The August schedule is a month packed with exhilarating new art. Exhibiting his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, Chinese artist Yuan Gong presented The Shape of Scent, at Tang Contemporary Art. The Hausmag team admired Gong’s work closely – noting the complexity and accuracy of brush stroke in his oil pieces. However, the artistic approach of Yuan Gong spans far and wide, and perhaps the most impressive of this artist’s work is his philosophies.

The Shape of Scent | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The Shape of Scent | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The Shape of Scent 8 | Photography by Hausmag

Involved in a wide range of media, from performance, installation, and painting. “Intervention’ is the common thread in his works, [and] ‘scent’ is how he intervenes to engage with communities, issues, and sites” (Tang, 2016). In 2011,  Yuan Gong’s The Scent of Air at the Venice Biennale, used installations of fog to ‘invade’ landmarks around the world. This work was a pivoting point for the artist, as it lead him to explore other themes surrounding ‘space’, and how he as an artist interacts, or ‘invades’ them. Close to Heaven, a continuation piece of The Scent of Air, expands on this concept – capturing the interaction between audience and fog, “demonstrating [the] spatial relationships involved in performance art”. Close to Heaven is a fog installation that ‘occupies’ the Copenhagen Art Festival.

Close to Heaven | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

Close to Heaven | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

Close to Heaven | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The Shape of Scent series evolved from Gong’s performance work in Copenhagen and Venice. Using images taken from the video installation, they are enlarged to it’s minute pixels as reference for Gong’s paintings. This process deconstructs and reconstructs the shape of fog, changing its meaning from something intangible to something orderly.

The Shape of Scent 5 | Oil on canvas | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The Shape of Scent 5 | Photography by Hausmag

The Shape of Scent 1 | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The Shape of Scent 1 | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The Shape of Scent 1 | Photography by Hausmag

The Shape of Scent 1 | Photography by Hausmag

The Shape of Scent 8 | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The Shape of Scent 8 | Photography courtesy of Tang Contemporary Art

The transformation and somewhat recycling of his own work expands the notions of of ‘event and performance’ to ‘consumption and production’. Gong links incidence, (the fog performances) to consumption and capitalism (video) together to transform his artwork into a commodity (the paintings). The fluidity of this artist’s practice is example to his adaptability, and perhaps a comment on the influence of capitalism within art.

With special thanks to Tang Contemporary Art for their hospitality and press materials.

Visit Tang Contemporary Art, at 18 On Lan St, Central, Hong Kong.