Oscar Yi Hou
Meeson Jessica Pae
and Livien Yin
The exhibition is organized by Melanie Lum, Micki Meng, and Kevin Poon, presented by WOAW Gallery in venue partnership with K11 MUSEA. Taking up the entire Kunsthalle of K11 Art & Cultural Centre, K11 MUSEA, The Descendants showcases a generation of pivotal artists who are at the forefront of guiding contemporary art from across the globe.
In the pursuit of reinvigorating once-classic forms of abstraction as well as experimenting with portraiture and landscape, each participating artist foregrounds artistic exploration in the particular histories and legacies of the art cosmopolitans they hail from and identities they inhabit. The new vanguard of contemporary art binds itself to visions of diaspora, racial and gender dynamics, sexuality, and the untrammelled participation of art that moves these narratives forward.
As anchor artists of the next generation, a key thread of the show is perpetuating the seed of longevity; learning from the philosophy of ancestors in order to build a better world for those who come after us. Often these reflections consider the nature of modern identity, touching upon diaspora, place, and spirituality. Collectively, the assembled cohort plumbs what it means to belong to a lineage, and how one might construct new, hybrid futures in dialogue with the spirits of our forebears. The group exhibition at K11 MUSEA, with support from Perrier-Jouët, is hosted in Hong Kong, a global center known for its invention, ingenuity, and forward-thinking insight. With these characteristics as its homebase, the exhibition extends the invitation to the global art meccas the participating artists hail from spanning London, San Francisco, Tokyo, Manchester, New York, Brussels, and Los Angeles.
Brimming with fantastical shapes, colours and an assortment of objects that explore the complex intersections of lineage, place, and spirituality, the exhibition reveals a reorientation in how these concepts shape varying senses of identity and belonging. Through painting, sculpture, and mixed media installations, the artists in this exhibition conjure powerful meditations on the human experience of displacement, mobility, and cultural hybridity. Cumulatively, they serve as a kind of alternative healing, turning away from the traditional objectives of observing, documenting, and commenting on the world we live in, and instead moving us toward a more caring way of coexisting. At the heart of these works is a deep sense of spiritual influences that transcend geographic and cultural boundaries, connecting us to a universal sense of humanity.
As a city that has long been shaped by mobility, cultural exchange, and transformation, Hong Kong provides a riveting backdrop for this ensemble of artistic endeavours. With its diversity of cultures and complex history, Hong Kong offers a unique lens through which to explore the themes of diaspora, place, and spirituality. The Descendants accentuates the creative legacy of generations of artists using the sprawling city’s vibrant characteristics, both chaotic and harmonious, as a reference. While often personal and emblematic of the locale from where they hail, The Descendants is bound by a universal theme expressed through individual identities.