18 November, 2013

Yinka Shonibare: Dreaming Rich

Yinka Shonibare's first foray into the identity of Hong Kong.

Following the trend of so many famous artists doing their 'first solo in Asia', Yinka Shonibare opens Dreaming Rich tomorrow at Pearl Lam. The exhibition by the London-born Nigeria-raised artist includes works created specifically for – and about – Hong Kong.

Entering Pearl Lam, the exhibition is somewhat divided, into three parts. On the right, a slightly enclosed glass cube and on the left, the long room, divided in half by a long wall. Why divide the space like this? I wonder. 

Curator, David Chan, was trying to create an HK-like space and I suppose that an awkward division in a room, combined with the strange, long space is very Hong Kong. It also allowed for the hanging of a very long painting. 

Shonibare views his own works
An icon of Shonibare's work is the use of African textiles, those batik fabrics which seem to echo tribal art. As it turns out, this Indonesian process of dying was mimicked by the Dutch, with the aim of selling them back to Indonesia. But they weren't popular and so they sold them to West Africa. Now, they're so common that we call them African textiles.

In this, there's a notion of imposing culture onto a people – especially one that is likely poorer than you. But there's another link: Trade routes, something that Shonibare is interested in, along with history. We already know he relies on history for story-telling. Look at the amazing Victorian Dandy series.

The fabrics have become a motif in his work now, so in terms of semiology it means 'Shonibare' too. His work is so popular (he's an MBE after all; something he finds ironic) that he inspires contemporary fashion designers.

He questions what is truly African – this story of the fabrics and their origins proves that the diaspora as well as the modern world make it hard to find things that are singly and truly African. "We eat sushi then we go to school and speak English," he says. 

Champagne Kid (Swinging)
And he realises something about the modern mind. We're all influenced by where we've lived, not just where we're 'from' – 'from' being a notion that in itself is hard to perceive in Hong Kong sometimes. "At school, I was asked why I wasn't producing purely African art, but why would I?" He questions. 

In Dreaming Rich, it's the figures that are seen sporting these fabrics the most, although they are used in some paintings too. 

Cake Man is the biggest and most impressive of the globe heads, with the weight of the world cake on his shoulders. "All humans are greedy and we all like cake," Shonibare says. "'08 was a pure expression of greed and the rise of other economies in the world makes high-end brands more desirable." He has a point, China want it and little chavs in the UK want it too, as we saw during the UK riots.

"The gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and the rich want more. Cake Man symbolises this," Shonibare explains. The globe head shows the rise and fall of the stock market, on a graph. "He looks delicious and absolutely disgusting at the same time, he's burdened by too much cake." Shonibare reflects that anything you do too much, creates a burden. "It becomes a form of labour. See the contradictions?"

Penny for your thoughts 
In another series of works (Dreaming Rich drawings), Shonibare reflects on the truth about Hong Kong. Not only does he call out IFC as an erection (he's not the first person to complain about the phallic skyline) but he paid homeless people to tell him what they would do if they had loads of money. "They're real thoughts. I traded with them, I paid them for their thoughts, as homeless people here," he explains.

Something to play with
Hong Kong Toy Painting is another, created just for the show. They're playful but Shonibare says they are serious, too. 

Not only are toys and their industry iconic for Hong Kong, but Shonibare used only those made in Hong Kong that would be more reminiscent for local audiences. 

"We have enough not to want for homes and toys but not everyone is like that," he says, adding that he knows about the cage dwellings here. Will there be an uprising again? He asks. 

Shonibare's first solo in Hong Kong is showing at Pearl Lam (Pedder Building) until January 9th, 2014.

11 November, 2013

Art Critter: Marc Quinn does HK – Held By Desire

A Chantown Art Critique Critter: I'll never forget Marc Quinn's Self (blood head)I was about 19 and doing my art foundation course, when the Sensation exhibition was in London, igniting the Shock Art term which changed the art world and starting a debate first instigated by Marcel Duchamp.

There were parts of that show I liked more than others – I was never a fan of Damien Hirst. But one piece that really made an impact on me was Marc Quinn's Self. He created a bust of himself, in his own blood. What a great concept – it's you, but it's not. And it melts and dissolves. As a youngster I had always been interested in 'signs' that people had been there/ somewhere, like a mustard stain on the carpet reminding me of watching Young and Dangerous (古惑仔) with Greg. 

Anyway, it never ceases to amaze me which artists I can meet, as an artist a member of the media. I'm really lucky that I live in Hong Kong, which presumably thanks to it's financial market and the current interest in Asian art, can pull some of the most interesting artists from the far corners of the world, like London and New York. So, I got to meet Marc Quinn in person last week, as his show Held By Desire just opened at White Cube Hong Kong (8 November 2013 - 4 January 2014).

I had hoped to do something more with this post but in the midst of work stuff and renovations, there's no chance. So here's a gift of a little critter, from me to you, totalling snippets, thoughts and images.

The exhibition is centred around Quinn's exploration into how desire shapes our universe and affects man's relationship with nature. That means looking at the boundaries between art, nature and the 'man-made', so Quinn asks us to look at the raw and seemingly mystical elements of our surrounds, in his first exhibition created for Asia and its audiences.

Hunger is one of the first things that Quinn mentions, this simple and vital animal urge which makes us wish to control nature, whether for food or a more sexual satiation. His work, Held by Desire (Chinese Juniper 114), is a lacquered bronze copy of a Bonsai tree, the perfect example of something that humans try to control. Keep it in a small pot, it's a Bonsai. Let it grow in the earth, it's a tree. This sculpture is what Quinn calls a contingent of reality – the real one lives and grows in his garden. Note here, that Quinn used a 3D scanner to create this, not destroying the original in the process.

Another piece that gives a more weird take on reality, is a leg of Serano ham, carved in onyx. A trip to the British Museum inspired this one. Quinn, having seen a carving in bone of a lion, thought about the strange combination of material and subject. The Invention of Carving has a slightly uncomfortable feeling to it, made in a fleshy pink/ white stone that some say looks like flesh, but I say looks like pink Himalayan salt. Either way, there's a discomfort in there, which is added to by the sexy but torturous pose that such ham is viced into, for cutting.

Being an art critter, I won't go into every piece but I can't ignore the huge flesh paintings (they look like photo's but they're not). They are of a size that you feel uncomfortably close to the meat, because at that size, you're either really close or that's whale meat. The fat, tissues and sinews are large and bright as day, thrown together in a pile, which is just raw (of course, but I mean in feeling too) and awkward. Not gross: Awkward. Quinn considers them to be "internal landscapes" tunneling into the body. Which is, I suppose, awkward. 

The odalisque of that series is Past, Present, Future, which depicts famous model, Lara Stone (she's married to British comedian, David Walliams) lying on a bed of meat. And she's about seven months pregnant, which explains the title: We are of flesh, we're born of flesh (also moving through it when we're born) and when we die we are bits of flesh, which rot. 

When the floor opened up to questions, I'm happy to go first, seated on the front row directly in front of Quinn. "So, did you ask her to come waxed for that photo?" Apparently, "she came that way" but my question was valid – was Quinn looking to make for another shocking image, when usually such poses show no lady parts or are covered with a large fig leave? 

19 September, 2013

Jenny Holzer in Hong Kong, with work created just for Hong Kong? Amazing.

I've been a fan of Jenny Holzer since I was about 18 
when I was introduced to her work during my art foundation course before my degree. Since then, I've continued to work with text using it as a catalyst within each piece. Between Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger, I've had a lot of inspiration from two women who have an interesting design background. Holzer, for instance, was a typesetter and created political posters as part of a collective in the '70s.

Holzer is known for changing things in the art world. She was the first woman ever to show at the Venice Bienniale (in 1990) and that marked that words could be art. In fact, Holzer's works are about the viewer's experience and not at all about Holzer – she writes the texts but the work becomes personal by the way in which each person reads and reacts to it. 

Today, Holzer's show, Light Streams, opens at Pearl Lam Galleries. It's her first solo show in Hong Kong, offering 25 custom-made works. Having not been to Hong Kong for 25 years, Holzer had to rely on her memories to create something for the city. She chose to focus the frenetic energy that the busy city has, which Holzer compares to the frenetic energy of a packed gallery.

But one of the most important things about this show is that Holzer has translated much of her work into traditional Chinese. It enfranchises most of the audience here. The translations were worked on by five different translators and Holzer worked hard to make the translation suit Hong Kong particularly, digging into the nuances of the fast-moving language. "I was intrigued to see the flow of syntax: Where verbs would fall. I wanted to see how well it would translate too, to see how the audience will react. I wanted to see if I could do it," she explains.  At times, she admits it's frustrating not knowing which statement she's looking at, but at others it's a relief. "I can take more care over the aesthetic side that way," she says.

Entering the exhibition, there's a lot more happening than I expected, perhaps because I'm more au fait with her Truisms and most of her works that I've seen are in collections and not new. The room has a colourful glow from the works spread throughout: Some leaning alone, some leaning together like a game of Kerplunk, some strewn and others mounted.

All Fall

Light Stream includes strewn hoop shapes, reminiscent of public hand rails or bike railings, alongside a plaque of frantically animated statements, based on her Truisms. In fact, the housing of the LEDs is a huge consideration for Holzer. With her design background, it's no surprise that every detail counts. "This shape is a reference to a type of gravestone that was popular in New England. It's called a life to death tombstone," she explains. 

Meanwhile, the wires around Light Stream are left visible, adding to the general clutter, the backdrop to these lively lights. "This really challenges me, I'm very tidy," says Holzer. But it creates the feeling she wanted.

Light Stream

That technology has changed her work is undeniable. "The infinite colours are carefully programmed for my work. Some loops are over five hours in this exhibition," she says. In other exhibitions, she has works that don't loop for over a month. Within each loop is a number of sequences (the way in which the words are delivered) which are often random: Fast, slow, sliding, bouncing, stretched, normal and so on. "Sometimes it seems to relate to the content but the animation isn't always so planned," Holzer explains. "Sometimes it's a choice and sometimes it just needs a lift, like when the letters blast out. I like to change between easy to read and really hard – unamenable – which is what life is like."

Inclined is a four-sided post of LED messages and really new. "This is deluxe programming," explains Jenny, who says they were working on it until the minute it was packed for shipping. There are animations of words flowing or passing each other from different directions, allowing two layers of text. Sometimes the words fall away in an animation that would remind you of the ICC's lights. "We took videos of weather and referenced it for this," she says.


Reflections are another unexpected part of the show. With glass screens in the gallery, reflections across the room add depth to the work but also the viewer's experience, enabling views from a greater distance too.

And let's not forget the marble benches. I almost dumped my bag on one before realising it was another piece of work. But the benches, which create a place from which to watch these works as well as giving a kind of park or memorial feeling to the room, are subtle and powerful. Thoughout history, there's been a relation between words and material. Marble has authority and status, having been used for plaques and statues. But a bench is comfortable, too. Holzer comments that she gets tired walking around galleries and thinks there should be more places to sit, so that you can really appreciate the art. "I don't mind if you sit on them or leave your bag there. I'm happy for them to be placed outside and I want them to take on the life around them. If they grow moss, that's great," she says.

02 July, 2013

Brussel me up: Sprouts with everthing

A recent trip to the US made me recall my deep love for the brussel sprouts. 
That tasty, mini brassica, which fell prey to badly cooked school dinners in the '80s, wreaking hate across a nation.

Despite the bad rap they have among Brits/ school kids, they are a classic British vegetable (if you're British. If you're American and thinking "hey, that's my brassica!" then fine, I deny you not). They have a somewhat Christmassy connotation in the UK but in Hong Kong, they're popular and you can get them year round.

I love them. I somehow escaped primary school unscathed by bad brussel sprouts and don't recall eating them in secondary school. I am, however, mostly vegetarian, in part, due to the horrors of eating meat at school. 

But in the US, it's like they love sprouts with their cooking, not their mouths. You can find sprouts in all kinds of restaurants, in interesting combinations and typically, damn well made. The trip most definitely ignited in me, a little obsession, trying to recreate the lovingly cooked dishes, so I could love them with my mouth at home.

// Dammit, I don't have any in at the moment, so I can't, now, go and eat some, having ranted on about how great they are. //

In this popular chain of bars, brussel sprouts are carefully loved in a hot pan, with oil and salt. They come out a bright green, so have not been overcooked, despite that the outsides are wonderfully burnt brown and black, creating spots of crispiness and caramel. They are a tad oily, but the salt and sprout flavours just eat you up in a bundle of brassica joy.

Just USD 8

Motorino is known to be (one of) the best pizza place(s) in New York. And with a menu that includes brussel sprouts, who's surprised? (School kids, that's who). This bianco pizza is compiled of the standard Motorino dough – that's thin in the middle and chewy on the crust – topped with Perorino and brussel sprouts. And if you eat meat, smoked pancetta too. I have to admit that I've only eaten it without the meat (but would happily eat one or two small chunks of pancetta but perhaps not much more). One friend told me she was disgusted by this pizza, but I love it. 

Oh yes, NYC. It's just doesn't quite taste the same in Hong Kong.

USD 16

There are many cool things about this Mexican eatery, tucked away on Avenue B, not to mention the three guacamoles they have on the menu. Yes. Three. But it's the brussel sprouts that really surprised me. Brussel sprouts? I hear you ask. In a Mexican joint? I hear you ask. Yes my sweets, brussel sprouts in a Mexican joint! These little puppies are served with pork belly in a yummy tomato sauce that is basically a cooked, thickened salsa. Apparently it comes with tortilla, but all I recall is the creamy sprouts.

Just USD 5.50

*Too dark for a decent pic

Tucked away in Marshall County, Sonoma, Nick's Cove is a warm and woody affair. It's quaint and homely, with a water's edge deck and view of sunset. 

The menu changes every day but always consists of fantastically fresh food, with a sophisticated-twist-on-an-old-favourite kind of charm. I mean, like the crab mac'n'cheese that I had, the taste of which still lingers on my tongue. The sprouts come with pancetta, of course. And what tasty morsels they were. 

If I haven't yet got you, then go, now my dear, go and eat brussel sprouts. For they are good and green and strong.

03 June, 2013

Giant rubber duck hits Hong Kong harbour

And makes it into my Giant Things album.
I'm lucky enough to know the Assistant General Manager of Marketing at Harbour City. So I knew that the famous Rubber Duck, by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman was planning to sail into town and rock my boat.

In fact, so many people knew that my friend in the UK posted this:

and my dad posted this (in the mail of course, not online).

But, I was away when the great duck arrived, so I missed any opportunity to attend the press event and get first beak peak at my new web-footed friend.

Having missed the timeliness of this, I won't go too far in explaining it because everyone else has beaten me to it. The duck has visited several places like Sao Paulo, Auckland and Osaka. Now, it's in Hong Kong, where it was cutely pulled into place by a tug boat on May 2nd.

If you're a friend of mine, you'll know that I have a collection of over 130 snapshots of me, with different giant objects. And I don't mean big, I mean oversized. You know, like in a Claes Oldenburg kind of way. So that's why all the overseas notifications of what was happening here. I can't believe I missed my chance to be first in on such a GIANT thing!

Today, I finally got my chance – because Ducky had bird flu when I first came back... and was proudly reinflated during Art Basel week (intensely hectic), so I missed that too. Following a meeting in TST, I saw my chance and swooped in for a view (via the #5 bus from Chatham Road South).

I felt ridiculously happy at the sight of my giant inflatable friend. But after a quick photo and a look around, what to do?

That's when I met Dreamcatcher Jessie. She had set up a tripod and sign, saying she would take photographs of you with Rubber Duck, with her beautiful Polaroid range finder camera. What better a way to capture this most momentous instant since I started my album of Giant Things photos in Japan (where else?) in 2009?

Dreamcatcher Jessie has a Facebook page set up, which shows that she's doing more than cultivating a love of ornithology by way of the Polaroid.

She took such a sweet photo the first time that she asked to keep it. So I let her and we agreed to take another, for free.

And I have to say, she really made my day.

*I coloured the duck yellow; Dreamcatcher Jessie uses black and white roll from what I've seen online and in person.

30 May, 2013

Montreal: The place to eat

Jadeite In all honesty, it took me some time to post this (back-dated) piece. But there was no way I couldn't share my tasty experiences with you! 

The food was amazing, some of it cooked by my host, Chow with Chow.

Living in Hong Kong, markets like Jean-Talon (Marché Jean-Talon) in the heart of Montreal just make me drool. And even if some things seem kind of expensive, it’s just full of delicious product that I want to take home and… cook. Surrounding the fresh produce are a few stalls selling pre-made goods, including the best sea-salt caramel macaron I have ever eaten and some interesting looking polish pastries.

There are also a few shops selling all things Maple, but I was told by my good host that those products can also be found cheaper, elsewhere. Which was a good thing, because I could not resist the vintage style packaging, which I secretly wanted to take home to use as a pen-holder or something.

A short walk south from the market is little Italy. You know what that means? Cannolis. That’s what it means. I have this constant hankering for a good churro and while I know these two things cannot be compared, how can you say no to a good cannoli?

Try Alarti-Caserta at 277 Dante, Little Italy. Luckily for me, they have small and large sizes (this was a long trip, at some point I had to think about my heart, if not my waistline). I also wanted to try their sfogliatelle, which was what I was given the last time I tried to order a cannoli in Sheffield, UK (I know, what did I expect? It was yummy though).

But among the pastries and some of the most extravagant cakes I have ever seen, were other yummy things that I didn’t get to try (heart, waistline, remember?), like this nutty tart. Mmmm. I will have to go back to Montreal sometime.

And after that, full as I felt (ssshhh, I ate other things before we got to Alarti Caserta) we walked through Mile End, looked, tried on and walked south more to the Plateau where I fell in love with a home-ware store called V de V Maison.

But we had to walk more, because I know that Montreal bagels are good. ChowwithChow had brought them to me in HK before. They were calling me. I wanted to try one of those, fresh.

In case you’re not familiar or lucky enough to have friends in Montreal, their bagels are different and known for being really good – some people actually don’t want to eat a New York bagel, because hey, it’s just not their style. These little puppies are boiled in sweetened water and then baked in a wood fire oven. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? That’s why it’s best to eat them fresh and from a place that only does bagels.

// There is more to it, but I’ll let wikipedia explain that.) //

So, we took our route past coffee shops and shoe shops and hairdressers (she needed to trim her bangs) and I ‘found’ myself by FairmountBagel (because I cried “what about the bagel?” Even Chow had eaten enough by then).

Located at 74 Fairmount West, these guys have been making bagels since 1919 and my taste buds told me that experience was worth it, even if my tummy wasn’t in the mood for stretching exercises.

The only thing I missed was the Marmite. But hey, this lox was ridiculously good too.

I still had more places to go on my trip, so sadly I didn’t bring bagels home, but I did head to a supermarket one Mont Royale Avenue (av. du Mont-Royal) to get less perishable goods. And oops! We passed by La Maison du Macaron, which I was told is one of the best in the city.

The lovely Chow bought me a box of the printemps-été 2013 collection: Mango and black pepper, strawberry and rhubarb, raspberry and lime, strawberry and basil and of course, I tried their sea salt caramel too. I’m obsessed with caramel. I’m obsessed with salty & sweet. So what can I say? This was a trip of flavour combinations (check out the pops at The Hyppo in St Augustine ).

Oh, and at the supermarket I picked up some cheese and a jar of Dulce de Leche (for some reason, it’s a regular staple in Canadian supermarkets), which I’ve been saving up for making some Argentinian alfajores, now the weather is cooler in HK. I’m going to add some pink Himalayan sea salt to mine, along with that coconut rim. (Warning: there are lots of bad recipes for these on the Internet…)

27 May, 2013

Kisses cupcakes, Wan Chai

Me love cupcake. So I couldn't resist trying one from Kisses cupcakes when I discovered it on Saturday. Despite the fact that I just got back from a month in the USA. (So much cake).

But upon looking through the window at the product, I realised that these cupcakes are shallow – and less filling – but with a fair helping of frosting neatly whipped around the top. A decent ratio to indulge a frosting freak like me.

With choices like mint choc chip, red velvet, cookies n cream, green tea, (I could go on for a while) it was hard to decide on my final prey. But I felt like something light (after a month in the US) and chose lemon. I like lemon desserts, they're usually pretty tasty.

The cake part was lightly lemony, fluffy and not too sweet. It wasn't oily and tasted natural, unlike many store-bought muffins. Despite my love of frosting, I was a bit overwhelmed by this one. The frosting wasn't a buttercream with a sweet twist of lemon, as I'd expected, but a base of fresh whipped cream and not-too-sweet lemon. For me, that was far richer than a butter cream and took the enjoyment out of the cake.

All said and done, especially for Hong Kong, I thought the balance of texture and flavour was commendable.

Kisses is sweet, reasonably priced at $25 and up and I plan to visit again. There's a red velvet I haven't got to yet.

23 May, 2013

Art Critter: Art Basel Hong Kong, 2013

A Chantown Art Critique Critter: What did I think of Art Basel Hong Kong?

I liked it. And I thought the brand changes externally were minimal, but I can't say the same for those who worked on the fair. Or for the collectors. (That said, I found the old website much more informative...  why do Art Basel hide the Press section of their site?).

Between the first and the third floor, I preferred the third, but that might be because I started there, after CY Leung cut the ribbon to start the show. I might point out that I found his presence somewhat huomourous (he did not give a speech). But I also took it as a sign that the government can only be pleased they have secured Art Basel as a great business venture, since they do relatively little to promote the arts by way of education, support, funds or on a wider societal basis.

Art Fairs are a funny business for the average Joe. You might see famous pieces you'd otherwise need to travel to New York for. Or new works by artists just making the spotlight. But you are also confronted with hundreds of galleries and pieces – that aren't for you. You're not buying. Even at the Affordable Art Fair, the question of purchasing a piece needs careful, careful thought. Those are my savings.

So the enormity of an art fair is about as draining and overwhelming as seeing all of the Metropolitan in New York. You lose energy, will and interest. But fairs, the buzz that goes with them and your friends' Instagram streams make you  feel like you have to see it all.

I think that ArtHK greatly improved over the years, but the works were a bit repetitive. Art Basel Hong Kong seems less so. The breadth of work and galleries presented is better. I even saw a Wayne Thiebaud – one of my favourite painters. (He's 92 and you could eat his work). I've never seen that at the fair before. You can find him at Acquavella somewhere on the third floor – you've got a map.

Onto other things. The vernissage somehow lacked the ambience, crowds and excitement of last year, despite that Kate Moss allegedly attended as did Shwan Yue (I didn't see him!) and Edison Chen. Actually I didn't see that many people that I know either, and usually, everyone is there.

That said, I know a number of artists and galleries that couldn't get enough vernissage tickets, something that I've never heard before. In Hong Kong, we all know someone... so it's not always that hard to get in (for free). Could it be that Art Basel tightened the reigns? It's hard not to feel, from inside chit chat, that this is a money machine. Of course it is – the art world is fickle, money makes it. But this is gossip so I should stop.

Out of about 245 galleries present at Art Basel, about 26 are Hong Kong galleries. While that includes White Cube and Ben Brown (etc), it's still a good percentage, as Fair Director, Magnus Renfrew pointed out. Well done Hong Kong.

Maybe it's just me, but while I enjoyed the fair (especially Thiebaud) I don't feel the lure to go back again over the weekend, I don't feel an attachment and I can't even point you to any pieces that you really must see except for Thiebaud and Shieh (that was at an HK gallery, I forgot which. Sorry, I was tired). I saw at least four pieces clearly based around guns.Yawn.

Instead, if you feel adventurous, go to the old cold storage beneath the Fringe Club and see Wun Dun. Artist Adrian Wong was selected by the Absolut Art Bureau to create an immersive installation for the launch of Art Basel HK – and it's hosted in the coolest spot (sorry: pun). Various performers will appear every night, and the cocktails were created by Wong (which if you know him, is a little concerning). I couldn't take Duck cocktail (with duck fat wash), but maybe you can.

The way to art it – writing about art, the Chantown way.

As someone who studied both history of art and fine art, I usually approach exhibitions with a few thoughts in mind – technique,  understanding and aesthetics. I want to learn but I also want to have an intelligent discourse about the visuals and concepts presented. I also want to indulge in artistic greatness. After all, as a writer, I have easier – and more – access to famous and accomplished artists than I ever had as an artist no longer at university.

But I live in Hong Kong and I run my own business. So, like most people here, I find it hard to do everything. Sometimes I can't get to all the press events I'm invited to. 

Other times, I go, but don't have time talk to the artists (or they don't have time to talk to me) or i just don't have time to write something proper and interesting. I don't even have time to copyright stamp my images. This blogging lark isn't all roses you know.

There's something else too. Since moving to Hong Kong, I've become more disillusioned with the art world because I live in close proximity to 'for profit' galleries and their clientele. And I no longer live in a country where the government supports and encourages artistic activities and appreciation of the arts. As an artist I've never been so aware that it's all about luck. There are few places for an emerging artist like me to show, especially where I won't be paying high rents with no hope of sales (even at 50% commission).

So I've decided to remedy my blog block problem by writing short snippets from the art shows I do attend. Inspired by the style of this highly popular no-holds-barred food blogger, you can expect honesty (and fewer expletives). These bites make no promise over what will be covered but they will provide personal insights or technical information in a truly digestible, Hong Kong sized format.

These insightful snapshots of my artistic observances, or Chantown Art Critique Critter, will also be tagged with 'Art Critter'.