Review: Wonderland

written by John Batten
Dec 23, 2008
South China Morning Post
Gallery Benten 17

Charity exhibitions mean well but the art can sometimes be uneven. Gallery Benten 17's Wonderland celebrates Christmas with a group show featuring local and Japanese artists who will donate some of the proceeds to the Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong.

Photographs, paintings, ceramics and sculptures are displayed as individual pieces rather than being thematically arranged.

Tang Kwok-hin has a fascinating mixed-media construction depicting his version of human evolution. Using small cartoons as a base, he uses paper cutouts to show animals standing on different levels according to their evolutionary complexity: fish are at the lowest level and man is at the top.

Tang suggests this is a dubious attainment, considering the environmental flashpoint our species has engineered.

A small, beautiful painting of objects on a tabletop by Christine Ng Mien-yin accompanies two drawings analysing the form of a painting by French artist Pierre Bonnard that hangs in a gallery in London. The artist's abstract version of the work retains the form of the original and is an intelligent exploration of the subject.

Simone Boon is a hard-working artist in both ceramics and photography. On display is some of her photography, which is similar to Ng's work, an exploration of form and in shades of blue.

Wonderland is patchy as an exhibition, but it offers a simple message for the season: Merry Christmas!

G/F, 17 Wa In Fong East (at 12 Shing Wong Street). Wed to Fri, 3.30pm-7pm; Sat-Sun, 1pm-6pm (closed public holidays). Inquiries: 2559 0054. Ends Dec 31