Online event with SculptureCenter: Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 11am–12:30pm. Tishan Hsu’s work appears prescient and influential for younger artists working today, which we can now understand (at least partially) as a product of his idiosyncratic and forward-reaching relationship to the aesthetics, media, and theory of the 1980s.
Referencing the work of scholar Elaine Scarry, Tishan Hsu has remarked that while the critical theory of the 1980s interrogated the subject and saw its autonomy emptied out, pain remained the nagging anchor that kept it from dissipating into thin air. In other words, it was pain that kept the genie in the bottle of embodiment. In Hsu’s work, the body in pain, administered through the institutions of modern life (the office, the hospital, the prison, the factory), manifests itself as fragmented, sundered, and wounded.
Stephanie Bailey writes in Ocula, “Showing in partnership with Fine Art Asia at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre between 27 and 30 November 2020, Hong Kong Spotlight is Art Basel‘s first physical presentation in 2020. Ocula Magazine highlights six artists on view among the curated booths of 22 participating galleries. Empty Gallery‘s black box was the perfect setting to showcase the impressive hand of Hong Kong-born painter Henry Shum, who graduated with a BA in fine art from Chelsea College of Arts only in 2020.”
OPHELIA LAI writes in ArtAsiaPacific, “The vortex-as-portal is a recurring motif that conjures the irresistible yet terrifying pull of the unknown. For poet and artist William Blake (1757–1827), it takes on a spiritual dimension as a symbol of transfigurative passage. These mysterious connotations suffuse painter Henry Shum’s “Vortices,” a fever dream of perilous journeys and mystical awakenings in Empty Gallery’s darkened sancta.”
James T. Hong’s work The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend is in the 12th Taipei Biennial, on view at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum from now until March 12, 2021. Curated by Bruno Latour and Martin Guinard with Eva Lin, it is titled “You and I don’t live on the same planet” and explores how “people around the world no longer agree on what it means to live ‘on’ Earth.”
Hong’s work is a series of concept art storyboards for a speculative science fiction film set in the near future. The film presents a military conflict in Taiwan which involves forces from China, the USA, Japan, Taiwan, and other nations.
Diaries: Era of Good Feelings is an online exhibition curated by Mark Pieterson with an essay by Rizvana Bradley, featuring Antoine Catala, Julien Creuzet, Tishan Hsu, Heesoo Kwon, Christopher Meerdo and Philipp Timischl. On view now until December 20, 2020, this special online presentation brings together various works by six artists that extend the affective possibilities for empathy, care, and connection through the haptic. Also featured is a newly commissioned essay “The Vicissitudes of Touch: Annotations on the Haptic” by Rizvana Bradley.
Now online at Artsy: Para Site: Benefit Auction 2020. Founded in 1996, Para Site is Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications, discursive, and educational projects aimed at forging a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society. Empty Gallery is pleased to donate two works this year, No Smoking (2020) by John Ziqiang Wu and Dr. Pimple Popper (2020) by Jes Fan.
Simon Wu writes in The Brooklyn Rail: “For the last four decades, Tishan Hsu has worked across sculpture, video, painting, and photography to consider the question: “How do we embody technology?” Hsu was born to Chinese parents in Boston, trained as an architect at MIT, and active in the NY art scene in the 1980s where he worked with gallerists like Leo Castelli and Pat Hearn.”
The Mead Art Museum is partnering with the Department of Art and the History of Art and the Queer Resource Center to host a virtual artist talk and a virtual lunch with contemporary artist Jes Fan. Jes Fan was born in Canada and raised in Hong Kong. Speculating on the intersection of biology and identity, his trans-disciplinary practice emerges from a sustained inquiry into the concept of otherness as it relates to the materiality of the gendered body.
Ysabelle Cheung writes in ArtReview Asia’s Winter 2020 issue: “In these canvases, we also see hints at more subconscious terrain. Shum’s figures are translucent and embryonic, their presence ambiguous among trees, mountains and lakes… This sense of dream logic is further embedded through architectural elements: two archways in a cloisterlike passage, newly constructed for the show, lead only to dead-end walls, and several of the paintings feature similar archways or brick partitions, complicating the viewer’s perception of place in the exhibition. Are we looking into our own psyche, or out into the world?”
Ingrid Pui Yee Chu writes in Artforum: “Shadowy figures congregating in groups and in pairs, on boats and in nocturnal groves, inhabit “Vortices,” Henry Shum’s first solo exhibition at Empty Gallery. Largely rendered in a palette of blue, brown, and orange alongside hints of green, fourteen paintings slowly and steadily captivate the eye through the artist’s restrained repertoire of gestural drips, stains, and veil-like washes, guiding visitors through the labyrinthine corridors and darkened rooms of the Hong Kong gallery. The black box installation, a hallmark of the space, here lends Shum’s compositions a mysterious aura, their subjects adrift among natural and supernatural settings.”