Hugo Boss Award more than an aromatic fragrance of expression

An exhibition by the four finalists in this year's Hugo Boss Asia Art Award at the Rockbund Art Museum is running through February next year.
Ti Gong

Robert Zhao Renhui's “The Nature Museum" (2017)

An exhibition by the four finalists in this year’s Hugo Boss Asia Art Award is underway at the city’s Rockbund Art Museum until February next year. 

Li Ming, a post-1980s artist based in Hangzhou, was selected as a winner for his multi-channel video installation “Rendering the Mind.”

The winning work was shot in Shanghai Mansion, a five-star hotel with a history of over 80 years. Inspired by the shape of the building, Li produced a series of stories from the mansion’s old archives and brought it to life, making the hotel appear like an individual with memories, feelings and demeanors.

Besides Li’s project, works from the other three finalists ─ Tao Hui and Yu Ji from China and Robert Zhao Renhui from Singapore ─ are also on display.

Like Li, Tao also chooses video as his primary artistic medium. The material he uses is connected to his personal experiences. In this exhibition, he presents a new multi-channel video installation called “Hello, Finale,” which was shot during his stay in Kyoto, Japan, earlier this year. 

Composed of nine people making phone calls, the work discusses the relationships among finitude, end, death and other topics.

Yu deals mainly with sculptures and installations along with performances and videos. In the exhibition, she presents the newly made environment installation “Etudes — Lento IV.”

Unlike her previous pieces in the “Etudes — Lento” series, this one is hung in the room, making the dropping colophony and resin clearly visible under the support of the iron-chain structure; the solidified gossamer of colophony dangles above the floor.

Singaporean Zhao integrates photographic creations with forms such as installation, specimen, text and performance through a narration of history and natural history.

In the exhibition, he builds up an environment relevant to a Malayan Island of nature, history and society. The space is transformed into an independent hall of a natural history museum, where there will be installations covering the objects, materials, antiques and books that he collected during his visits to various zoos over the past 10 years.

The archives also present the personal artifacts and files of a Japanese military officer, who brought species such as the tilapia into Singapore during World War II, together with the contradictory personal space of a nature lover.

Additionally, a series of educational activities including talks, seminars, forums and workshops will be held for the public.

Exhibition details

Date: Through February 11 (closed on Mondays), 10am-6pm

Tel: 3310-9985

Venue: Rockbund Art Museum

Address: 20 Huqiu Rd

Ti Gong

Li Ming's "Rendering the Mind" (2017)

Ti Gong

Tao Hui's "Hello, Finale!" (2017)

Ti Gong

Yu Ji's "Etudes – Lento  IV" (2017)

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