Two people wrapped in blankets lie next to each other on their stomachs on a rock, both facing a body of water. One of them has their arm around the other.

Ten Hong Kong Films You Might Have Missed

Since January, we have experienced various forms of social distancing to counter the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These days, many of us are looking for things to watch, either revisiting the classics or making new discoveries.

Li Cheuk-to, Curator, Hong Kong Film and Media at M+, is here with some ideas on lesser-known and often-overlooked Hong Kong films. Watch them at home, or at a screening in the future. And look for more Hong Kong films at the M+ cinemas in the museum building when it opens next year.

1. Cold Nights (1955)

Video still in which workers wearing blue shirts and sitting on either side of a production line in a factory hold different vaguely dance-like poses. One woman in the foreground reaches for a cardboard box in the production line while the man next to her stretches his arm in an exaggerated motion to affix something to a white object.

What Is the ‘Expanded Field’ of Contemporary Design?

What is design ‘in the expanded field’? Below, Noel Cheung, M+ Curatorial Assistant, Design and Architecture, explains this concept through two works by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen.

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London-based artists Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen’s practice explores a contemporary culture of design, technology, and biology through experimental ‘fictional’ projects. Their work investigates the roles of art and design today and directly addresses relevant social and cultural issues, from fragmented labour and modes of manufacturing in Asia, to resource extraction and ecological conservation.

Close-up on a golden, wrinkly, sphere-shaped object encased in yellowish raw silk. The silk is covered in miniscule black dots.

A Focus on Materiality in Contemporary Chinese Art

What is materiality, and why is it important? How has the materiality of art shifted across time and culture?

All art is made up of materials. To focus on the materiality of an artwork, however, is to emphasise the material qualities that it consists of. In contemporary art, materials are often the foundation of the work; not just used as a tool to convey an idea or emotion but embodying the subject matter of the work itself. Materials can evoke social class and cultural traditions, and can even be intangible and abstract, as is the case with sound—and the removal of it.

Below, Pi Li, Sigg Senior Curator, Visual Art, analyses the materiality of three works in the Sigg Prize 2019 Exhibition: from bamboo scaffolding, to sound, to raw silk.

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Video still showing a hollow in the ground shaped like a human silhouette with outstretched arms. It is filled with red liquid.

From Earth to Ink: How Performance Artists Use Their Bodies in Their Work

Performance art is an art form that makes use of time and the human body (or bodies) to express a feeling or idea. Works of performance art can be carried out almost anywhere by anyone, can be public or private, and can rely on scripted or unscripted actions.

While all forms of performance art involve bodies in one way or another, some performance artists draw particular attention to their own bodies. A loose movement of body-related performance art emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, pioneered by artists who placed their own bodies at the forefront of their art.

One of the artists who experimented with this type of art during this period was Ana Mendieta. She is best known for her ‘earth-body’ works, in which she focuses on a connection between her body and the earth. Right now, you can see a selection of Mendieta’s body performance pieces at Five Artists: Sites Encountered in the M+ Pavilion.