Get to know the artists in Soho House Hong Kong’s collection
To mark the opening of Art Basel Hong Kong, our Global Director of Art, Kate Bryan, shares her top picks of artists born, based and trained in the city
Thursday 23 March 2023 By Anastasiia Fedorova
This year, the opening of Art Basel Hong Kong brings the global energy back to the city, as it’s the first edition of the fair since travel restrictions were lifted in December. With 177 exhibitors from 32 countries and territories, it’s a wide reflection of the art world – with Soho House being the perfect hub for exploring what it has to offer.
Soho House Hong Kong is located in the area of Sheung Wan, inside a 28-storey tower looking out over Victoria Harbour and the islands. A home for a bourgeoning creative community, the House reflects the ever-changing character of the city. From a Pool Room on the 30th floor to nine floors of Soho Works space, the building is always buzzing with those at work and at play.
To mark Art Basel Hong Kong, our Global Director of Art, Kate Bryan, guides us through her favourite works from the Soho House art collection, created by artists born, raised and trained in the city.
Having spent four years living in the city prior to curating our in-house collection, Bryan was already immersed in the art scene. ‘I lived in Hong Kong from 2007 until 2011 and I was there at a really interesting time. Hong Kong became this amazing gateway where big international galleries like Gagosian or White Cube were keen to have a presence, and Basel Hong Kong was announced. However, they were predominantly focusing on Western artists,’ she says.
‘When it came to building this House collection many years later, my main focus was showcasing Hong Kong artists. It was also important to highlight not only artists working now, but also those who have been making work in the city in the past and might have been overlooked during their time – we worked with Asia Art Archive to ensure that,’ she explains. ‘We also worked with Blind Spot Gallery and have quite a few of their artists. This collection is a real love letter to Hong Kong.’
So, whether you’re local, planning a visit (or simply interested in seeing art from our global Houses, here are the seven names for you to explore.
Leung Chi Wo
‘Red Mustang’, 2018
Leung Chi Wo is associate professor in the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. His mixed-media work ‘Red Mustang’ is a subtle yet poignant commentary on social unrest, consumerism and aesthetic – combining an image of a racing Hot Wheels car, which was produced in Hong Kong in the 1960s, and a piece of fabric that was worn by factory workers in the same era.
Ko Sin Tung
‘Serene Green 清幽翠綠’, 2018
Ko Sin Tung’s large neon sculpture is one of the biggest works in the House collection. In her practice, the artist often interrogates our relationship with the urban environment. In this work, she fuses the colour and language, emphasising Hong Kong’s history and duality of English and Cantonese.
‘The Great Wall of Frogs’, 2017
Kwok Mang Ho, also known as Frog King, is a multi-media, conceptual, visual and performance artist from Hong Kong. One of the pioneers of contemporary art in the city during the early 1970s, he has forged his own ‘Frogtopia’ using graffiti, sculpture and found objects. Located behind the House’s reception desk, the installation is a collection of hand-painted wooden boards – carefully assembled together as a testament to the artist’s resilient vision.
Faye Wei Wei
‘Two Boys’, 2018
London-based artist Faye Wei Wei’s hails from Hong Kong, with her ethereal, poetic paintings gaining the global art world prominence in recent years. Often referencing symbols and archetypes from mythology, she explores gender, folklore and identity in the current era.
‘22 Celsius Degree’, 2018
One of the most established Hong Kong natives in the global art scene, Lee Kit
uses projector light, videos, sounds, words and found objects to explore the new possibilities of paintings. Two works in the Soho House collection explore the combination of painting and digital imagery.
‘Umbrella Salad XIV’, 2014
South Ho’s photographs document an important chapter in political history of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, which took place in 2014. The artist captured a series of sit-in street protests with empathy and playfulness that doesn’t didact from their significance.
Wong Wo Bik
Wong Wo Bik is known for her photography that captures architecture with historical and cultural significance in Hong Kong. Polaroids in the Soho House collection are from the early 1980s, preserving the unique urban heritage and feel of the city. As Bryan puts it, the artist’s work captures the time ‘when it was slow enough in Hong Kong that a building could lie dormant’.
Explore Soho House Hong Kong here.