Hong Kong Roundup
              Marcus Yee
              Hong Kong floats, at least according to Xi Xi’s short story, “The Floating City.” In this sensitive portrait of Hong Kong, the city has stabilized into myth, while its inhabitants have turned into a group of happily amnesiac petits bourgeois, desiring only for peaceful homes. After a few years of toil, the city became prosperous and cosmopolitan, boasting art festivals and books from all over the world. The floating city was a miracle. This sensation of floating is best captured by Art Basel Hong Kong’s public art section, “Encounters.” In Elmgreen & Dragset’s City in the Sky (2019), the global financial metropolis is literally turned upside-down; whereas Lee Bul’s Willing To Be Vulnerable – Metalized Balloon (2019), a shiny emblem of high modernity’s aspirations and failures, hangs languorously from the convention center’s ceiling. By virtue of their scale, these spectacles were well received by a public hungry to update their WeChat or Instagram feeds. At same time, looking at these monuments aloft in the air, the question remains: What keeps everything afloat? This was also the source of trepidation by inhabitants of Xi’s floating city. Unnerved by the possibility of an Icarian fall, they wished to pack up and leave the city …
              "Clamour Can Melt Gold"
              Ming Lin
              In an age of financialization, notions of value are increasingly abstracted, constructed from algorithmic equations as opposed to distinct processes or materials. As Franco “Bifo” Berardi writes succinctly of our era: “monetary value produces more monetary value without being realized through the production of goods.” This observation indicates a departure from the objects through which capital has traditionally been conducted. In the heart of Hong Kong’s business sector, where the wheels of multinational corporations churn alongside luxury boutiques, Edouard Malingue Gallery’s exhibition “Clamour Can Melt Gold” looks to gold, a medium that is at once anachronistic and foundational to current conceptions of value. Taking its title from a Chinese proverb popularized by the country’s forefather Sun Yat-sen, “Clamour Can Melt Gold” suggests an aspirational fervor that speaks to the power of the masses against great obstacles and also, perhaps inadvertently, to the mutability and porousness of that which has an established value. Following this sentiment, in the exhibition, gold is attended to as both a highly coveted, symbolic, and fetishized object as well as a tool of exploitation and power. Easing the viewer into the subject, Hong Kong artist Sarah Lai’s Styling Index (2015) examines the visual rhetoric of ubiquitous high-end jewelry …

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