“ Portraiting Our CE 2017 ”
Artist Commune Artists: hau Shik Hung, Anatta, Chan Pui Leng, Ng Chung, Wong Shun Kit, Lam Man Kit
- Tue 03-01-2017 to Tue 10-01-2017
Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery
Ever since the return to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been undergoing a significant social transformation and many new public issues emerged and caught many people’s eyes. New ideological trends erupted in many cultural aspects. People were bustling with dialogues, discussions and communication spontaneously in many ways in the public domain. Living under this epochal atmosphere, artists in Hong Kong also pitched in to voice out their opinions with their own artistic language. They expressed themselves with their own gesture about many social concerns without boundary. Such interaction between art and social issues in Hong Kong thus gave birth to “97 Art Trends” and art in Hong Kong stepped into a period of social transition. With over 20 years of continuous reflection and construction in such cultural crucible, the local artists have created a new landscape of 97 culture reshaping the characteristics and personality of Hong Kong local culture.
“Portraiting Our CE” which has lasted for two decades is the most prominent art exhibition in the “97 Art Trends”. During each election of the HKSAR Chief Executive, Hong Kong artists expressed their concerns about the future of Hong Kong and their respective demands for the Chief Executive in artistic terms. They extended their own perspective to the open discussion of constitutional development and to the demand of expansion of civil participatory rights in the artistic dimension. In August 1996, on the eve of the first Chief Executive election, more than a dozen artists displayed their art works in the form of installation, performance, photographic image and painting at the Hong Kong Arts Center which hosted the first "Portraiting Our CE". In 2002, the second "Portraiting Our CE", which was held in the exhibition hall of the Cattle Depot Art Commune, received much attention and feedback from society and artists. In the following year of 2003, a sequel to the exhibition was organized to invite public participation. In 2007, a 97 retrospective exhibition of "The Perceptual Years and A Decade of Mirror Reflection" was held with the inclusion of “Portraiting Our CE”. In 2012, the Cattle Depot Art Commune staged the fourth “Portraiting Our CE” exhibition, in which many more artists of the new generation participated with great enthusiasm.
The fifth "Portraiting Our CE" is to be held at The Fringe Club Gallery, Central, between 2 and 9 January 2017, where new art works by Six Hong Kong artists – Chau Shik Hung Anatta Chan Pui Leng Ng Chung Wong Shun Kit Lam Man Kit – will be showcased. Chau Shik Hung has organized and participated in "Portraiting Our CE" three times. His incorporation of the motif of traditional Chinese flower stand with current political affairs succeeds in creating a unique conceptual work with a touch of local culture. Prof. Lam Man Kit, a cross-sector legend in arts, will exhibit a metal sculpture in the exhibition. His work demonstrates a vivid sense of peace and harmony. Wong Shun Kit is the founder of "Portraiting Our CE" and has participated in all such exhibitions over the last 20 years. In the new ink work which he created for this exhibition, he has combined social events, figures, fables, imagination and urban life together with a view to presenting the recent changes of the city. Wu Song is an important local oil painter in Hong Kong. His work is marked by a concise representation of forms and vigorous brushwork. Behind the richly textured surface of his painting are dramatic tension and layers of allegorical meaning.
The theme of "Portraiting Our CE" addresses important social issues of Hong Kong. However, the social nature of art is not only to respond to topical issues in society, but more importantly it is to show humanistic spirit and care for society based on the artist’s own perspective and judgment, thus rendering art to be one of the driving forces to move society forward and onward.