Hong Kong art events. The Old World by Elmgreen & Dragset at Galerie Perrotin

Hong Kong art events. The Old World by Elmgreen & Dragset at Galerie Perrotin
Yareah Magazine

Galerie Perrotin Hong Kong is pleased to present “THE OLD WORLD”, the first solo exhibition by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset in Hong Kong. From April 3 until May 3, visitors are invited to view “THE OLD WORLD”, which is both an elaborate film set and an exhibition in its own right. During the course of the exhibition, a film will be shot using the exhibited sculptures as protagonists, around whom the action evolves. Opening Reception: Thursday April 3, 2014 / 6 pm – 8 pm.

hong kong

Elmgreen & Dragset “THE OLD WORLD” , Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, April 3 – May 3, 2014
Courtesy the Artists and Galerie Perrotin

In “THE OLD WORLD”, Elmgreen & Dragset revisit their interest in the dilemma of European historical identity and cultural heritage in a contemporary globalized world. What significance do European traditions have within the new world order? In a humorous and surreal manner, Elmgreen & Dragset’s sculptural works play with classic European references in the context of Hong Kong, a former member of the British Empire, which today is a major financial powerhouse. The artists subtly transform the spatial features of the gallery’s main room into a stylized domestic setting, darkened to obtain a faux gothic ambience. The space shrinks into an otherworldly atmosphere with white sculptures tightly lit against a black background, as if the entire room and every object were taken out of a three dimensional black and white photograph.

One of the sculptures, “Unfinished Symphony” (2013), alludes to Gustav Mahler, whose final composition “Symphony No. 10” remained unfinished at the time of his death. An oversized and seemingly not yet completed plaster bust pays homage to the grandeur of the composer and classical music, but can also be read as a metaphor for the current cultural crises in what is considered “The Old World”. Has time simply run out for the epic visions of former times? A series of works presenting an exaggerated number of antique looking fireplaces placed along the walls, seems to indicate that the idea of a linear writing of history needs to be reconsidered. Upon these neoclassical style mantelpieces, one sees clocks whose hands are standing still. Upon one mantelpiece is placed a dramatic pile of books that cannot be opened, as they are made of carved wood and all painted ghostly white. Atop another one of the fireplaces sits a white miniature of “Powerless Structures, Fig. 101”, the artists’ Fourth Plinth Commission in London’s Trafalgar Square (2012 – 2013) – a boy astride a rocking horse – hinting at Europe’s vainglorious equestrian sculpture tradition. Finally the old class system is apparent in the work “White Maid” (2014), a life-size bronze sculpture painted matte white and depicting a Caucasian maid, dressed in the classic black and white maid uniform.

In the adjacent room the central object is “He”, a male counterpart to Denmark’s national symbol “The Little Mermaid”. “He” (2013) is positioned gazing out at the panoramic view of Hong Kong’s skyline through the gallery’s 17th floor window as if this figurative, poetic sculpture longs to be part of the busy city life happening outside. At the opposite end of the room is “Heritage” (2014), a judicial wig, also known as a peruke or periwig, a British colonial tradition still used in Hong Kong courthouses today. The wig is displayed on a stand, limp and emptied of its symbolic meaning when not worn by a judge; taken out of context, its old fashioned, odd design further pinpoints the ever-changing meaning of power symbols.

Click to add a comment

More in Arts

Matt Keegan, Alphabet Soup (Blocked #6), 2016, Monoprint, 66 x 44 in; 167.6 x 111.8 cm

San Francisco Exhibitions. Altman Siegel. In search of Vedaland: September 8 – October 1

Yareah MagazineSeptember 3, 2016
Mailroom Tracking Excellence Award

Tracking Excellence Award For University OF The Arts London

Yareah MagazineSeptember 2, 2016
Francesca Quintano. Heterogeneous Locus. 60x48. Oil on Canvas

Los Angeles Exhibitions. DAC Gallery

Yareah MagazineJune 21, 2016
Ringling International Arts Festival

Sarasota Bay. Ringling International Arts Festival

Yareah MagazineMay 26, 2016
© Jeffrey Henson-Scales Young Man In Plaid, NYC, 1991, courtesy of the artist

Dandyism and Black Masculinity at The Photographers’ Gallery

Yareah MagazineMay 26, 2016

Elton John has chosen Sotheby’s France to sell a contemporary art work from his collection

Yareah MagazineMay 24, 2016

Yareah Magazine

Art is Everywhere and Up to You.

About Us - Press Kit - Contact Us

YM on Twitter

Top Posts & Pages

Yareah® Magazine is a Registered Trademark in the United States