Participating Galleries and Artists
Solitude, Connection and Dialogue
By Ying Kwok and Sara Wong
UNSCHEDULED is an unconventional art fair initiated by Hong Kong Art Gallery Association, in response to the unprecedented cancellations of various art programmes locally and internationally due to Covid-19. The art fair was developed amidst heavy lockdown measures. In order to minimize the risk of outbreak within the community, members of the public are advised to drastically reduce social activities in order to protect themselves and others; while maintaining a social distance of at least 1 meter from others, and in groups of no more than 4 persons. Within a very short period of time, a new paradigm of social distancing was established across the community. While it can be easily understood in the numerical sense, there remain lots to explore in the conceptual aspect. We are particularly interested in “the notion of distance” and “the state of being apart” from the artists’ perspective.
The art fair comprises solely of solo presentations with a focus on artistic practices as the centre of the showcase. The framework of the exhibition is built on three groups of solo presentations that are categorised depending on how the artists position themselves with their subject matter, audience and adjacent surroundings. so as to create a dialogue between the works as the visitor navigates through the fair. While allowing focus to be put to the individual body of works presented by each artist, the curation also looks into creating a dialogue between the works as the visitor navigates the exhibition.
The first group of artists intentionally create a distance to avoid or disrupt the direct encounter with the subject matter. This is seen in the works of Etsu Ogami from Whitestone Gallery, Kitty Chou from Ben Brown Fine Arts, Mak Ying Tung 2 from de Sarthe and Liu Bolin from Over The Influence.
While the second group of artists have a deliberate engagement with their subject matter through their artistic practices, this is captured in the works of Frog King Kwok from 10 Chancery Lane, Ng Chung from Contemporary by Angela Li, Huang Dan from Galerie Ora-Ora, Irene Chou from Hanart TZ Gallery and Aruta Soup from L+ / Lucie Chang Fine Arts.
Finally, the third group of artists are more detached from their motifs with a sense of calmness and minimalism, which is experienced in the works of Duan Yifan from Leo Gallery, Chou Yu-Cheng from Edouard Malingue Gallery and Heman Chong from Rossi & Rossi.
While curating to a confined space, the floor plan designs to take this as an opportunity to the formation of no aisles setting and the gallery booths bleed into one another. Instead of taking a reserved approach, the art fair hopes to promote a forward-looking and risk taking approach while making a clear and positive statement against the current grim situation.