Saturday, May 31, 2014

Giacometti Without End - Gagosian Hong Kong

While I was studying for my first degree in the UK at Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic (later to be renamed Northumbria University), my fellow art students and I were fortunate to have the late Peter Fuller as ‘Art Critic in Residence’. He gave lectures and lead critiques of work by final year students that were tough and bordering on combative but which I’m sure helped those students to understand their own work and become able to defend their opinions and viewpoints.

After graduating I followed his writings and sent him images of my work, which he commented on. He described the sculpture I was making at the time as being reminiscent of the young Giacometti, which was a wonderful compliment as Giacometti was an artist who I greatly admired.

Peter Fuller told me that he would be following the progress of my work in the future. Tragically he was killed in a car crash and the British art world was robbed of one of its most erudite commentators.

Every time I read about the work of Giacometti or see an exhibition of his work I am reminded of the comments by Peter Fuller and that was again the case when I visited the Hong Kong Gagosian Gallery on 17th April. 
The gallery had been transformed from its usual appearance and now resembled a Parisian gallery or museum with muted lighting and work behind glass cases.  The curating of this show was very good, with links between the works made clear and the drawings, lithographs and books were punctuated by sculptures. 
The way Giacometti drew and constructed 2D images was in complete sympathy with the methods of construction in his sculpture. It is as though he first constructs an imaginary 3D space in which his work can exist and then dips his hands into this volume of space to physically mold the drawings or paintings into shape. As I look at his work, at every second, I am aware of his hands pushing, pulling and twisting the marks into the required shape and configuration. I find his work sublime and it is so refined it brings tears to my eyes as I examine it. 

Unfortunately the gallery attendants prevented me from taking photos with my phone. I don’t understand this policy, if they are selling good quality images as postcards or posters and do not want visitors to create their own high quality images then okay I see the point but I fail to see the harm in taking general gallery shots for one’s own record.

However, this didn’t prevent me from enjoying the exhibition thoroughly and it marked another high point in the Hong Kong art scene: Antony Gormley and Giacometti shows in less than a month…reminds me of life in London!

Images source: /

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Antony Gormley, 'States and Conditions' - White Cube Hong Kong

At the end of March I attended the opening of the Antony Gormley exhibition at the White Cube in Central, Hong Kong.

As I reached the entrance of the gallery I was presented with an obstacle. One of Gormley’s sculptures Ease (2012) was lying prone on the floor almost blocking the entrance and I realised that this was a clue to the identity of the exhibition inside.

As the press release stated: ‘White Cube is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Antony Gormley. With ‘States and Conditions, Hong Kong’, Gormley turns the entire gallery architecture into a psychic and physiological testing ground, using sculpture to animate space and activate the built environment. The exhibition is designed to resonate within the dense urban conditions particular to Hong Kong’.

I could feel this resonance as I walked around the exhibition. The small sculpture Form (2013) exploded in the downstairs gallery to become Murmur (2014), while other works seemed to be merging with the architecture of the gallery. Gormley plays with the volumes of space that our bodies occupy and with the way these volumes can be described, either as solid blocks or skeletal frames delineating specific chunks of space.

The vertical sculptures found in the final upstairs room seemed to fluctuate between representations of the space that Gormely’s body once occupied and the buildings of Hong Kong that surround the gallery.
Our bodies are an amalgam of connected blocks that together constitute our presence and this construct can be taken inwards on a micro scale or outwards, from the sculptures, the rooms of the gallery (which resembles one of Gormley’s sculptures when pictured in our mind), and the surrounding city.

This was a terrific exhibition, one of the best I have ever seen in Hong Kong and it is such a great pity that the planned project ‘Event Horizon Hong Kong’ was cancelled due to pressure from the sponsor after an employee committed suicide by leaping from one their buildings. Hopefully one day Hong Kong will realise that these associations and references, however unfortunate, are part of the power and significance of the works, they are not a coincidence!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sun Hung Kai Finance - Acting role

I recently remembered my experience acting in some TV commercials, which were great fun, and I thought I would repost a video of an advert for Sun Hung Kai Finance that I took part in a few years ago. This was originally posted on my previous blog.

Friday, May 23, 2014

7th Bienal Internacional de Gravura - Douro 2014

I sent two of my colour etchings to this prestigious exhibition last month and the post office informed me that the shipping would take 7-10 days, easily enough time before the deadline.
I had previously paid the entrance fee of 50 Euros via Paypal.

Once the submission deadline had passed I received a reminder to the effect that my work had still not arrived and I tracked the package through the Hong Kong post office. The package had been stuck in the customs in Portugal for a couple of weeks and was, apparently, still there. I passed this information to the curator/director Nuno Canelas and I am still waiting for his reply.

One of the prints I had made during my residency at Guanlan in China and it would be a terrible loss after having another copy of the edition badly damaged when I sent it to Guanlan in an attempt to have it included in a show there. In that case not only was the work rejected but it was returned to me badly damaged with deep creases running through the print.

Not to mention the 50 Euros and the high postage fee. Fingers crossed that this is not another story of untrustworthy organization or worse...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Book Sale

I have decided to sell off some of my book collection and I will begin by concentrating on the poetry section.
The first 4 books I have selected are as follows:

a) The Indoor Park by Sean O'Brien 1983, First Edition - BloodAxe Books.

This book has been read and is slightly faded with some very pale spots on some of the pages.

b) Under the Influence - Douglas Dunn on Philip Larkin 1987, First Edition - Edinburgh University Library.

This book has been read and is slightly faded with some pale spots on the first and last pages.

c) A Long Shot to Heaven by Jeremy Read 1982, First Edition - The Menard Press

This book has been read and is slightly faded with pale spots on the front and back covers.

d) The First Death of Venice by Martin Stokes 1987, First Edition - BloodAxe Books.

This book has been read and is slightly faded.

See scans below (books look better than in the scans…)

If you are interested in purchasing any of these books please send me an email at