The Pivotal Decade – Hong Kong Art 1997-2007
30 June – 23 September 2007
Wilson Shieh Ka-ho
Tse Yim On
Luke Ching Chin-wai
Joey Leung Ka-yin
The year 1997 marked the end as well as beginning of Hong Kong’s modern history. Gone with the British sovereignty were colonialist consequences and triumphs while the new Chinese control came upon a level of patriotism and scepticism. The ensuing decade promised to be challenging, cynical, and nonetheless revolutionary. Artists living and working in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from 1997-2007 were at the forefront of this monumental change. While their generation was not the first to encounter the conflicting influences of multi-national attributes, their circumstances have highlighted these issues to a degree that makes their art especially engrossing as an illustration of the difficult path the Hong Kong artist has been compelled to follow.
To raise awareness of the distinct artistic identity in Hong Kong’s post-colonial era, the exhibition features a group of young local artists all graduates from the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Fine Art Department, the territory’s oldest and most acclaimed fine art institute. “The Pivotal Decade” tells an indigenous story uniquely of Hong Kong and represents, from an artist’s viewpoint, what has changed or remained unchanged in the first decade under Chinese rule. Featuring painting, sculpture, photography and installation, this seminal exhibition is the first to present Hong Kong art in a retro-thematic approach – a simultaneous documentation and reinterpretation of a specific theme. While each work represents the artist’s personal response to external changes, they can be seen collectively as a new current silently pushing the forefront of contemporary Hong Kong art.