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Whispering Canopies

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
25 November, 2023
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
6 January, 2024
Event Category:
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Karin Weber Gallery is excited to announce ‘Whispering Canopies’, a solo exhibition by Hong Kong artist Frank Tang, which explores the historical development of a place through its urban landscapes, memorial gardens and local plants.

Tang’s brand-new series ‘Tree Portraits’ reflects the artist’s engagement with a commemorative theme based around landmark subjects, drawing from his personal interest in trees and monuments. Trees have long lifespans and those towering in urban areas bear witness to city development, social events and peoples’ livelihoods through generations. Moreover, the unique form of each tree is shaped by its organic growth. From the perspective of appearance and temporality, ancient trees may hold more landmark significance than many types of architecture. What have these ancient trees witnessed? Are there any events they have forgotten?

Using trees as his central theme, Frank Tang uncovers forgotten histories via geographical locations and their background. Hong Kong was once a barren and desolate environment. The British colonial government undertook large-scale afforestation and introduced foreign tree species planted in British-style gardens, nurturing a sense of nostalgia for the expat population. The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is a key example of this practice, and is the inspiration for Tang’s Tree Portrait #4 – Lysidice, which is based on the lysidice trees in the garden.

An artist residency in Taiwan in 2022 introduced Tang to Dutch and Japanese colonial histories. His new creations from the ‘Memorial Garden’ series including paintings such as Green Island, In the Eyes of King George VI, and Sunset At Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park reflect his exposure to a parallel culture with a comparable historical narrative.

Parks and trees carry different histories and have been integrated into urban landscapes, providing spaces for future generations to enjoy and play, accompanying their growth. Although their stories remain unchanged, they gain in significance over the years, becoming a part of personal and urban memories.

About the Artist:

Frank Tang (b. 1988, Hong Kong) uses a range of technologies and mediums in his projects, including ink painting, video, sound and collaborative performance. Tang graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2010 and obtained his Master of Fine Arts Degree at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2023.

He was invited to artist-in-residence programs by Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, in 2014 and Treasure Hill Artist Village in Taipei in 2022. Tang has participated in some important exhibitions such as ‘Ink City’ at JC Contemporary in Tai Kwun, Hong Kong (2021), ‘Humor In Ink’ at Taoyuan Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan (2021), ‘Hidden Forest’ at Asia Society Hong Kong Center (2019), ‘A Taste of Hong Kong’ at Les Halles de Schaerbeek in Belgium (2016), and ‘China 8 – Tradition Today – Ink Painting and Calligraphy’ at Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen in Germany (2015). His artworks have been exhibited in museums, art organisations and galleries in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Solo exhibitions presented include ‘De-‘ (Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei, 2022); ‘You Are Here’ (Gallery Exit, Hong Kong, 2022); ‘While I was away’ (Gallery Exit, Hong Kong, 2017); “From 4am to 10pm” (K11 chi art space, Hong Kong, 2016); ‘Untitled Landscape’ (Art Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, 2015).


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