Published exclusively in this site on 17 May 2012.
For this year's Art HK 12, which started with its vernissage on Wednesday, 16 May 2012, and will continue through to the weekend, there are a few galleries that I am determined to take a good look at. One of those would be Simon Lee Gallery, a leading international gallery specialising in contemporary art. They decided to break through their comfort zone in London and venture towards Asia by building themselves a new base on the third floor of Pedder Building earlier this year.
A few weeks ago, despite heavy rain, I managed to make it over to their gallery to meet up with Katherine, their Asia Director. She is super nice and obviously knows a lot about the industry, well, enough to clue me into who's who. After she finished her studies in Cape Town, Paris, Florence, and London, she started working with the original Simon Lee Gallery in London, where she acquired her knowledge and skills in the contemporary arts market. As she followed her family to Hong Kong, Simon knew she was a gem he can't afford to lose, and decided to let her to start up a branch of their gallery in Hong Kong. Much to our benefit, I would say.
As I stepped into their gallery, the first thing I noticed was how incredibly bright and intimate they have created their space. They have very few pieces on display, and Katherine said that it is totally intentional. They wanted to conjure up a place that we could drop by once every so often, where she would personally take us through each piece they carefully selected with their informed perspective. The entire experience is focused on pushing boundaries and encouraging cultural dialogue.
They are currently exhibiting new works from renowned American artist Sherrie Levine, who has never exhibited in Asia before. Her pieces are super intricate, and with the one they have on in their gallery, False God, she did a bronze cast of every bone and pieced it back together, which questions what art really means. I don't know what they have in mind for their Art HK 12 displays yet, but I am certainly very curious in finding out!
Another venture I am super excited about for this year's Art HK 12 is Lightbombs, which features contemporary artworks from Philippines, Australia, New York, and Hong Kong. They will have shuttle buses to take you from Art HK 12 to their pop-up showroom in Chai Wan, and their opening cocktail starts tonight, so make use of their shuttle buses and visit both exhibitions all in one evening! Email them here for further details.