To celebrate International Women’s Day, Sotheby’s Hong Kong is hosting a special exhibition, Women in Art: Hong Kong, in collaboration with New Hall Art Collection, displayed at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University.
At a time when there’s global attention on women empowerment, Sotheby’s hopes to create a dialogue around women’s visibility in art through exploring the rich heritage of female artists in Hong Kong.
The exhibition showcases diverse works by female artists from Hong Kong spanning the last 50 years. The works displayed cover a wide range of mediums, including traditional ink paintings by Fang Zhaoling and Irene Chou, video art by Ellen Pau and Angela Su, film posters by Ho Sin Tung and installation art by contemporary artists Ko Sin Tung and Jaffa Lam.
The artworks displayed are steeped in Hong Kong’s culture and politics, from Ko Sin Tung’s ‘Closed 24hrs’ neon sign that comments on Hong Kong’s consumerist excesses to Jaffa Lam’s ‘Starry Day’ installation, that is made using white umbrella scraps gathered during the iconic Umbrella Movement of 2014.
According to a research conducted by Eliza Gluckman, curator of New Hall Art Collection, and independent researcher Phoebe Wong, a very high percentage of women (around 70%) graduate from art programmes in Hong Kong, but only a mere fraction of them survive in the male-dominated market. Phoebe pointed out many female artists take up teaching as a more viable option, due to a lack of proper infrastructure and funds to support emerging female artists in Hong Kong.
Through the Women in Art: Hong Kong exhibition, Sotheby’s has started a discussion which we hope will not only bring awareness to the work of leading female artists but will also inspire future generations.
Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay