Hubert Burda Media

Four unmissable exhibitions – on now in Hong Kong

Find time to savour the best in international art – catch these compelling shows before 11 March.

Take in some of the most recent paintings produced by this elder statesman of British art at Howard Hodgkin: In the Pink. The 23 works on show hum with Hodgkin’s signature immediacy, his minimal forms rendered in bold brushstrokes.

With all its oil-on-wood artworks painted between 2008 and 2016, the exhibition’s title comes from a painting of the same name that kicks off the show, which begins its international gallery run at Gagosian. The title plays on a phrase for everything being fine and dandy (“in the pink”), and sums up Hodgkin’s life (now 84 years old, the artist spends about three months of each year painting in India to avoid harsh European winters). The vibrant palette of Hodgkin’s recent art is a result of this arrangement, and informed by the vivid textiles and other colourful aspects of life in South Asia. The titles of Hodgkin’s paintings recall fleeting moments from his life (Thundercloud; Tide), and occasionally take on larger themes (Paris; Love and Death).

MICROCOSM/MACROCOSM group show at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong SOHO

Speaking of visual art that hums, mainland Chinese artist Ren Ri, one of five contemporary creatives from China, Japan and the UK showing in this intriguing exhibition, presents sculptures forged from the unusual medium of beeswax. Ren’s works are created by manipulating the movement of bees and their formation of honeycombs, and are effectively an unusual collaboration between the natural world and human intervention.

The exhibition’s name, MICROCOSM/MACROCOSM, refers to two aspects of a theory used in ancient Greece to describe the relationship between humans and the universe. Also exhibiting is UK-based artist Hew Locke who, having spent time in Guyana, combines cultural elements from the South American country with British themes in his drawings, paintings, photography, sculptures and installations.

Liza Lou at Lehmann Maupin

Liza Lou at Lehmann Maupin

New York-born artist Liza Lou, who has been widely exhibited at respected galleries internationally, has used glass beads in her sculptures and artworks for decades, and in the 1990s she spent five years creating a full-scale replica of a kitchen with beads. She moved to South Africa in 2005, establishing a studio to collaborate with Zulu bead workers.

One recent project, Color Field, is a floor sculpture that resembles an expansive carpet, but actually made from thousands of strands of wire threaded with minute beads. The piece took nine years to make in South Africa, and its dimensions vary depending on the gallery in which it is shown (it covered 1,400 square feet when presented at Neuberger Museum of Art in New York State). Lou today divides her time between Los Angeles and KwaZulu-Natal.

Lou’s ingxube show at Lehmann Maupin in Hong Kong includes six large, wall-mounted pieces that appear as horizontal coloured stripes when viewed from distance. Step closer to see that each is actually made from hundreds of thousands of tiny glass beads.

Beyond Utopia and Dystopia at MDC Massimo De Carlo

Curated by Beijing-based fine-art expert Manuela Lietti of Italy, this show brings together paintings and sculptures by six Chinese artists of different generations and backgrounds. Together they explore the notion of landscape, touching on the cultural and social through conceptual and naturalistic interpretations.

Jia Aili’s fragmented contemplation of a landscape at night was painted outdoors with a torch strapped to his forehead (a video, screened on a wall-mounted digital tablet beside the painting, documents the process). Wang Sishun’s bronze casts are of rocks that intrigued him while working on a video project that took him from Beijing to Paris. Wang Zhongjie – who deliberately lives in Henan province, outside of the artistic hubbub of cities like Beijing and Shanghai – works with oils on canvas to create sometimes monochrome, sometimes colourful portals to a world of his own making.

These four diverse exhibitions offer compelling, provocative and varied works from China, Europe and beyond.