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On March 28, K11 Art Foundation (KAF) will debut “Emerald City,” an exhibition across two locations: Cosco Tower and chi art space. The show is curated by Venus Lau, the Artistic Director of KAF since September 2017.
“Emerald City” is the first ever-major exhibition curated and produced solely by KAF and marks Lau’s new role as Artistic Director. It looks at geometry’s role in shaping our understanding of the world. We spoke with Lau about the new era of the foundation.
WHITEWALL: What was the starting point for the show? What kind of tone did you want to set for future KAF programming and shows?
VENUS LAU: The starting point for the show came from the thesis that geometric demarcation of space is central to our perception of the world. The exhibition is about the breakdown of geometry’s standard rules as a metaphor for dealing with difference through its sub-concepts including “a world in a world,” “sea as negativity.” Geometry has been one of the greatest tools with which we make sense of all spatial being on earth (the “geo”).
This show marks a new direction for the foundation whilst maintaining and developing its original ethos, that of incubating young emerging contemporary Chinese artists and curators, to promote public art education and appreciation in Greater China and to nurture a contemporary Chinese art ecosystem.
This new era for the Foundation is spearheaded by “Emerald City.” The exhibition illustrates fully the breadth of academic grounding and prominent cultural standing that the Foundation has garnered since its establishment in 2009. The “geo” here is not the non-Euclidean space-time of gravitational fields that Einstein called a “mollusk,” nor is it a simple description of the standard three dimensions. The exhibition seeks to shed light on the possibility of cultural coexistence amid globalisation and renew the discussion about the past, present and future.
WW: The show includes some newly commissioned pieces. Can you provide some details on these new works and which artists you wanted to reach out to?
VL: Artists creating new commissions for the show include Oscar Chan Yik Long, Peter Halley, Mountain River Jump!, Nik Kosmas, Doris Wong Wai Yin, and Zhang Ruyi.
To give an example, Nik Kosmas has created a colourful sculpture entitled Stall Bars, named after stall bars originating from the 19th century, which is no different from children’s playground equipment. For Kosmas, the subtle asymmetries of the human body can be extended to the asymmetries of social structure.
WW: Outside of “Emerald City” and the main fair, what are you looking forward to most during Art Basel Hong Kong week this month?
VL: Most looking forward to the Mark Bradford show which is opening at Hauser & Wirth, “Xavier Cha: Ruthless Logic” at Empty Gallery, and “Jes Fan: Mother Is A Woman,” also at Empty Gallery.