Art Central opens today to VIP and First Night ticket-holders. One thing that sets the younger fair apart from many of the events happening during Art Week is the intriguing programme of performance art and interactive artworks dotted throughout the fair. Here are five pieces you shouldn’t miss.
“Sharevari” by Yuri Suzuki
Placed right at the entrance to Art Central, this specially commissioned piece presented by Swarovski is a mechanical crystallophone created by London-based Japanese artist Yuri Suzuki. In addition to being aesthetically interesting, the artist explores crystal as an acoustic material by turning it into an instrument that visitors can play. Just step into the enclosure, and sensors will detect your movement to automatically play each of the 16 crystal vessels with brass hammers. It’s pretty good fun trying to conduct your own symphony.
“The Red Chador: Ban Me!” by Anida Yoeu Ali
Among the busy corridors of curators, artists and visitors at the fair, you may notice a sequined, bright red shadow: Anida Yoeu Ali, Cambodian-American artist, who is presenting a new version of her interdisciplinary performance, “The Red Chador” at Art Central. Holding up a variety of protest signs using text from recent and iconic moments in political history and drifting through the fair wearing a sequined red burqa, she questions democracy, civil participation and public complicity with her works.
“Speculative Entertainment No.1 Hong Kong Edition,” Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (Hahan)
A collage of alien heads, emojis, cartoon illustrations and other popular culture references dominates a large-scale patch of wall near the Street Food Central courtyard — a piece by Indonesian artist Hahan, which is set to be auctioned off in 10x10cm squares starting at a bid of HK$300. Inspired by the conflicting notions of high art and low art, the monumental piece may have been made to comment on the ironies within the fast-consuming art market, but it sure is an ingenious way to make sure your work gets sold.
“Face-o-Mat” by Tobias Gutmann
Most people jump at the chance to get a free portrait of themselves drawn, and if you’ve got the patience (and luck), Tobias Gutmann’s performance this week at Art Central is one to check out as he takes his popular “Face-o-mat” performance back to Asia. Be prepared though, as what you get will not be realistic renderings, rather an abstract interpretation of what Gutmann observes in his subjects’ faces. He will only be drawing for two hour-long sessions each day at the Street Food Central courtyard, with a ballot draw for 10 names per session just before it starts, so make sure to get those names in early.
YCC Presents: “Deep Water” by Zheng Mahler
Head to Booth D1 for the definition of immersive art — a virtual reality experience titled “Deep Water” (the English translation of “Sham Shui”). The piece is accompanied by a selection of 3D red-cyan anaglyphic still prints by artist Zheng Mahler, all presented by the Young Collectors Collective. Originally created as a single-channel video work for HOLY MOTORS, an independent arts space in Sham Shui Po, the work was tweaked for Art Central to become the VR beauty it is this week, where visitors can delve into a de-facto time machine to explore different versions of Sham Shui Po throughout history.
Performances or screenings take place from 20-25 March. Click here for more information on the special programmes at Art Central.