Courtesy of Angela Su and Blindspot Gallery
Photo: Yu Cheng-ta
Courtesy of Freya Chou
Photo: Cheung Chi Wai
Courtesy of Ying Kwok
(16 June 2021, Hong Kong) M+, Hong Kong’s global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) are pleased to announce the selection of Angela Su as the featured artist for Hong Kong’s participation in the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
The widely recognised Hong Kong–born artist’s solo exhibition will be curated by Freya Chou, an independent curator based in Hong Kong. Both the artist and the guest curator have been jointly selected by M+ and HKADC. The exhibition will be a collateral event to the 2022 edition of La Biennale di Venezia, one of the most important forums for contemporary art in the world, and will be held between 23 April and 27 November 2022.
This marks the fifth collaboration between M+ and HKADC for Hong Kong’s participation in La Biennale di Venezia, following the solo presentations of Lee Kit in 2013, Tsang Kin-Wah in 2015, Samson Young in 2017, and Shirley Tse in 2019—all critically acclaimed and enthusiastically received by international and local audiences as well as press. Angela Su’s exhibition, curated by Freya Chou, will respond to the unique conditions of the Hong Kong exhibition venue, situated in an ideal location near the entrance to the Arsenale, one of the two main sites of the international section of La Biennale di Venezia. This will be the third time that M+ has appointed and engaged a guest curator for the event, following Ying Kwok in 2017 and Christina Li in 2019. For this edition, Ying Kwok will take on the role of Consulting Curator supporting the artist and the guest curator for this project.
As was the case with the four previous collaborations between M+ and HKADC for La Biennale di Venezia, Hong Kong audiences will have the opportunity to see Angela Su’s work following the close of the Venice presentation. An adapted exhibition will be on view in 2023 at the soon-to-open M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director of M+, underscores the importance of the ongoing collaboration between M+ and HKADC for fostering the international recognition of Hong Kong artists and curators: ‘M+ and HKADC are committed to carrying on their joint mission to amplify the international resonance of Hong Kong artists, curators, and artworks. In advance of the public opening of M+ at the end of 2021, the museum has established a successful track record of working closely with HKADC over the past four editions of La Biennale di Venezia, and I am delighted to see our collaboration develop further in this presentation of work by Angela Su. I am also pleased to see another female artist selected to represent Hong Kong in Venice in 2022.’
Winsome Chow, Chief Executive of HKADC, highlights the collaboration between M+ and HKADC in the coming edition of La Biennale di Venezia: ‘Over the previous four editions, HKADC and M+ have established a strong working relationship based on mutual understanding and trust. The two institutions are committed to promoting the excellence of Hong Kong arts internationally, and we are pleased to collaborate with M+ again to participate in La Biennale di Venezia in 2022. With the expertise of Freya Chou, who has rich curatorial experience and a strong academic background, we are confident that the presentation of work by Hong Kong artist Angela Su will once again intrigue and inspire international audiences.’
The selected artist Angela Su expresses her delight with the opportunity to represent Hong Kong in Venice: ‘It is a deep honour to represent Hong Kong, my hometown, and a place that shaped my practice as an artist over the years. It is particularly meaningful to me to show in Venice having lived through these turbulent years in Hong Kong, and to connect with a global audience through my participation in the international Biennale.’
Freya Chou, Guest Curator for this edition, discusses the relevance of this collaboration: ‘It is a great honour to be invited to curate Hong Kong’s presentation at La Biennale di Venezia. I am excited to be able to curate the first international solo exhibition of work by Angela Su, whose research-based projects include drawing, video, performative, and installation works with focus on the interrelations between our state of being and scientific technology. This will undoubtedly be a wonderful opportunity to present her work to an international audience.’
Doryun Chong, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of M+, who served as Co-Curator of the 2015 edition and as Consulting Curator for the 2017 and 2019 editions, introduces the new Consulting Curator, Guest Curator and selected artist of the exhibition: ‘We are eager to present yet another much-anticipated solo exhibition by a Hong Kong artist in the upcoming Venice Biennale. Ying Kwok, who was previously engaged as the Guest Curator for the celebrated solo exhibition by Samson Young in 2017, will return to take on the role of Consulting Curator for the project, bringing her curatorial expertise and invaluable experience from curating the 2017 exhibition to the table. Freya Chou has distinguished herself with a series of critically acclaimed curatorial projects in recent years in Hong Kong and beyond and has become a clear choice for us to engage in 2022. The choice of Angela Su, who is widely known for her intricate biomorphic drawings and performative works, signifies a maturing art scene in Hong Kong gaining increasing international recognition.’
M+ and HKADC are planning a series of pre-opening and post-opening public programmes in Hong Kong to connect the selected artist’s and curators’ international experience and perspectives with the rapidly evolving Hong Kong contemporary art scene.
M+ will form a curatorial team consisting of an assistant manager and a curatorial assistant financially supported by HKADC, along with a group of twelve exhibition and technical interns to help stage and facilitate the seven-month-long exhibition on-site in Venice, offering unique professional opportunities to young talents in Hong Kong and continuing M+ and HKADC’s commitment to the growth of future leaders of Hong Kong’s art scene.
About Angela Su
Angela Su’s works investigate the perception and imagery of the body, through metamorphosis, hybridity and transformation. Her research-based projects materialise in drawing, video, hair embroidery, performative and installation works, which explore the interrelations between our state of being and the advancement of technology. Central to these projects are video essays and texts that weave together fiction and facts, reality and fantasy. With focus on the history of medical science, her works question the dominant biomedical discourse, and contemplate the impact of technology on the past, present and future.
In 2019, Su was commissioned by Wellcome Trust to present a new project in Contagious Cities: Far Away, Too Close curated by Ying Kwok at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong. She has also participated in exhibitions in museums and institutions internationally, including So long, thanks again for the fish (Levyhalli, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, 2021); Sala10 (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico, 2020); 100 Drawings from Now (The Drawing Center, New York, 2020); Meditations in an Emergency (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2020); Woven (Focus at Frieze London, 2019); Artists' Film International (Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2019); Pro(s)thesis (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, 2017); The 2nd CAFAM Biennale: The Invisible Hand (CAFA Art Museum, China, 2014); and the 17th Biennale of Sydney (Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 2010). In 2013, she published an artist novel Berty, and, in 2017, a science fiction anthology Dark Fluid, where she uses science fiction as a tool for social justice.
About Freya Chou
Freya Chou is a curator and writer based in Hong Kong. She was on the curatorial team for the sixth and seventh Taipei Biennial (2008, 2010) and was Co-Curator of the 10th Shanghai Biennial (2014). From 2015 to 2019, she worked at Para Site in Hong Kong as the institution’s first Education and Public Programs Curator. During those four years she also curated exhibitions: Ellen Pau: What About Home Affairs? - A Retrospective (2018); Chris Evans, Pak Sheung Chuen: Two Exhibitions (2017); and Afterwork (co-curator, 2016). Chou has recently worked independently on research projects with several organisations, including Taipei Fine Arts Museum and Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong. She has edited and contributed writing to many artists’ books, magazines, and exhibition catalogues. Chou is a member of the 58th Carnegie International’s Curatorial Council.
About Ying Kwok
Before joining Tai Kwun as Senior Curator, Ying Kwok has been working as an independent curator between 2013 to 2021. Kwok is the guest curator for the 5th Audemars Piguet Art Commission: The Moon is Leaving Us by Phoebe Hui; festival director of Peer to Peer: UK/HK 2020; curator for Contagious Cities: Far Away, Too Close for Tai Kwun and Wellcome Trust; the lead curator of LOOK International Photography Festival 2017; and Guest Curator at M+ for Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief as Hong Kong presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. Kwok was the curator at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, United Kingdom, between 2006 and 2012. In 2014, Kwok was awarded the Asia Cultural Council Fellowship. She is an international fellow in the Clore Leadership Programme 2018/19.