Cover Demimondmame C (2017) by Pae White. Artwork donated by the artist and Neugerriemschneider

On November 25, Para Site will host their annual fundraising gala at the St. Regis hotel in Hong Kong in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Before that, you can see all the art up for auction at Soho House from November 17 to 23

This November, Hong Kong’s oldest contemporary art centre, Para Site, will host its annual fundraising auction. Artworks by renowned artists, such as Elmgreen & Dragset and Angela Su, will raise funds to support the centre’s upcoming exhibitions and fund public arts educational programs.

Art lovers will unite to watch these pieces go under the hammer at an invite-only dinner at the St. Regis hotel on November 25 in celebration of the art centre’s 25th anniversary. Hosted by Shane Akeroyd and Virginia Yee, the evening will see the city’s brightest stars show up for a chance to get their hands on the most coveted pieces.

This year, Para Site will award their NoExit Grants for Unpaid Artistic Labour to artists in the Philippines, giving 29 struggling artists in the country HK$20,000 each. The organisation has also been hard at work on another grant, the 2046 Fermentation + Fellowships Grant, which is aimed at Hong Kong artists who have graduated in the past five years. This award will pair the graduates with established artists and curators from around Asia to provide advice and support to better develop their work. An exhibition featuring the work of the 18 artists of the 2046 Fermentation + Fellowships Grant will open on December 3.

Leading up to the gala, all of the pieces featured will be showcased in a preview exhibition at Soho House from November 17 to 23. For art enthusiasts who can't wait until then, bidding begins online from November 11 at Givergy.com. Ahead of these events, here are the top lots up for auction at Para Site’s upcoming gala. See and read about the must-have pieces below.

The Hours (2019) by Elmgreen & Dragset

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset reside in Berlin and draw inspiration from the everyday world, criticising the contemporary, social and political structure using an unsettling sense of humour. They are well known for their public architectural and performative installations that reframe their surroundings, such as Prada Marfa (2005).

At first glance The Hours (2019) looks like a simple burnt white candle on a wooden crate, but it is in fact crafted with white marble standing in for the wax in the candle, and bronze for the wood in the crate. This reflects the artists’ practice of transforming consumables into durable objects that demand maintenance and care, and thus questions the true value of the material. With this sculpture, the common painting motif of a burning candle addresses ideas of time, memory, and legacy, as the marble candle cannot burn. The artists have had solo exhibitions worldwide, including at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Rockefeller Center, Public Art Fund in New York, the Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Elmgreen and Dragset were appointed curators of the 15th Istanbul Biennial in 2017.

a.k.a (2008-2009) by Roni Horn

American artist Roni Horn has been creating since the Seventies. Using drawing, photography, installation, sculpture and literature, Horn’s work consistently questions and generates uncertainty to thwart closure, engaging with many different concerns and materials.

Important across her oeuvre is her longstanding interest in the protean nature of identity, meaning, and perception, as well as the notion of doubling, issues that continue to propel Horn’s practice. Horn’s a.k.a presents 30 images of the American artist throughout her life, shown as nonlinear pairs that move back and forth in time.

Horn’s self-portraits are a testament to the impermanence of  self. The current lot is Group IV of this full body of work, which consists of six paired photographs. Horn’s work has been the subject of numerous major solo exhibitions including at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2016) and Roni Horn a.k.a Roni Horn, organised by the Tate Modern in London, which travelled to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Her work is featured in numerous major international institutions and collections, including the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Tate Modern; Kunsthalle Hamburg; Kunsthaus Zürich; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

 

Untitled (2017) by Lee Seung Taek

Korean artist Lee Seung Taek, says “the act of tying generates an illusion of materiality along with a consequent illusion of vitality, and this has become the focus of my creative process.” Tying is a conceptual aspect of Lee’s work and an important methodology through which he seeks to realise non-sculpture works that invert the forms and nature of objects and subvert familiar everyday experiences. In this work, the stone and the rope tied to it are both placed on top of the canvas, revealing the tension in the rope and the direction of gravity. Lee relocated to South Korea in 1950, where he engaged in drawing and painting in the military. In 2020, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul hosted his career retrospective. His work can be found in the collections of major art institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Tate Modern in London and Hong Kong’s M+.

Untitled (Cat) (2008) by Jorge Pardo

The interdisciplinary practice of Cuban-born artist Jorge Pardo explores the increasingly blurred lines between painting, mural, sculpture and architecture. Untitled (Cat) is part of a body of work that features private photographs, snapshots and souvenir photos of family, friends, pets and other familiar sights in any living room. Instead of presenting the subjects as they were, the artist digitally manipulated the images and designed the unconventional and sculptural frames for each. In doing so, he reversed the function of image and frame, where the content now complements the context. Pardo’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions and is in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Tate Modern, London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Reconstruction: The Five Enemies II, 1 (2018) by Abraham Cruzvillegas

This work by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas is from a series created for the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Suspended in mid-air, the pendulous structures have been improvised from discarded objects and building materials left over from previous events and restoration projects on Cockatoo Island, where this work was made. Inspired by the writings of Chinese philosopher and Taoist sage Chuang Tzu, Cruzvillegas pays close attention to the nature of the discarded objects and materials he collects. Recognising the life and history inherent in each article, he, through a process of alchemical transmutation, converts them into artworks that retain traces of a genealogy of migration and labour. His work has been included in exhibitions at The Contemporary Austin (2019); The Aspen Art Museum (2019); Honolulu Biennial (2019) amongst countless others.

Demimondmame C (2017) by Pae White

The work of American artist Pae White is driven by a fascination for materials (whether precious or every day; ephemeral or concrete), which she brings together in surprising ways. For Demimondmame C, she made egg shells into porcelain elements in an abstract composition of gold and platinum. Placed on a square picture plane, these imitations of broken egg shells are visually connected by thick bands of ceramic that appear supple, perhaps soft, yet are as fragile as the composition itself.

The result is a visually confounding but balanced composition that plays with our expectation of media and surface. Pae is often recognised for her unconventional and innovative use of materials such as glass, fabric, paper, wire and vinyl which creates a diverse body of work. She has had solo exhibitions at Kaufmann Repetto, Milan (2021); STPI, Singapore (2020) and San Jose Museum of Art (2019); among others exhibits of both a solo and group nature.

The First Desire of the Reclining Virgin (2011) by Angela Su

This ink drawing by Angela Su depicts a dismembered torso with a botanical expanse emerging from an orifice  that appears to take over the body like weeds. The work belongs to the series BwO, referring to a body without organs, which merely acts as a vessel without a centralised system and which Su uses as a metaphor for a society without organisation.

The works of Hong Kong-based Su look at the perception and imagery of the body, through metamorphosis, hybridisation and transformation. She has participated in exhibitions in museums and institutions internationally, including at Levyhalli, Suomenlinna, Helsinki (2021); UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2020) and Frieze London (2019). Su will represent Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale 2022.

 

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