Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
Karin Weber Gallery is excited to announce ‘Of All Things Cute,’ a group show of three established Hong Kong artists, Chow Chun Fai, Joey Leung Ka Yin and Rosanna Li, together with Japanese artist Daisuke Teshima.
It is almost impossible for us to dislike things that are ‘cute,’ an aesthetic we are biologically designed to appreciate and enjoy. As the world around us becomes more uncertain and dangerous, many individuals seek refuge in the safe, happy spaces provided by friends that are furry, smily and unthreatening. Pokemon and Hello Kitty, originating from Japan, have millions of fans around the globe, as have Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown and Winnie The Pooh.
Cuteness in art becomes more complex and multifaceted. Jeff Koons’ ‘Balloon Dogs’ achieve record breaking prices, as do Yoshitomo Nara’s darker portraits of children and animals. Artists employ the instant visual appeal of cute subjects as an easy entry point to a message that is often far more edgy than its medium.
In ‘Of All Things Cute’, four East Asian artists draw on the spontaneous appeal of their subjects to draw their own conclusions on gender, politics or the human condition. Both Rosanna Li and Joey Leung feature cartoon-like female figures in their respective mediums of ceramic and ink painting, whilst Daisuke Teshima’s wooden ‘heads’ offer a vibrant commentary on human interactions. Chow Chun Fai explores cuteness in a more political context by choosing an iconic red Hong Kong taxi to advertise a cuddly toy laden with symbolism,
As fairy tales, chubby people, chattering heads and miniature toys converge in ‘Of All Things Cute’ at Karin Weber Gallery, we are often reminded that what looks dreamy and easy on the outside may carry a deeper, darker meaning within.
About the Artists:
Chow Chun Fai (HK, b. 1980) – one of Hong Kong’s best known artists, most recognised for his use of stills from popular Hong Kong movies, Chow holds a BFA and MFA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he still teaches painting. He has shown extensively in Hong Kong and internationally, including Hong Kong Eye at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2012), and the Liverpool Biennial, UK (2012). Chow is the recipient of the Grand Prize of the Hong Kong Arts Centre 30th Anniversary Awards, and the Sovereign Asian Art Prize.
Daisuke Teshima (Fukuoka, Japan, b. 1977) holds a BA (2001) and an MA (2002) from Tokyo Zokei University, Japan. Core to his carved and coloured wooden sculptures are notions of human encounters and interactions in complex urban environments. Teshima. He has shown primarily in Japan, but also in South Korea, Hong Kong and Paris, France.
Joey Leung Ka Yin (HK, b. 1976) – obtained both her BA (2000) and MFA (2007) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Leung’s works are in the collections of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK, and have been shown in Art Basel Hong Kong and throughout East Asia.
Rosanna Li Wei Han (HK) – studied studio ceramics at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and art education at the University of London and University of Liverpool, UK. Li was the award winner of 2020 Artist of the Year (Visual Arts), Hong Kong Arts Development Council. She also acts as a Museum Expert Advisor to the HK Leisure and Cultural Services Department, and is a founder member and vice-chairperson of the Contemporary Ceramic Society (HK). Li’s work can be found in the collections of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Guangdong Museum of Art, Shiwan Ceramic Museum and Zhejiang Museum of Art (all in mainland), as well as the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan.