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. 

NADAV KANDER AT BLINDSPOT

CURVES OF MOON AND RIVERS OF BLUE
A solo exhibition of photographs by Nadav Kander. 

Curated by Tamar Arnon & Eli Zagury

«The first solo exhibition of British photographer Nadav Kander in Hong Kong presents two of his most accomplished series to date. On first impressions the two series in this show appear very different yet in fact their essence is the same. Kander explores the narrative of the vulnerability of mankind and asks the same question in both series; ’What it is to be alone in the world?’ Alone, in the vast and rapidly transforming China, or naked and alone within our own bodies.

© Nadav Kander, Three Gorges Dam II, Yichang, Hubei Province
2007

There is a tension felt across the works in this show. Whether the people in Kander’s photographs appear small against vast cityscapes and landscapes or life size in studio shots surrounded by darkness, they all project the same isolation. Kander’s seductive nude series of large-scale painterly photographs creates an uneasy tension between intimacy and objectification, as each of his artist’s models are unforgettably captured in a repertoire of gestures, postures, and movements which evoke an internal disquiet. In the Yangtze, The Long River series, the tension is palpable as we view these powerful photographs of people negotiating existence, identity and belonging as a result of living with rapid dramatic change that has reshaped their country.

© Blindspot Gallery Installation

Both series also question what we perceive as beauty in today’s world. Our notion of beauty, in nature and the environment around us, or as it can be perceived by us when viewing the naked human body, is being challenged by Kander. This show seeks to affirm there is no universal perception and we must question common ideas not only of beauty but also of humanity.» [Tamar Arnon & Eli Zagury, February 2014.]

© Nadav Kander, Qinghai Province II, 2007

«Although it was never my intention to make documentary pictures, the sociological context of this project is ever present and unavoidable. The displacement of 1.7 million people in a 600-kilometre (380-mile) stretch of the river and the effect on humans when a country moves towards the future at unprecedented speed are themes that inevitably figure within the work. China is a nation that appears to be severing its roots by destroying its past. Demolition and construction were everywhere on such a scale that I was unsure if what I was seeing was being built or destroyed, destroyed or built.

I felt strong parallels with the twentieth-century immigrants, who poured off the boats onto American soil for a new beginning without roots. And yet, paradoxically, the Chinese have traditionally had a deep identification with their native soil and an attachment to place. How can one be so rooted to the land and yet so ruthlessly redevelop or reinvent it?

China’s progress is rapid and profound. These are photographs that can never be taken again.» [Nadav Kander, from Artist Statement - Yangtze, The Long River ]

© Blindspot Gallery Installation

«Revealed yet concealed. Shameless yet shameful. Ease with unease. Beauty and destruction. These paradoxes are displayed in all my work; an enquiry into what it feels like to be human.

These naked pictures are the latest, and perhaps strongest, distillation of the themes that continue to fascinate and nourish me. My subject matters are varied, but the essence is the same. Whether photographing on the banks of the Yangtze, or in my studio, I work with the human conditions that link us all; the vulnerability of mankind. What it is to be alone in the world. What it is to be human.

© Nadav Kander, Elizabeth sitting, 2012, 2012

Popular imagery airbrushes the shadow from our lives, but of course there is no health without illness, no life without death, and no beauty without imperfection. Wherever I may be, my pictures seek to expose the shadow and vulnerability that exists in all of us, and it is this vulnerability that I find so beautiful.» [Nadav Kander, from Artist Statement - Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man]

© Blindspot Gallery | Nadav Kander

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 at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong

Blindspot Gallery is delighted to present Chinese photographer Zhang Xiao’s award-­‐winning series They,  which won the Three Shadows Photography Award in 2010. This will be Zhang’s second exhibition at Blindspot Gallery, following “Coastline” last year.

Zhang Xiao’s images often reveal his unique understanding of today’s China and a sense of surrealism that precisely capture the absurdity in the country due to rampant economic changes. The snapshot aesthetic and adoption of ordinary people from daily settings as protagonists are the common threads through his two iconic series ‘They’ and 'Coastline’.

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.”

© Blindspot Gallery 

6

New York-based artist, Annysa Ng’s pen and ink painting series, “Tea Silk and Porcelain” where figures with featureless faces and wearing a combination of period European fashion and traditional Chinese costumes, are connected to the identity and history of Hong Kong, a former British colony. 

Artist website: www.annysang.com

Sources: The Drawing CenterBlindspot Gallery