Sunday, February 24, 2008
Bob Davis has been in Hong Kong for over 30 years. He showed photos of 70s Hong Kong at The Cyan Studio last Sunday.
It was an enthusiastic, subdued crowd. The black mats and subject matter got people contemplative. Some seemed nostalgic, others played Where's Waldo-like games of one-upmanship, and those of us newer to the territory were mostly mystified by a younger face of a place we love but that we'll never see.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Thai Bananas (detail)
Happy (Lunar) New Year!
Just spent a week in Bangkok, made lots of cyan prints on the rooftop of The Artists' Place, and went to a pair of pleasant openings at La Lanta and Kathmandu galleries. Kathmandu is located in a traditional Thai home in the middle of the city, and for their opening they had a fantastic communal spread of Persian/Muslim/Thai food from local restaurants across the street. We all dug in, and sat around a huge table that groaned under the weight of good food and heavy elbows tired after a long day in Thai heat.
Highly recommend both places for any interested travellers to Bangkok.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Dragon-nose 2007, Tin Hau festival, Hong Kong
From Robert Genn's latest letter:
China is collecting and buying art big time, and its emergence as a
major art player is going to affect us all.
Experts say staggering prices for Chinese art at recent
auctions reflect a huge appetite for both the spectacular
investment returns and a fascination with all things Chinese.
Recently "Execution," a painting by Yue Minjun, 45, based on
the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, fetched 2.9 million pounds
at a record-setting Sotheby's sale in London. Eighty percent of
the auction attendees were Asian.
The Sotheby's event came just days after another sale of
contemporary art in Hong Kong where records were broken for
dozens of young Chinese painters--many of their works fetching
prices above a million dollars. At the risk of stereotyping,
here are some of the reasons for this kind of action:
Chinese art schools offer superior training.
Chinese art workers have excellent work habits.
China has a newly revived idealism and sense of history.
China has a new interest in modern appearances.
China has a tradition of speculation and gambling.
China's new wealth is chasing new Chinese art.
World wealth is shifting from West to East.
Mei Jianping, a former New York University professor and
creator of the Mei/Moses Price Tracking Index, says Chinese art
is a good bet because the country's newly rich want to snap up
pieces as investments and status symbols. "It'll be one of the
best performing asset classes," says Mei. "The Chinese art
market has outperformed the Chinese equity market over the past
If this sounds to you like any other art bubble, with a sniff
of manipulation, greed and self-fulfilling prophesy, you'd be
right. Nevertheless, it's a competitive world and Creative
Darwinism is somewhat in control. For the idealists and
dreamers among us, as well as those asleep at the easel, the
lesson may be difficult: the production of art follows the
production of wealth.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Placing objects on the fabric
...and the finished piece, hanging to dry in the sun (though not generally advisable to dry in direct sunlight)
On the red fabric, the cyan chemical turns a rich violet. I've found the red should be a bright shade; anything darker than the red shown won't give enough contrast.
These photos come from the versatile photographer Jonathan Bailey's website. He offers workshops in many photographic media.