Pearl Lam Offers Ambitious, Internationally Focused Show at Art Basel in Hong Kong

It’s a busy moment at Pearl Lam Galleries—opening a second exhibition space, collaborating with mega-developer Hongkong Land on a major installation, showing at Art Basel in Hong Kong—not to mention unveiling a never-before-seen large-scale sculpture by Yinka Shonibare MBE at the fairs third edition.

  • Yinka Shonibare MBE, Cake Kid, 2014. Courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries and the artist. 

    Yinka Shonibare MBE, Cake Kid, 2014. Courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries and the artist. 

Art Basel only lasts a few days, after all—who needs to eat and sleep when half the art world is descending on your city? It’s a key opportunity for Hong Kong’s most prominent galleries, and Pearl Lam is taking full advantage of it. The headliner at Pearl Lam Galleries’s booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong is Shonibare’s installation. The playful Cake Kid (2014), built by the British-Nigerian artist with a life-sized mannequin and materials ranging from Dutch wax printed cotton to leather, gold, plaster, polyester, and other textiles, provides a fitting introduction to the gallery’s booth.

The theme is cross-cultural exchange, both within China and Asia, and between Asia and the West, so various nationalities are represented in a range of mixed-media works and oil paintings: Cameroonian Barthélémy Toguo and American Leonardo Drew, both showing in Hong Kong for the first time, as well as Australian Ben Quilty, French-Portuguese Joana Vasconelos, and American Carlos Rolón (Dzine). Featured Chinese artists include Su Xiaobai, Qin Yufen, Su DongPing, Jiang Dahai and Qiu Deshu.

  • Zhu Jinshi, Boat, 2015. 18-meter-long, 7-meter-high walk-in installation, composed of bamboo, cotton. and over 10,000 sheets of xuan (rice) paper. Image courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

    Zhu Jinshi, Boat, 2015. 18-meter-long, 7-meter-high walk-in installation, composed of bamboo, cotton. and over 10,000 sheets of xuan (rice) paper. Image courtesy of Pearl Lam Galleries.

The featured works offer just a taste of Pearl Lam’s ambitious, internationally reaching agenda this year. Last month, the gallery announced a collaboration with Hongkong Land to produce Zhu Jinshi’s Boat (2012), a massive installation made of bamboo, cotton, and over 12,000 sheets of rice paper.  Notable in size and scale, it measures 18 meters long and 7 meters high, and is the latest in a series of delicate but imposing site-specific Xuan paper installations by one of China’s leading contemporary artists. 

  • Installation shot of “Ren Ri: Yuansu Projects” at Pearl Lam Galleries SOHO. Courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries and the artist.

    Installation shot of “Ren Ri: Yuansu Projects” at Pearl Lam Galleries SOHO. Courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries and the artist.

Boat was first exhibited in China in 2012 before traveling to Art13 in London and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. The journey comes full circle as it returns to Hong Kong, forming the centerpiece of the Chinese contemporary abstract show “Perfection by Chance—A Yi Pai Series Exhibition” at the gallery’s Pedder Building space. And that’s not all—this month, Pearl Lam is also opening a second exhibition space, the SOHO gallery, devoted to emerging artists and up-and-coming international designers. The inaugural show, “Ren Ri: Yuansu Projects,” a solo exhibition of beeswax sculptures curated by David Ho Yeung Chan, is smartly timed to coincide with Art Basel in Hong Kong.

Bridget Gleeson

Visit Pearl Lam Galleries at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015, Booth 1D09, Mar. 15 – 17.

Perfection by Chance—A Yi Pai Series Exhibition” is on view at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong, Mar. 13th – May 10th. Pedder Building, 6/F, Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, HK.

Ren Ri is on view at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong SOHO, Mar. 11–Apr. 12, 2015. Extended hours during ABHK: 13–17 March, 9am–9pm; Reg. hours: daily, noon–8pm. Shop No. 1, G/F & 1/F, SOHO 189, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

Explore Pearl Lam Galleries and Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015 on Artsy.