New-media exhibitions take visitors on an exhilarating journey

Lovers of new media are in for a rare treat with four must-see shows currently on show at the chi K11 art museum.
Ti Gong

Chinese-American artist Adrian Wong (left) and K11 Art Foundation Founder Adrian Cheng enjoy the artwork “New Orient Garden.”

Lovers of new media are in for a rare treat with four exhibitions currently underway at the chi K11 art museum.

“New Orient Garden,” “In Core Sample,” “Performing Dramas” and “.cm/.cn/” offer viewers an emphatic and varied art journey through the world of short movie, video, photography and installation.

The spotlight of the four exhibitions, however, is Adrian Wong’s “New Orient Garden,” a multi-sensory installation. 

Wong’s work investigates the psychological struggles urban people encounter when searching for the original core of their culture in the metropolis. This particularly echoes with the inner side of the artist himself, a Chinese-American raised in Chicago.

The installation takes a cement tiger, once situated at the center of Tiger Balm Garden in Hong Kong, as a starting point. The ferocious beast has left a strong impression on the artist since his childhood visit in 1985. 

Perched high on a rock above its ever-changing surroundings, the tiger was one of the few constants in the garden which is a historic complex built by the inventor of the famous Tiger Balm Ointment. 

The garden gradually evolved from a private residence to Hong Kong’s first amusement park, then to a psychedelic statuary and finally to what remains today ─ a sprinkling of brightly colored fragments clinging to the cliffside.

A colorful corridor that draws visual references from the décor of a Chinese restaurant first greets visitors who will then enter the “New Orient Garden” through a round gateway. 

The compositional elements of this exhibit are displayed in an arrangement reminiscent of a classic Suzhou garden, intended to be viewed by visitors through different angles. 

The result is a multi-layered work that encourages the viewer to make a diversified interpretation. From one angle it resembles a modern ink-wash painting of Lingnan style, while it also appears to look like a neon-lit Hong Kong streetscape and an abstract barrage of light, sound and fog. 

“The garden functions as a critique of our infatuation with Orientalism and probes our subconscious by reversing the gaze back at us,” said Wong.

The “Image Core Sample” shows a selection of video and photographic works from the personal collection of Adrian Cheng, founder and honorary chairman of the K11 Art Foundation. 

“Image Core Sample” explores photography and moving images, as two lens-based media are sensitive to the ongoing transformation of digital ecology, presenting works created in China since pre-Internet era. 

Featured works by big names such as Chen Wei, Yang Fudong, Qiu Zhijie and Chen Ran offer an insight into the role of image-making in the Chinese contemporary art scene and reveal the shift in the mentality of the Chinese society over the past two decades.

Exhibition details

Date: Through January 3, 10am-8pm

Venue: chi K11 art museum

Address: 300 Huaihai Rd M.

Ti Gong

“Idol Behind the Curtains” (2009) by Chen Wei

Ti Gong

Miao Ying’s “Effect #3” (2017), oil on canvas

Ti Gong

“Stranger Visions” (2012-2013) by Heather Dewey-Hagborg

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