M+ sigg collection in HK, Artistree — a selection

This piece welcomed guests in a large scale lightbox even before they came in. What do you see?

Landscape

Liu Wei. It Looks Like A Landscape (2004)

Buttocks and hair, and hairy buttocks I suppose?

Made in reference to traditional Chinese ink landscapes, this piece got three young Filipinas walking past a-chuckling.

From the same collection:

Bodies In A Pile

by Zhang Huan 張洹, b. 1965
“What are these people looking at?”
“Do they belong to some cult where they need to perform some type of ritual atop mounstains au naturale?”

Artist Zhang Huan had a much simpler idea: To Add One Meter to An Annonymous Mountain (1995).

Singapore? China?

Cheeky humor aside, this piece spoke to me: It’s a video of flesh becoming more and more inflamed. It’s obvious that the body is being hit. You see the muscles twinge and the blood rushing towards the surface of the skin.

“Xu Zhen. Rainbow. (1998) Credit: artattler.com.
We see the body being hit, but we don’t see the invisible hand as it hits. According to the exhibition info, this piece “…examines the tension of the seen and unseen by removing the act of violence and leaving only its trace”

It spoke to me because oftentimes violence — be it physical, psychological, or energetic — leaves no trace. No ‘evidence’ to prove that the violence has inflicted damage. No true ‘evidence’ to be presented before the judge for a fair trial.

Empire

Still Life (1995)

This piece spoke to me the most. Standing at the rear end, I felt the power of the innumerable stone axe heads laid before me. It felt almost like an emperor at his throne, seeing below all his people, all the townships that count upon his rule, his protection, and his blessing.

These antiquities carried within them the Chinese civilization’s stories and history. For a moment, the spread also harkened to the likeness of the Great Wall. After experiencing the work, it turns out the piece was by Ai Weiwei. Him again!

Tongue-in-Cheek

This final piece brought a smile my face. Especially in light of how toilet paper ads would almost 100% of the time advertise the ‘strength’ and ‘durability’ of their toilet roll. What if ‘Umustbestrong’ became a brand in itself? A very versatile name that could be applied to many products, not just paper for our posterior…

The tools and the finished product.
The best lies in the name of the art piece.
A product of continuous practice.

Afterword

I wasn’t drawn to seeing Sigg Collection showing at the Artistree. The reason is two-fold: past exhibitions organized by the local art authorities tended to disappoint. Besides, the topic of Chinese contemporary art has almost become hackneyed. It would really take a gem of a work to incite interest.

I ended up checking out the exhibition for nothing better to visit and was glad I did. This collection was created by an art collector who collected pieces over a few decades. It is entirely different from exhibitions created for exhibition sake. The collection was substantial and congruent, and the show a delight. I might say I share some of Uli Sigg’s taste for Chinese contemporary art!

See the interview with Dr Uli Sigg on why he collected what he collected in the downloadable app M+ Sigg Collection (available on both iOS and Google Playstore) among additional info such as video interviews and curator commentaries. At the exhibition, the app ‘senses’ where you are and feeds you info on the artwork near you.

Information about the exhibition and the collection here: