Contemporary Asian society is constantly buffeted by change, often sudden, unexpected, affecting an individual or entire culture, and with lasting influence. Come face to face with change, evolution and inevitability in this dramatic and immersive installation artwork that fills an entire gallery space. With seven distinct parts and film-set type construction, the installation takes the viewer on a remarkable journey of sights and sounds, beginning with a large sculpture. Describing the spaces will be a series of room experiences that feature among others, a sword-wielding samurai and a 360-degree movie theatre.
Azhanti High Lightning is one of the most ambitious multiple media projects ever undertaken at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Gallery.
Conceived by Hong Kong/British artist Simon Birch, with additional work contributed by leading Hong Kong photographer Wing Shya.
Exhibition curated by Bridget Tracy Tan.
Born in Brighton in 1969, Birch began painting at a very early age under the guidance of his parents. His mother is an accomplished painter and art teacher and his father is a graphic and interior designer. Birch moved to Hong Kong in 1996 where he eventually took up a professional career as an artist. He is now well established as a leading Hong Kong contemporary artist who is fast building a reputation internationally as both a painter and a multi-media artist with his finger on the pulse of street culture.
Chosen as winner of 2004’s Schoeni Asian Art Award by the Sovereign Group, Simon is known for his painting, in particular his portraits, which have drawn much attention due to a number of high-profile commissions. He has also held a series of extremely successful solo exhibitions in the past few years as well as finding time to curate one of Hong Kong’s largest group shows with over 30 artists involved. He has equally become a target of speculation with his graffiti projects around the city of Hong Kong, and his exciting collaborative works with designers and photographers.
His current projects include not only curating the inaugural exhibition at the new 10 Chancery Lane Warehouse space in Hong Kong, but also a large-scale collaborative project with photographer Wing Shya and Japanese fashion brand Evisu – a solo exhibition with a substantial number of commissioned works.
Wing Shya is a Hong Kong-based photographer who works in the field of fashion, film and art. He started his career as a graphic designer after having studied at the Emily Carr Institute in Canada. He also worked with Pentagram in The United States. Upon his return to Hong Kong, Wing set up Shya-la-la Workshop, an award-winning design studio.
Wing’s works have been exhibited in the Mori Museum in Japan. He is also the exclusive photographer and graphic designer for Wong Kar Wai’s films that included ‘Happy Together’, ‘In the Mood for Love’ and ‘2046’. Wing also contributes to numerous international fashion and art magazines such as iD(UK), French Vogue, 32c (Berlin), Big Magazine (US), More or Less (Japan), Men’s Non-No (Japan) and recently in TIME Style and Design (Spring 2005). He has also worked with clients including Louis Vuitton (Fall 2003+Spring 2005 Editorial), Lacoste (Fall 2002+Spring 2003), Christophe Lemaire (Fall 2003), A Bathing Ape (Japan), Tiger Beer (International Campaign), Hennessy V.S.O.P. 2005, Nike (Asia Women’s Wear 2005) and Dior Skin Care (Asia 2005).
Aside from photography, Wing is also a recognized director. He has directed several music videos for artists such as Karen Mok, Eason Chan, Jacky Cheung and Vanessa Mae. He has also worked on TV commercials with brands including Tiger Beer, Sony and Olympus. He has just held his own exhibition in March 2006 in Roppongi Hills in Japan and is in the process of further collaboration with other organizations.