Heidi Mckenzie | Blog
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Bangkok in 24 hours

Let me start by saying in reached 52C with the humidex the day I spent in Bangkok. It’s an incredibly easy city to get around in by cab or “tuk tuk” – and I literally got taken for a ride with the usual tourist scam (the government has declared a special day, all temples are free, you just have to visit the government emporium…) It was fun – hot, but fun. I bought a new set of clothes for under $10 in the market I sweat so much. It’s a beautiful city – and catching the Wat Po (one of the three main attractions of Bangkok, and the only one still open by the time I regrouped) was an experience of a lifetime – this is the LARGE reclining buddha, and all the amazing ceramic roof tile work and light poles – giving Jingdezhen a run for their money! In the evening I googled great vegetarian restaurants in my area, and found myself at a LOVELY vegan place, and ended up sharing a table with three lovely young women, interns at the United Nations – an unexpected pleasure.

Moving Images…of the ceramic kind

I can’t explain the feelings I have when an artist truly makes an indelible mark on my soul. There have only been a handful, at least in the ceramic sculpture sphere – Brian Kakas, Wouter Dam, and Eva Hild. Yesterday I happened upon a solo show of Eva Hild at Gallery Nilsson et Chiglien – apparently Hong Kong’s only contemporary ceramic art gallery. I couldn’t believe it! I mean I was determined to find this other little gallery, and had been wandering trying to find it for some time when I just saw the vinyl on the glass out of the corner of my eye. It took me a few seconds to register, and when I walked into the gallery I was standing amidst over twenty of Hild’s works – and I felt an intimacy with the artist that is hard to define. I felt as if I had made some kind of psychic connection with the artist without her physical presence. (She had been there in person two weeks prior for the opening, and I’m kicking myself for not having known, but things happen for a reason…). The young woman, Elizabeth, who managed the gallery struck just the right chord –she was informative and respectful of my viewing experience, but in the end we found we too had a connection, and before I knew it, it was time for me to head back to Kowloon Tong. I bought the catalogue – not something I do lightly while travelling for nearly five months – every book is a considered acquisition, and means giving up something else in exchange. Eva Hild is astonishing. Her work is transportative. It is a dream of mine to meet her and have a chance to just sit down and “talk shop.”

The last few images are a charcoal grey Wouter Dam – a beauty, and a few others…

The Way of Dao – Today

I went to the Hong Kong Museum of Art today and spent over an hour on the contemporary art floor – and was blown away. I have an insatiable appetite for getting inside the mind of a conceptual artist, and for me, really well-curated contemporary art is one of my greatest joys. This exhibition was one of those moments in time where I just lost myself in the flow of ideas, images and creation. The moving images, the film pieces were brilliant as well – the letters spilling into the body parts, and the large letters, you can’t tell the scale from the images, but they are at least 12 meters high – and they are the seasons. The same artist did a virtual “Real Life” movie of Central Park – of her imagination based on the seasons, complete with visitors – and of course, there were the rows and rows of ink bowls – telling us that uniformity is beautiful, nothing is dull, everything has a plain genesis… and the ceramic gloves and underwear, crumpled on the ground underneath the clothes line. Brilliant!

Ceramics in the Mall: The Elements

  • In Hong Kong there’s no incongruity in placing fine art in the middle of a mall. Mall’s are sacred places, almost places of worship – certainly places to be revered, and to plan a cultural event around, and increasingly to exhibit fine art. The Splendour of the French Table: Heritage and Modernity throughout the centuries. This was in Elements, a massive mall at least 3 times the size of Yorkdale or the Eatons Centre – there were three installations, one in Earth, one in Fire and one in Water.

 

Jingdezhen in Macau

I went to two ceramic exhibitions in Macau last weekend: Fantasy World – Chinoiserie at the Macau Museum showcased the influence of Chinese Orientalism on European ceramics from the mid 17th Century – and then the flip side, Chinese ceramics influenced by Europe. Fascinating – I learned about Queen Anne of France (1689 -1714) just because she liked hot pink – now that’s a monarch after my own heart. Enjoy the images:

Pablo Reinoso and Zara…

Once again, mall culture meets fine art – 11 pieces scattered throughout the mall – FANTASTIC exhibition of this master’s spatial compositions the ordinary turned extraordinary. My camera battery died. Here’s the link to more infer: http://www.frenchmay.com/visual-arts/eventdetail/97/-/pablo-reinoso-living-sculptures