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HK artist gives actor new role

IN tandem with the activities of the Hong Kong Cultural Week held last week at the Shanghai Expo, "Legacy and Creations: Art vs Art," a large-scale exhibition under the theme of Hong Kong contemporary art, is on display at MoCA.

This exhibition draws from a wide spectrum of art forms, from canvas, photography, video, installation, performance to architecture, each a distinct and iconic representation of contemporary Hong Kong art at its best.

The exhibits reveal the artists' observations of daily life and their insights into happenings around them.

Through individual conceptualizations and perspectives, they manifest their concern about society and their quests.

The show highlights the works of 19 representative figures in Hong Kong's art, design, architecture, literature, music and dance.

"The featured artists showcase the advantages of a multicultural background," says Tang Hoi-Chiu, the chief curator at MoCA.

"They employ their individual visions and sensitivity to probe and investigate Hong Kong, a unique city with highly mobile and mutable characteristics."

The spotlight of the exhibition is a set of 10 acrylics on canvas, digital print and gouache on paper. The work titled "Chow Yun Fat's Fitting Room" is created by Wilson Shieh.

Born in Hong Kong, Shieh received a BA degree in fine arts and an MFA degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1994 and 2001.

He works in Chinese fine line-style figurative painting, with contents of sexuality, role-play, costume play and cultural symbols presented through a contemporary approach.

In recent years, he has transformed his practice into other media such as printmaking, canvas painting, drawing and collage.

"The idea of the Fitting Room series originates from today's paper dolls," Shieh says.

"I used to practice Chinese realistic figurative painting on rice-paper. In the new series I try to transform the traditional style and forms through other medium. The choice of Hong Kong film actor Chow Yun Fat as the character is a twist of the rule of this toy."

Chow's career of acting spans more than three decades. He started as a TV drama actor, became famous through his movies and finally developed his career in Hollywood.

His career represents the spread and influence of Hong Kong popular culture.

In "Chow Yun Fat's Fitting Room", his face is frozen as an immortal icon. As in reality, the audience can always watch movies from any era on DVD.

"History and time is compressed as a result. Chow played too many characters in his career span. But his real life is the least unveiled to public," Shieh furthers.

"The choice of movie characters and thus the costumes here is the means for us to recognize Chow's existence."

Date: Until November 12 (closed on Mondays), 10am-6pm

Address: Museum of Contemporary Art, 231 Nanjing Rd W. (inside People's Park)

Admission: 20 yuan


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