Newly opened Artspace K, celebrates and spotlights contemporary artists in style…
After much anticipation and with high spirits, The Repulse Bay welcomed a brand-new art gallery, Artspace K, last month. The grand opening, which was presided over by its founder, Chen Kok-choo, also doubled as the exciting launch of the contemporary art space’s first exhibition. Titled “Winter Joy”, this exhibition marks the first-ever solo showcase in Hong Kong by renowned Taiwanese artist, Hung Yi.
Chen is no stranger to the art and culture sphere. An international corporate lawyer by profession, upon her retirement in 2002, the intrepid cultural connoisseur and Hong Kong native chose to answer a second calling, this time as a promoter of art and culture works.
“I define culture as something that our ancestors have passed down to us, be it through intangible traditions or their very real literary, artistic and musical legacies,” explains Chen, “and it’s through this that we can understand our past.”
With this philosophy driving her, Chen would eventually revitalise and restore three heritage buildings in Taipei – Taipei Story House, Futai Street Foreign Mansion and museum207 – transforming them into modern-day museums that could educate people about their own history. With this undeniable success under her belt, she then turned her attention towards her hometown of Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong is a leading international art hub, with services and an infrastructure that few other cities can rival,” says Chen, “so I focused on setting up a platform for contemporary artists from all over the world, one that would position them to best take advantage of the city’s strengths.”
A year later, that vision has come to fruition in Artspace K, a gallery that Chen hopes will “instil a love of art within the local community.” Designed as a mini museum, she hopes to utilise this venue to introduce a range of local and international artists to the city through thoughtfully curated, ever-changing exhibitions.
“We hope to present about eight to ten established or emerging artists across a range of mediums and themes at Artspace K each year over four exhibitions,” Chen says, “and we don’t just introduce the artworks but also the artists, to educate on what makes each one so unique.”
It is precisely this thought that drove the selection of Taiwanese artist Hung Yi as its inaugural exhibition artist. “Hung Yi is one of Taiwan’s most famous prolific contemporary sculptors. He’s had 87 exhibitions across the world, including many leading international art hotspots, yet he has never held a solo exhibition in Hong Kong and many locals probably haven’t heard of him. That’s why I want to introduce Hongkongers to his fantastic works.”
Thus, Artspace K’s “Winter Joy” exhibition, which runs until February 21, 2021, is an exposé on Hung Yi’s artistic vision and craftsmanship, with 13 steelwork sculptures and two acrylic paintings from his “Animals” series now on proud display. Vibrant and colourful, each piece has been burnished with traditional symbols, floral motifs and contemporary ideograms. Above all – and perhaps at a time where Hong Kong needs it most – “Winter Joy” evokes a child-like joy of colourful expression devoid of all negativity.
Artspace K.G105-106, The RepulseBay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, Hong Kong
Info: Artspace K