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RPW critiqued on Circle of Life 【一人一點藝評社 One Point Critique Society】



Curating in Commercial Galleries: Essential or Unnecessary?


Hong Kong, renowned as a global art hub, has long been home to many well-established galleries. As someone who enjoys gallery-hopping, I've noticed a common trend in many commercial galleries here— they often place less emphasis on curatorial depth and thematic expression. While this approach is understandable, as audiences generally anticipate a focus on the artists' skills and their artworks, I recently had an intriguing experience at an exhibition titled "Circle of Life," featuring artist Joakim Ojanen's works. This unique curation made me question the importance of curation in commercial exhibitions and what effective curation can achieve.


In the "Circle of Life" exhibition, which showcased both ceramic works and paintings by Joakim Ojanen, a distinctive curatorial approach stood out. Unlike most galleries, where artworks are typically categorized by genre and displayed with appropriate spacing, this exhibition took a different path. The installation piece, richly adorned with numerous small characters representing various facets of its theme, was self-explanatory and expressive in its own right. Although it was placed on the floor and the walls were still available, they were intentionally left empty. This ensured that visitors were immediately captivated by the installation, allowing it to singularly embody the essence of the "Circle of Life."


On the opposite side of the exhibition, a completely different scene unfolded. Instead of bare walls, the space was adorned with both paintings and ceramic pieces, creating a dynamic balance alongside the installation. The arrangement of these individual pieces as a collective whole revealed a richness on par with the installation. While each piece could stand independently due to its unique theme and inherent intrigue, the curation effectively conveyed the collection's vision—the interconnectedness and relationships between different living beings, as interpreted by the artist. This masterful curation showcased the artist's creative prowess and his unique perspective on the "Circle of Life." Notably, in this case, the wall of artworks presented an exceptionally appealing ensemble, providing a visual representation of how they might appear while grouped together, prompting potential buyers to consider purchasing as a set. This, to some extent, adds a commercial advantage stemming from thoughtful curation.


In conclusion, this exhibition highlighted how profound curation can be both incredibly impactful and appealing in commercial galleries! It undoubtedly challenged the notion that curatorial depth is secondary and underscored the potential benefits of effective curation in enhancing the overall gallery experience. Images were taken by the writer. @ 206.4 - AISHONANZUKA Gallery- Circlle of Life 展覽日期:16/9-14/10/2023 展覽地點:1/F, Shop 116, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central Facebook專頁:aishonanzuka Instagram專頁:AISHONANZUKA





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