The HKU Museum Society is pleased to invite Dr. Yeewan Koon, author of the newly published monograph Nara Yoshitomo (Phaidon, 2020) to share her research on Nara and her experience of working with the artist. In conversation with Catherine Kwai, the lecture will be followed with a guided tour of the current exhibition at the new Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery in Chai Wan.
Renowned for the big-headed girls, Yoshitomo Nara is one of Japan’s most iconic artists of our time. Inspired by music, literature, childhood memories, Nara explores the themes of isolation, rebellion, and spirituality through painting, sculpture, ceramic and installation.
Yoshitomo Nara is an international artist but whose fame sometimes eclipse our understanding of his art. This talk provides an introduction to his practice, the events that have shaped them, and the new directions being taken in his artworks. This lecture is also a lesson in looking. We will spend time examining and discussing his works by looking closely at how he paints and to use our discoveries to enrich our understanding of who is Yoshitomo Nara.
Dr. Yeewan Koon is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History at The University of Hong Kong. She has published numerous works including Nara Yoshitomo (2020), “A Chinese Canton? Painting the Local in Export Art” (2018) and A Defiant Brush: Su Renshan and the Politics of Painting in 19th Century Guangdong (2014). She is the recipient of several research awards including a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, American Council of Learned Scholars, and visiting scholarships at Cambridge University and Columbia University. Dr. Koon also works in the contemporary art field as a critic and curator. In 2014, she was guest curator of It Begins with Metamorphosis: Xu Bing at the Asia Society, Hong Kong Center, and was one of the selected curators for the 12th Gwangju Biennale, 2018. She is currently working on an international exhibition of Hong Kong art for 2021.
Ms Catherine Kwai is the Founder and Managing Director of Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery. She established Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery in 1991, motivated by a passion for art and her wish to bridge the cultural exchange between China and the West. Kwai Fung Hin reflects the strength and knowledge for the 20th century art in China and Europe. In the past 30 years, Kwai Fung Hin has organized over 100 exhibitions at the gallery and has collaborated and curated exhibitions with renowned museums and institutes. Kwai Fung Hin has collaborated with international publishing house Rizzoli to publish artists’ monograph. In 2011, Ms Catherine Kwai was made “Knight of the National Order of the Merit” for her contribution to the arts.