(2 June, Venice) Never confined himself to traditional artistic expression, space or environment, local arts veteran Kwok Mang-ho (a.k.a Frog King) “leaps” from Hong Kong to Venice and invites the world audience to join in his creative process and enjoy art at today’s opening ceremony of the Hong Kong exhibition at the 54th Venice Biennale (Visual Arts).
This is the sixth time for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) to present the works of Hong Kong visual artists in an international arts arena, with an aim to enhance exchange and communication between Hong Kong and other countries in the world.
This year, the HKADC will present the exhibition “Frogtopia．Hongkornucopia” at the 54th Venice Biennale (Visual Arts). Featuring the works of local artist Kwok Mang-ho (a.k.a Frog King), the exhibition is under the curatorship of Benny Chia, Tsang Tak-ping and Wong Shun-kit in association with Hong Kong Fringe Club.
“Frogtopia．Hongkornucopia” uses “frog” as a symbol signifying the unique artistic style of Frog King. Through a countless number of mixed-media art works, Frog King intends to transform the whole exhibition space into “Frogtopia”, a space “taken over” by the artist with “a forest” of expanding installation pieces. This inexhaustibility is in fact obviously tied in with another made-up word in the exhibition titled “Hongkornucopia”, which originates from “cornucopia”, a magical goat’s horn with an inexhaustible store of fruits and grains coming out of it.
Speaking at today’s opening ceremony, Mr Wong Ying-wai, Wilfred, Chairman of the HKADC, said the HKADC hopes the participation in the Venice Biennale will help strengthen ties and create new links between the Hong Kong arts community and its global counterparts and at the same time, show the best examples of Hong Kong’s artists, promote local arts, and reinforce and raise the city’s profile in the international arts world.
Mr Wilfred Wong also praised the works of Frog King who has never restricted himself to traditional artistic expression. His works and performances often surprised audiences. Through a joyful “play”, Frog King was able to bring people together by encouraging them to participate in his creative process.
Also attending the opening ceremony and showing genuine support to Hong Kong arts community included Mr Raymond Young, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs of the Hong Kong SAR Government and Dr Louis Ng, Assistant Director (Heritage & Museum) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, as well as artists and curators from the Mainland, Singapore, Taiwan, Macau and other countries.
To nurture local young arts talents, with the support of the HKADC, the Hong Kong Fringe Club launches an Exhibition Internship Programme for the 54th Venice Biennale. Five young arts practitioners and administrators are selected to take part in the exhibition and enroll in a six-week internship programme to assist in monitoring the operation of the exhibition in Venice. It is hoped that the programme can help broaden the artistic vision of the interns.
The HKADC has taken part in the Biennale in the name of Hong Kong, China since 2001. The total number of visitors of the past five exhibitions has been on the rise and exceeded 330,000.
This year, the exhibition is situated at a prime location adjacent to the main exhibition area – Arsenale, Campo della Tana, Castello 2126 – 30122 Venezia. It opens from 10am to 6pm, 4 June to 27 November 2011 (close on Mondays except 6 June, 15 August and 21 November).
The Venice Biennale, a world-renowned visual arts exhibition, was first held in 1895. This year, a new record of 87 national pavilions and more than 40 collateral events will be set up in the Arsenale, Giardini and across the city of Venice.
Photo album of the opening ceremony: http://www.hkadc.org.hk/en/content/web.do?page=photogallery
Hong Kong Pavilion – “Frogtopia．Hongkornucopia” Official website: