Blindspot Gallery

When in Hong Kong

Those of you in Hong Kong, stop by Blindspot Gallery tonight to celebrate the opening of artist Ho Siu Nam, South’s new show. Incorporating the element of painting, this new series of work is based on a collection of black and white photographs of Tin Shui Wai, one of the largest new cities in Hong Kong, where the artist lives. Highlighting the randomness of existence, the artist picks the color of each block in the painting by throwing a dice. He goes on to paint the repetitive, uniformly sized blocks on the photographs using the paintbrushes left by his late father. 

Ho Siu Nam, South: Every Daily is celebrated with an opening reception tonight at Blindspot Gallery and runs through Sept 28, 2013. 

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Nadav Kander Curves of Moon and RIvers of Blue at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong
10 May 2014 - 19 July 2014

Blindspot Gallery is delighted to present London based, Israel born photographer Nadav Kander’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, Curves of Moon and Rivers of Blue, curated by Tamar Arnon and Eli Zagury. The exhibition opens on the eve of Art Basel Hong Kong 2014.

 

More info Here. 

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Leung Chi Wo and Sara Wong 

Leung Chi Wo (b. 1968, Hong Kong)

Leung is the co-founder of Para Site. Leung studied culture of photography at Centro di Ricerca e Archiviazione della Fotografia in Italy in 1991 and obtained his Master of Fine Arts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1997. He has had residency at Monash University and Australian National University in Australia, and MuseumsQuartier in Austria. His recent exhibitions include solo shows at Rokeby in the United Kingdom (2012), The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in the USA (2013) and Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre in Hong Kong (2014); and biennales in Marrakech in Morocco (2012), Guangzhou in China (2012) and Manchester in the United Kingdom (2014). He is currently Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media of the City University of Hong Kong.

Sara Wong (b.1968, Hong Kong)

Wong is the co-founder and currently a board member of Para Site. Wong obtained her BA in Fine Arts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1992 and Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Hong Kong in 1997. She participated in artist-in-residence programmes at MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Bronx Museum of the Arts in the USA and the Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais in Switzerland. Her recent exhibitions include a group show at Pearl Lam Gallery (2013) and a site-specific installation at the Oil Street Art Space (2013) in Hong Kong. Wong is also a practicing landscape designer and currently Senior Lecturer at the Hong Kong Design Institute.

Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong’s collaboration started in 1992. Their previous work City Cookie was exhibited in Shanghai Biennale, Venice Biennale, as well as Queens Museum in the USA and Museum of Image and Sound in Brazil.

Images and text courtesy Blindspot Gallery

New Framework: Chinese Avant-garde Photography 1980s-90s

The main exhibition is over, but you can still see the virtual tour of this exhibit online at Blindspot Gallery’s website. http://hongkongin360.com/virtualtours/blindspot/004/

Curated by Chinese photographer, RongRong, this retrospective explores China’s avant-garde arts movement in the 1980s and 90s. Most of the pictures are gritty, black & white photographs, alluding a sense of subversion and yet intimacy all at once.

Zhao Liang
1 + 1 Overcoat

1995
Gelatin silver print

RongRong
East Village 1994 No.28

1994
Gelatin silver print

Han Lei
Luochuan, Shanbei, 1989

1989
Gelatin silver print

Ai Wei Wei
1994.6

1994
Giclée print

RongRong
East Village 1994 No.1

1994
Gelatin silver print

Zhang Xiao | They

Zhang Xiao created They series in over 3 years from 2006-2008 during his time working as a photojournalist in Chongqing city. Chongqing, as the largest and fastest growing city in China, probably represents the most extreme example of urbanization and rapid development in the country. Zhang photographed the people he encountered on his daily travels around the city. The characters in They are the ordinary people in real life – they carry out all kinds of mundane activities in public venues. In Zhang’s images, these ordinary people become the protagonists in the scenes they occupy, often seemingly departing from reality and entering a performance state. These images perhaps reveal some loss of balance and normality caused by the rapid development of modern Chinese society.

“Each of them has their own ordinary life … yet in the images they appear bizarre and absurd, as if they belong to another planet and are completely unique,” Zhang Xiao said.
Apart from its documentary nature, They also reflects the artist’s strong subjective point of view about contemporary life in China: kitschy, absurd, surreal and humorous.

Zhang used a basic, low technology Holga camera and expired films to photograph They, his choice of equipment enhances his expectation and imagination during the making, and increases the instability and uncertainty of the visual quality of the images. The effects of aberration and vignetting lead the viewers into a dreamy state, in Zhang’s words,

This is not a real world… In a moment, they surpass themselves in reality just like sleepwalking.”

They, published by Jiazazhi press in December 2012 as Clothbound Hardcover (64 pages, 54 color photos, 18.5 x 26cm) is available as a signed, limited edition of 500.

Zhang Xiao, (b.1981) Born in Yantai, Shandong Province, China, graduated from the Yantai University, Art Design of Architecture Department. He was a photographer for the Chongqing Morning Post and is now a freelance photographer based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.

Awards he has received for his photography include:
“Coastline”, Houdengke Document Photography Award, China,
“They”, Three Shadows Photography Award, China,
“Coastline”, The PRIX HSBC POUR LA PHOTOGRAPHIE, France,
“Shanxi”, MIO Photo Award, Japan.

He has participated in numerous exhibitions internationally including:
“Shanxi”, FORMAT International Photography Festival, Derby, UK,
“They”, Contemporary Chinese Photography, Katonah Museum of Art, New York, US,
“Coastline”, Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France,
“Subdue”, Dali International Photography Festival, Yunnan, China,
“Coastline”, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong.


To see more of Zhang Xiao’s work, please visit
→ www.zhangxiaophoto.com

Related ACMV articles:
Zhang Xiao was also one of the featured artists in ACMV’s Projection Programme “Artist as Curator – Spectacle in Photography” at Belfast Photo Festival 2013.



Read the full article on ACMV → http://bit.ly/16liT2g

"Hong Kong Parr" Exhibition - Guided tour at Blindspot Gallery

“Hong Kong Parr” Exhibition – Guided tour at Blindspot Gallery

First off apologies for the crappy images in this post.  I was holding a pile of Martin Parr books (yet to be autographed) while single handedly taking photos with my iPhone. Luckily I wasn’t the one who was told by Parr to take the lens cap off his Leica film camera after he had taken a photo of Parr with the lens cap on. The good many there had a great laugh at the man’s expense.  Without…

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The collaborative works of husband and wife duo Rong Rong and Inri

Above Beijing 2003, No. 8 2003. Gelatin silver print 100 x 100 cm in an edition of 8. 50.8 X 61 cm in an edition of 12. (©RongRong & inri/Courtesy of the artists and Blindspot Gallery).

In 1993, a group of young artists took up residence in a collection of low-rent homes designed for migrant workers on the eastern fringe’s of the Chinese capital. At the entrance to the site the artists, who included Ma Liuming, Zhang Huan, Cang Xin and RongRong, posted a sign which read, ‘Beijing East Village,’ a name which was directly inspired by New York’s East Village. Just a year after its founding, Ma was arrested for cooking whilst naked in the shared courtyard of the village, and the police moved in rapidly closing the community down. But despite this, the artists would continue to collaborate on avant-garde performance pieces, in stark contrast to the accepted artistic practices of the Yuanmingyuan artist village in the west of the city, which then dominated China’s artistic community.

Born in Zhangzhou, Fujian province, RongRong, who studied painting at the Fujian Industrial Art Institute in the late 1980s, and moved to Beijing in 1992 when he enrolled in the photography department of the Central Industrial Art Institute, was one of the original inhabitants of the East Village. Over the next five years he was to document this rich and varied community in, East Village (1993-1998), a series of gritty black-and-white photographs, which not only reflected the environment in which the village artists lived and the art which they created, but also formed what may be considered a visual diary of RongRong’s life, and also reflected the social conditions in China during the period.

Approaching his subject in a documentary form, RongRong’s raw images depict the East Village’s artists during their various performance pieces; in East Village, Beijing 1995, No. 9, Zhang is depicted lying on his back, whilst a clew of earthworms emerge from his mouth; Ma takes a shower in East Village, Beijing 1996 No. 21, a shoal of fish circling her naked form, whilst the antiquated plumbing casts a wave-like shadow on the wall of the bathroom; and in East Village, Beijing 1997, No. 29, Zhu is shown naked encased in a plastic bubble.    

Whilst RongRong documented his fellow artists and their performances, he also produced a series of self-portraits, which in themselves could be view as performance art. In Self-portrait, East Village, Beijing, 1995, RongRong’s head and naked torso emerge from an inky darkness; whilst the artist makes direct eye contact with the camera in, Self-portrait, East Village, Beijing, 1994, a portrait marked by harsh shadows and the visible scars to the photographs physical surface.

Above We are here, Beijing 2002 No.1 2002. Hand‐dyed gelatin silver print, set of six 180 x 240 cm each in an edition of 3. 100 x 145 cm each in an edition of 6. (©RongRong & inri/Courtesy of the artists and Blindspot Gallery). 

RongRong co-founded the New Photography magazine with celebrated photographer Liu Zheng in 1996, and in that same year he began a second series titled, Ruins (1996-1998), which documented the eventual demolition of the East Village site, which like many other areas on Beijing’s fringes was raised to the ground during a period of rapid and uncompromising urban expansion. 

By the late nineties, RongRong held a key place in contemporary Chinese art and was enjoying a rapidly emerging and significant reputation in the larger international art community. In 1999, he held a retrospective of his work in Tokyo, where he met the Japanese photographer Inri, who would become his future wife and artistic collaborator. In the earliest days of their relationship neither spoke or understood the others native language, hence the photographic image became their primary form of communication. 

Their first body of work together, Liulitun (2000), followed a similar path to that of the East Village — which was recently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York — in that it documented the couples life together living in the Liulitun Village, which RongRong had moved to in 1995, and which like the former was an area of Beijing mainly inhabited by migrant workers. And would meet with the same fate as the East Village in 2002, with the pair holding a private funeral atop the ruins, each holding fresh white flowers in their hands. This series, along with the East Village, and the couple’s subsequent bodies of work form, Three Begets Ten Thousand Things at the Blindspot Gallery in Hong Kong, marking the first time the pair have exhibited in the territory.

Whilst continuing to work in black-and-white which, a style which had marked RongRong’s earlier series, the pair adopt the square format for this body of work, which forms a series of single and double self-portraits, in which RongRong and Inri frequently appear nude against the changing backdrop of the Liulitun village. In Liulitun, Beijing 2002, No. 16, we encounter Inri photographed from behind, her arms wrapping around her taught torso, and her head dipped as if in some romantic embrace; through a doorway we glimpse Inri’s naked body, her long dark hair obscuring her face, whilst the foreground of Liulitun, Beijing 2003 No. 2, is littered with refuse, the skyline dominated by a modern apartment building the construction of such buildings rapidly encroaching on the vulnerable village.

Above Caochangdi, Beijing 2004 No.2 2004. Hand-‐dyed gelatin silver print 102 x 109 cm in an edition of 8. 50.8 x 61 cm in an edition of 12. (©RongRong & inri/Courtesy of the artists and Blindspot Gallery).

The self-portrait is a photographic theme that would continue in RongRong & Inri’s subsequent series, In the Great Wall, China (2000), In Yulongxueshan, China (2001), and In Bad Goisern, Austria (2001), all of which depicted the couple’s travels around China and Austria, and the self-discoveries that they found in one another. Whilst they continued to utilise the square format for these works, these new series saw two distinct departures in their artistic output. Firstly, In the Great Wall, China, we see the medium change from back-and-white to colour, which continued with In Bad Goisern, Austria, along with the adoption of the the triptych.

In 2007, RongRong & Inri founded the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing’s vibrant new art district Caochangdi, the first private contemporary art space dedicated to photography in China, which has done much to promote photography as an artistic medium within China, and further afield. And it also marked two new series of works, Three Shadows, begun in 2006, focuses on the couple and the physical space of the art centre, both pre-and-post construction. Here in, Three Shadows, Beijing, 2006, No. 2-1, we see Inri entering the site that will soon be transformed into the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, here amongst the rubble sits RongRong talking with a young child; and two-years later we see the couple standing hand-in-hand, amongst the cherry trees of the centres courtyard, facing the Ai Weiwei designed buildings in, Three Shadows, Beijing, 2008, No. 20-3

Whilst the second series, Caochangdi, is marked by the circular vignette first seen in the Three Shadows series, we also see RongRong & Inri selectively hand-colouring the photographic image, which depicts the same front door, outside of which we encounter the couple in various poses, as their life, and young family evolve. In the second image in the series, Caochangdi, Beijing, 2004, No.2, we see RongRong standing behind a seated Inri, whose heavily pregnant stomach protrudes from her long white gown, whilst two white cats sit at her feet; four years later, we see the couple in an almost the identical pose in, Caochangdi, Beijing 2008 No. 5, RongRong standing and Inri seated and pregnant, but between the two stands a young child, whilst a second sits at his fathers feet.

The practice that began in 1996 with the East Village, expands through the collaborative works of RongRong & Inri, with each series forming a distinct and overlapping chapter in their shared lives of one China’s most significant and influential artistic duo’s.

Three Begets Ten Thousand Things is at the Blindspot Gallery (Central) and Blindspot Annex (Wong Chuk Hang), Hong Kong until 13 November 2011.

Zhang Xiao: ‘The sea is the beginning of lives and dreams’

Above Coastline II, 2009. (©Zhang Xiao/Courtesy of Blindspot Gallery).

Forming ‘windows to the outside world’ China’s 18,000 kilometres of coastline is the focus for Zhang Xiao’s celebrated series, Coastline, which won the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie in 2011. This work is not simply a document of coastal landscape, but stands as a witness to the sea of changes that China has seen, as its policy of economic reform has gather pace over the last three decades, and the the effects it has had the lives of the the people who live along its coastal regions.

‘When I was a child, I was eager for the sea,’ writes Zhang — whose works are marked by a muted colour palette that is suggestive of the past — ‘I felt the sea was mysterious, and I could never touch it,’ a sentiment that reflects the emotional connection that Zhang feels for the coast, ‘The sea is the beginning of lives and dreams’ he says.

Coastline is at the Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, until 10 March 2012.