Review for Love simply by John Batten

Full version of the reveiw on South China Morning Post

Love Simply
Fotan Artists’ Open Studios
Until 18 January 2009

Fo Tan’s current open studio weekends allow visitors to discover artist studios, small ad hoc shows, video installations and a few lightly curated exhibitions.

Love Simply is one of the better group exhibitions and organised by recent art graduate Tang Kwok Hin; an up-and-coming artist himself and a sensitive curator.

The exhibition has the feel of the similarly titled film, Love Actually – the movie is broken into separate scenes with each actor eventually playing out, almost, implausible encounters with each other. Likewise, the artists in this exhibition unconsciously overlap – as most studied together and know each other - around this most private, and often devastating, of emotions.

Gwen Chung Chin Man offers two paintings in the form of a wall diary of written words and random images that document the pain of her decision to break up with a much-loved long-term boyfriend, the regret associated with that decision and the failure to re-start the relationship due his ‘moving on’.

Lui Long Tin with ‘The Kiss of Metaphysics’ (pictured: detail of painting) uses a seemingly odd example: her own orthodontic treatment. By improving her own appearance, Lui argues that being attractive will allow mankind – with the help of love and its reproductive capacities - to continue.

Michael Lee Hong Hwee offers a cerebral exploration in his ‘Foundations: the Consolations of Museology’ book project, of which the short companion DVD ‘Hinterlands’ is shown in this exhibition. The viewer watches scenes and a dialogue of a couple, on the verge of breaking up, making a final trip together and visiting ten museums, “each of which”, as the artist explains, “consoles humans of their weaknesses: unpopularity…ugliness…messiness…cowardice… (etc).”

Lastly, Tang Kwok Hin exhibits a photograph of filial tradition: the re-painting of his grandmother’s gravestone in red and its yearly expression of love simply.

- John Batten.

Listing information:

Hang Fat Studio
Unit 21, 4/F, Block A, Wah Luen Industrial Centre
15-21 Wong Chuk Yeung Street, Fo Tan, N.T.