From Barbie to bombs, the Affordable Art Fair had something for everyone

From Barbie to bombs, the Affordable Art Fair had something for everyone

The Affordable Art Fair took place earlier this month, and YP junior reporters found their favourite artist


The Affordable Art Fair, for when Art Basel and Art Central are too rich.
Photo: K. Y. Cheng/SCMP

Art is notoriously expensive, and Hong Kong isn’t the cheapest city in the world. So when a fair claims to support young, aspiring artists, and give them a platform to showcase their work to the public, at prices that everyone can afford, Young Post had to check it out.

What’s it all about?

The Affordable Art Fair is unique in that it includes all forms of artworks, from paintings to sculptures. The event was launched by William Ramsay, who wanted to provide unknown artists with a platform to attract new audiences and allow buyers to embrace art at an affordable cost.

Hiding our true selves

A representative for Nguyen Dinh Vu, a Vietnamese artist, explains the meaning behind Vu’s artwork.

A piece from Nguyen Dinh Vu’s series - “Modern and the Past”.
Photo: Junior reporter Robyn Ma

His work Modern and the Past is a painting of a man in a suit, with a gold box covering his face.

The box masks the individual’s face to indicate that no one ever shows their true self as everyone is busy constructing social identities for themselves.

The suit and tie represent a fusion of modern and traditional characteristics with the old meeting new and East meeting West.

The various elements in the background illustrate today’s generational gap and the differences of many cultures.

I wanna be Barbie

In addition to paintings, the Affordable Art Fair incorporates other forms of art such as holograms and photography. Cecile Plaisance uses Barbie dolls in her holograms to portray feminism.

Looking at the holograms face-on, Barbie appears to be her regular, glamorous self. Look at her from a different angle though, and she is holding a gun, pointed at the viewer.

One of the holograms created by Cecile Plaisance.
Photo: Junior reporter Robyn Ma

The work suggests that maybe Barbie wants more than society is forcing upon her, which is a theme that Plaisance feels resonates with women around the world.

Art from all over the world

Marcel Heijnen is an artist from the Netherlands who uses photography to express his creativity. In his Residue series, he takes a glass panel to different locations and then photographs the reflections of buildings through the glass to show the
fast-changing pace of cities in Asia and highlight nature’s role in transforming these cities.

Robyn Ma

Art that saves lives

In Glen Clarke’s large origami installation, One Less, 12,000 yuan and Hong Kong dollar notes were used to create a piece that looked like a bomb.

Part of Glen Clarke’s large installation piece titled “One Less”.
Photo: Junior reporter Bakhita Fung

The Australian-born artist and professor wanted to promote organisations that educate children on the dangers of landmines, and demolish unexploded bombs in war-torn areas. So, 12,000 shirts were sold for HK$250 each to raise awareness of the issue.

With each shirt sold, viewers could see the dismantling of a very large bomb. As Clarke explains: “It takes one dollar to manufacture a cluster bomb, but takes one thousand dollars to take the damage away.”

Canto-pop singer Eason Chan informs Young Post that art should not be a privilege for rich people

Shadows of the limits and unlimited

Living in Hong Kong, Vaan Ip was influenced by the affluent cityscape of Hong Kong.

Using steel, bright lights and his knowledge of electronic circulations, Ip created a contemporary cluster of buildings piled on top of each other to explore the relationship between people, himself, and Hong Kong. The light casts shadows through the windows of each individual building, leaving an array of patterns on the surrounding walls.

Ip was one of 10 young artists to present their installations as part of the Young Talent Hong Kong programme, which invites artists to explore the unlimited and limited boundaries of senses, bringing a sensory art experience to audiences.

The Choir

Part of “The Choir” series by Marie Långhans, which puts a humorous twist on reality.
Photo: Junior reporter Bakhita Fung

Swedish artist Marie Langhans, who explores both seriousness and humour, displayed her expressive sculptures at the art fair. Her collection, The Choir, is a series of nine singing faces made of high- fired stoneware.

Langhans’ unique art is rarely planned. Her interest in people’s personalities is what drives her to create funny and positive art, expressing vigour and depth. Langhans’ other collections symbolise greed and abuse of power, but her sense of humour leaves room for observers to create relationships in their own mind.

Bakhita Fung

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Art everyone can relate to


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