Hong Kong Tourism Board puts local and Greater Bay Area artists in international art scene’s spotlight

This installation is part of HKTB’s Arts in Hong Kong initiative that actively publicises and supports various international art events held across the city throughout the year. Completing the package are art experiences along the city’s famous waterfront. In addition, HKTB has joined hands with the travel trade in curating travel packages to attract visitors to Hong Kong so that they may embark on an immersive cultural journey.

These packages are designed to cater to the interests of art enthusiasts, and include high-end accommodation, admission to art fairs and access to cultural attractions. By partnering with travel agents in mainland markets, HKTB has ensured these packages reach their target audience.

The Arts in Hong Kong Newsstand offers specially designed, limited-edition postcards by the six local artists taking part in the group exhibition, which visitors may collect for free. Their artworks are being showcased at a special collaboration zone.

Hong Kong artist OrangeTerry uses everyday objects to evoke memories and emotions. At Art Central, he is using chairs to express his feelings towards his home city.

Among the artists is OrangeTerry, a designer whose mediums include furniture, installation and sculpture. His style stands out for the way he gives objects used in day-to-day life new forms. Through a hybrid methodology of manual work and machinery, his creations are “an interrogation of the materials he works with”, giving nuances to items that are usually considered prosaic.

For Art Central, he has created works based on chairs. His intention is to show that these essential objects are more than meets the eye, and that they are “alive” and can represent the city’s spirit and the sentiments of its new generation.

“The fast-paced lifestyle of Hong Kong inspires me. Sometimes I go along with it, and sometimes I resist it. In the process of adapting and resistance, by-products, or art, naturally emerge,” he says. “Perhaps this is how art comes from life.”

Another featured artist, Natalie Chu, a bachelor’s degree-holder in fine arts from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, takes a demi-archaeology approach to express her concerns about cultural heritage conservation in the modern era. She sees memories of individuals and their “microhistories” as essential components of the bigger picture of collective memory and macrohistory. Her works include sculptures, installations and ink paintings made from materials and old objects she has come across.

Natalie Chu collects old items and tries to breathe life into them with creativity. At Art Central, she uses loose jade scraps to help the audience explore Hong Kong’s once-thriving jade industry.

“For the artworks in this showcase, I have collected scrap stones from local jade jewellery production and transformed them into materials for creation,” she says. Chu imagines where jade pieces came from and what the rest may have been turned into. The artist casts white cement between the stones to create those “missing items”.

“Through these artworks, I hope to lead the audience to explore the once-thriving jade industry in Hong Kong during the 1960s and 70s, while paying tribute to the remaining jade craftsmen in Hong Kong.”

The booth also exhibits the three-dimensional paper-cutting works of Guangdong-based artist Chen Fenwan, invited by the HKTB to create a special piece for this showcase to reflect the city’s vibrancy.

Born and raised in Guangzhou, Chen specialises in reinterpreting traditional folk art with her own contemporary vision using vibrant colours in a maximalist approach; her works have earned her the title of “the top post-90s paper-cut artist” in the media. She has been appointed as the first artist-in-residence at Tianjin K11 Select, a cultural commerce destination in the northern Chinese municipality developed by Hong Kong’s K11 Group.

Chen’s reputation has led to her being invited by major brands both in China and overseas to participate in collaborations, including those with fashion and luxury brands as well as one with a major carmaker. She also collaborated in a television commercial for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

At the Arts in Hong Kong Newsstand, Chen translates her experiences navigating the city and immersing in its culture, flavours and colours. With speciality paper, acrylic and mixed media, she has created three-dimensional works entitled Hong Kong Delights, depicting everyday items such as glowing neon signs, tramcars, egg tarts and whole roast geese, all with a whimsical take.

And in line with the overarching theme of Arts in Hong Kong, Chen has also made Victoria Harbour one of her inspirations by creating colourful cut-outs of the Star Ferry, the Dukling junk and the waterfront Hong Kong Palace Museum.

Guangdong-based artist Chen Fenwan, named “top post-90s paper-cut artist”, was invited by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to showcase her work at Art Central. Inspired by Hong Kong’s colours and flavours, she created pieces depicting neon signs, egg tarts, the Star Ferry and more.

These talents are in good company, as this year’s Art Central will shine a spotlight on up-and-coming artists. The space includes a dedicated zone called Neo that serves as an entry point for galleries in their first year of participation to feature cutting-edge or undiscovered artists in a small but highly visible space. The scale and breadth of this edition of Art Central are also unprecedented in the event’s history, involving 95 galleries from Hong Kong, other parts of Asia and beyond.

With the eyes of the art world on the city, HKTB hopes its partnership with this year’s Art Central will highlight Hong Kong’s long-standing position in mediating dialogues between East and West, and its modern role as a cultural hub.

Through creative expressions, these artists engage in dialogues with their home and reveal the heart and soul of Hong Kong to a global audience. By doing so, they have introduced themselves to a worldwide audience.

By showcasing the artists’ works to the world through such a prestigious international arts event, the HKTB installation highlights the city’s unique appeal and seeks to draw tourists to Hong Kong to enjoy its distinctive and vibrant culture.

HKTB has invited members of the media from more than 20 countries and regions, such as mainland China, South Korea, Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia and Italy, to experience and report upon Hong Kong’s art and cultural events.

It has also generated engaging content on major social media platforms and collaborated with mainland influencers to drive word-of-mouth dialogue across the border.

To find out more about Arts in Hong Kong and other art and cultural experiences, head to HKTB’s website.

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