkins

Choi Jeong Hwa - Civic Center Plaza San Francisco - Breathing Flower, 2012
Choi Jeong Hwa – Breathing Flower, Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, USA, 2012

Choi Jeong Hwa - Civic Center Plaza San Francisco - Breathing Flower, 2012
Choi Jeong Hwa – Breathing Flower, Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, USA, 2012

Choi Jeong Hwa - Kunsthalle Gwangju - Breathing Flower 거시기 What Is It, 2011
Choi Jeong Hwa – Breathing Flower 거시기 What Is It, Kunsthalle Gwangju, South Korea, 2011

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