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Saturday, 15 May 2010

faint mohawk

It's Sunday and it's been a great week at Hope and Glory.
The numbers keep going up daily, yesterday around 1500 people came through. I dropped by in the afternoon and there was a great atmosphere in the space.
I was introduced to a guy called Carsten. I had a quick chat with him and he said he was an artist too working out of Europe doing big installations. He  told me he didn't generate his own projects but was often invited to produce installations.
After he left I was told he was Carsten Holler. He's actually a very famous artist internationally and I realise I've seen his work before at the Tate Modern because he built this awesome sculpture in the main turbine hall that consisted of slides (like from a kids playground) that were a few stories tall that you could get in to slide down to the ground floor from the top of the museum.
I googled him when I got back to work in the afternoon and looked at some of his work. He has a lot of fairytale and fairground reference in his work. I wonder if when he walked around the show he thought I'd been inspired by him. Here's some of his work and some that's a bit like mine....

I guess it's normal that artist stumble across the same visual references and are inspired by the same stories and mythologies.

I wish I'd known his work better so when I met him we could've swapped stories, he probably could have taught me much. He shows work all over the world in great spaces.

We had a forum on Friday at the show where some local arts people talked about their projects around Hong Kong. One guy, Wallace Chang Ping-Hung, talked about the redevelopment of Kai Tak, really clever guy with lots of excellent ideas. Others, Ah Kok (Wong Chuck Kok) and Horace Tse, talked about the arts community out at San Po Kong. I didn't even know there was one!
It was re-assuring to know there are other people in HK just getting on with it, making art with whatever resources they have an that there are intelligent and thoughtful people trying to do positive cultural development in Hong Kong.

We were picked by Artforum as one of the best shows in the world right now, here's a quote from the review:

'But therein lies the show’s cleverness. Birch’s aim is not to mimic a museum or break new boundaries, but to craft “a metaphorical world, a conceptual circus” to entertain the masses and create new possibilities for art presentation in the city. When his work is taken on these terms, it’s hard to find fault.'

Not bad. Biggest art publication in the world gives us respect. And, if you didn't know, we had a half page amazing review in the International Herald Tribune with great photos too. So along with the NY Times article it's been a very good week for the show.

Meanwhile I need to get back to painting, managed to finish 2 huge ones over the last 2 weeks and am now on the next couple. Trying to get something nice ready for ArtHK as well as overdue commissioned work. Would rather be just hanging at hope and Glory all day though, it's just fun being there and talking with people.

Stuff in production at my studio. These 2 of Race Wong....


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