[Text materials / Second version]


Art fairs and auctions have recently raised much Hongkongers’ eyebrows. Art sale is seemingly blooming and art investment is definitely a hot topic in town. Blue Lotus Gallery is boldly taking its lead in the local art scene, as it prepares to produce an exhibition of “Fair Enough” in the coming January Fotanian function, bringing to the forefront the sensitive issue of value in art making and art consumption. Redressing the gallery space as a marketplace for art exchange, the artists involved will play with the presentation and expectation of the audiences, as the figure and ground status of the artworks and its surrounding promotional stuffs become problematic. This synergy of humour and criticality too, is paradoxically almost a kind of token (currency) for the present generation of contemporary art.

FAIR ENOUGH tries to be a coin with its both sides (and hopefully also a razor-sharp edge). One the one side, it is presented by a newly founded gallery within Fotan, as part of the high-profile “Fotanian” programme, which is by itself a phenomenon. On the other side, the exhibition tries to address critically to the question of value in art from within the specific local exhibition context and the larger new (art)world order. With a split structure (personality), the show intends to reawake the deaden dialectics, revealing the contradictions of the “synergy” at work. This strategy is somewhat a deliberate response to the mediocre compromises of the many recent mall art shows, art spaces abandoning public affordable “artsupermarket” as part of their program for real auctions, while the Heritage Museum dressing down itself as the MEGAartSTORE.

FAIR ENOUGH is however not a show wholly skeptical about the relationship between art and money (artistic value and monetary value / commercial pricing). Neither is it just criticizing on the status of an artwork as commodity. It is more a play with high-end art, an advanced look at the logic of art making, the “inversed logic” of cultural production (Pierre Bourdieu), with art and creativity become the ultimate value enhancer (T. de Duve). It is the appropriation of one language for the other, a commodification of an anti-commercialization act, alongside a kind of commercial aestheticization.

Take the video work When June 4th is an art fair produced by Law Man Lok as example. In the video, the “Chinese Artist” marketing strategy of Law Man Lok were being discussed by two onlookers, not without reservation. But of course, the meta-commentary is the ultimate artist’s strategy, and the video the true artwork. The piece exemplifies well the intent of this exhibition, a playful addressal to complex issue of value in the art field today.

The market is never fair in the world, and we are having enough of it. Able to play with this statement in a gallery, I guess, is itself a fair enough act.

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