HONG KONG - With two large-scale retrospectives held in 2012 at Tate Modern in London and the Whitney Museum of American Art, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has been the hit of the art scene in the past year and her work has been selling at auction for record highs. Sotheby’s selling exhibition of her work at our newly opened gallery in Hong Kong last year was also a resounding success.
In December last year, we had the chance to see an installation by Kusama in Hong Kong once again, Ladder to Heaven.

Yayoi Kusama’s Ladder to Heaven, on exhibition in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has been actively integrating international art into the city with the construction of the West Kowloon Cultural District. Whilst the majority of Hong Kong’s exhibition venues and programs are currently planned by the Hong Kong Government, the Hong Kong Arts Centre’s model of financial autonomy has provided a future operational reference for the West Kowloon Cultural District. In the past few years, the HKAC has been ambitious in the visual arts, holding an annual flagship exhibition in December each year, and inviting renowned curators to co-curate influential exhibitions.

Roy Ng’s Black Cloud 2.

This year, the HKAC invited acclaimed Singaporean curator, Mr. Eugene Tan, to co-curate Of Human Scale and Beyond: Experience and Transcendence with Ms. Connie Lam, Executive Director of the HKAC. Kusama’s Ladder to Heaven was one of the pieces included in the exhibition. Wrapped by meshed LED lights, the ladder is held between two mirrors creating an unlimited reflection.

Takahiro Iwasaki’s Out of Disorder (White Mountains).

Hong Kong and Singapore can be seen as “twin” cities, and with the choice of curators from both of these places it is not surprising that the exhibition takes the theme of “the city” as its central focus. “The contrast and resonance projected by these works will help [the] audience reflect on our daily lives through examining the relationship of scale in our surroundings, which in turn allows us to better comprehend our place in the world.” Many pieces in the exhibition are inspired by urbanization and nearly all the works are large-scale installations, highlighted by Vertical Submarine’s Antichamber: The Fake Palindrome, Liu Jianhua ‘s Discard, Aditya Novali’s The Wall - Asian (Un)real Estate Project,  Takahiro Iwasaki’s Out of Disorder (White Mountains) and Roy Ng’s Black Cloud 2.