White Cube Gallery Hong Kong
The main art exhibition we were in Hong Kong for was The Chapman Brothers – Jake and Dinos Chapman’s ‘The Sum of All Evil” at White Cube in Connaught Road Central.
In Australia, the Chapman Brothers exhibited as part of the 17th Biennale of Sydney in 2010.
You enter the ground floor of the gallery – ‘The Sum of all Evil’ is the most densely detailed diorama installation that Jake and Dinos have yet created. In this ‘Hell’ landscape, you are overwhelmed by intricately detailed and realistic Nazi soldiers, along other characters like Ronald McDonald, committing violent, savage acts set in this cataclysmic world. Presented in four voluminous glass cases, this work is conglomeration of the worst possible ‘evils’, with violence and cruelty running amok across time. Jake Chapman explains ‘We’re making work that contradicts the idea that art is inherently good and based on idealism.”
Upstairs on the first floor, you experience a set of four new diorama sculptures amplifying the same themes, one with Ronald McDonald as a sad fisherman on a broken jetty, his legs swinging over a lake full of dead bodies.
There’s also a series of found paintings that Jake and Dinos Chapman have as they say ‘reworked and improved’. These paintings by unknown artists, often portraits, which are defaced – again often grotesque, playing with their theme of art not always being good and positive.
Gagossian Gallery Hong Kong
The other exhibition we were in Hong Kong for was Jean-Michel Basquiat at Gagosian Gallery in Pedder St. A wide ranging retrospective – that gives a deep insight into Basquiat and his work, particularly true of his Self Portrait from 1984 and also the large scale works. Basquiat, like his contemporary – NYC artist Keith Haring, really combined materials and techniques that were more of the street than more traditional art practice.
Of course, we couldn’t be in Hong Kong without sampling some of the city’s renown cuisine.
Tim Ho Wan Restaurant
Two very different food experiences – the assistant at White Cube Gallery said we had to try Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan not far away in the Kong Kong MTR station. Tim Ho Wan, with branches across Hong Kong, delivers the freshest dim sum – like you’ve never tasted before. Put your name on the list and wait and wait and wait until your number is yelled into the air and run for your table. The 45 + mins was worth it, it’s food you think of days later and the service is so Hong Kong, super efficient and to the point.
Heichinrou Restaurant – classic Cantonese food and a formal restaurant – one of the dishes we tried was chicken with plum sauce. The chicken was steamed, so moist and tender and the plum sauce was nothing short of outstanding – the taste was layered dark and natural, with a musky smokiness. The perfect tartness delivered by whole plums with stones still intact – this was a brilliant chicken dish. We are off to Hong Kong again in a couple of weeks and this dish is high on our agenda – can’t wait.
We love shopping in Hong Kong and looking around some of the best food markets – from butchers to flowers and everything inbetween, That makes Hong Kong one of the best global cities for eating.
If you’re after brilliant contemporary art and great food, Hong Kong delivers this and so much more. It’s one of our favourite cities, along with Paris, NYC, London, Berlin and Sydney.
50 Connaught Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong
7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St, Central, Hong Kong
Tim Ho Wan
Concession Hok 12A, Level 1 MTR Hong Kong Station, Central, Hong Kong
41 Connaught Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong