Visitors to the Hong Kong Museum of Art are invited to join eight artists in a dialogue about Antonio Mak (1951-1994), a notable Hong Kong artist who died at a young age, through an exhibition from tomorrow (November 21) to January 28, 2009.
Curated by Ms Valerie C. Doran, "Looking for Antonio Mak" will feature a series of pieces by the late artist. Ms Doran hopes to create different levels of encounter between Antonio's works and the Hong Kong public, between Antonio and individual artists, and between collective history and personal memory.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition today (November 20), the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, said Antonio and his art represented many special phenomena of Hong Kong's art history. Antonio was best known for his bronze sculptures and his works were powerfully appealing in their juxtaposition of wisdom and humour, sensibility and poetry, paradox and irony.
"In this exhibition, Ms Doran seeks to convey the eternal elements of the works of Antonio Mak. Her in-depth research, which provides a view on Mak's works from different perspectives, reaffirms the artistic merits of the late artist and the importance of his works in Hong Kong's art history," Mr Chow said.
The exhibition utilises a multi-layered approach to examine the questions of where and how the art of Antonio Mak exists today, physically, psychologically and metaphorically; and of how our perceptions of his works and of ourselves might be changed by re-encountering his art and his history in our own time.
The first layer is an exhibition of Mak's work. More than 150 works, including sculptures, paintings and drawings selected from the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Heritage Museum as well as a number of private collections in Hong Kong and overseas, provide visitors with an opportunity to review his artistic accomplishments. Many of these pieces belong to Mak's family and his closest friends. The works on display transmute the intensity of Mak's vision and the uniqueness of his understanding.
In the second layer, eight artists — Fung Ming Chip, Jaffa Lam, Lee Man Sang, Lo Yin Shan, Simon Birch, Kwan Sheung Chi and Kung Chi Shing from Hong Kong, and Wu Shanzhuan from Shanghai, were invited to create installations in response to Mak's art and history. These artists, who come from different media and different generations, have varying levels of familiarity with Mak's work. The one thread linking them all is the distinctiveness of their artistic voices which reinforce the possibility of dialogue and encounter.
The third layer is a documentary presentation which seeks to provide other paths of insight into Mak's past and present. Both private and institutional collectors of his works were invited to photograph his art in situ on one particular day in the year, and in their exact position — whether on display at home or in an office, tucked away in a box. The resulting photographic exhibit creates a picture of reality of precisely where and how Mak's works exist physically in the real world and in real time. Also on display are more personal objects of Mak's life, such as a painting by his father, Mak Hong, Antonio's first mentor.
To tie in with the exhibition, an open forum will be held on November 22 (Saturday) from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at the Lecture Hall of Museum of Art. It will be chaired by the Director of ARTMAP, Mr Tam Wai-ping, with Ms Doran and the Chief Curator of the Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu, as the speakers. To be conducted in English, the forum is free and 150 seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Looking for Antonio Mak" is the third exhibition of the "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" exhibition series organised by the Museum of Art. The exhibition series has gained wide support from art circles since its launch in 2006. It attracted 20 exhibition proposals from local guest curators featuring a variety of styles and approaches in appreciating Hong Kong art. After deliberation with 10 guest art professionals, the Museum of Art selected four proposals to be implemented between 2008 and 2009. They are "Digit@logue" by Miss Ellen Pau, "New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond" by Ms Alice King, "Looking for Antonio Mak" by Ms Valerie C. Doran and "Charming Experience" by Ms Grace Cheng.
The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and Fridays, and from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. On Christmas Eve and Chinese New Year's Eve, the museum will close at 5pm. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Chinese New Year. Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
For enquiries, please visit the Museum of Art's website at http://hk.art.museum/ or call 2721 0116.
Ends/Thursday, November 20, 2008
The bronze sculpture "Man with Ladder II", created by Antonio Mak in 1982.
The bronze sculpture "Root", created by Antonio Mak in 1990.
The bronze sculpture "Easy Rider", created by Antonio Mak in 1993.
The bronze sculpture "Horse Lover Goes West", created by Antonio Mak in 1992.