Ocula | Hong Kong Exhibitions to See: The Lowdown

Diana D'Arenberg, Ocula, October 19, 2018

From Cao Fei's first large-scale institutional exhibition in Asia, to a showing of historical works by Robert Rauschenberg, Ocula contributor Diana d'Arenberg offers her lowdown of shows to see in Hong Kong this autumn.


Featured Show:

Fan Death in Bedroom
Bedroom, 75 Bedford Rd, Tai Kok Tsui

15 September-25 November 2018

Group Show with Leelee Chan


In the wake of the closures of Things That Can Happen and 100ft PARK, a new experimental art platform has cropped up to fill the void of non-commercial art spaces in Hong Kong. Bedroom, located on the fifth-floor of a walk-up in an industrial corner of Tai Kok Tsui, was founded to exhibit emerging artists with self-funded shows.


Fan Death in Bedroom, curated by Hera Chan, responds to the post-Occupy Hong Kong environment by asking what, if anything, has changed in the four years since the movement polarised the city. It explores the idea of occupation not just from the standpoint of a political movement, but also of dwelling in or taking up space, while conflating several other social and cultural issues such as celebrity fandom, and killing your idols. 'I thought about how a lot of people in these neighbourhoods will always be sub-letters—and a lot of them were involved in Occupy', Chan explains, mentioning the depression and disappointment that followed. She asks visitors to think of the show 'as a murder mystery. A sense of premonition for things to come and an in-betweenness, but of a darker air'.


Seven local and regional artists respond to the curatorial concept, some more so than others. The Little Death (2018), a film by Indian-born Malaysian artist Dipali Gupta, explores sex and death and resembles an animated Dutch still life painting, albeit with buzzing sex toys. There are two hypnotising small cassette box light installations by Guangzhou-based artist Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin, which delve into doomsday prepping through Chinese mythologies and storytelling. Endless Consumption (2015–2017) is a wonderful brutalist sculptural totem composed from accumulated detritus (like polystyrene packaging, seashells) by Lee Lee Chan, who draws on her background in the family antique workshop to create multi-layered and geometric pieces.