Market Forces is an annual event that is part of Osage’s non-profit initiative. The basis of the event is to question ‘value’: the 2012 ‘Market Forces, Whither Contemporary Art?’ asked whether we could find new paradigms for intellectual and artistic inquiry and debate, and for 2013, ‘Market Forces: The Friction of Opposites’ emphasized value in terms of moral or societal notions. For 2014, we have invited veteran curator Charles Merewether to curate the third ‘Market Forces; Erasure: From Conceptualism to Abstraction’ will be spread over two locations including Osage Hong Kong and City University. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a symposium moderated by David Elliot, entitled ‘Art and Values’ where invited speakers Jens Hoffmann, Biljana Ciric, Charles Merewether, Kurt Chan and Enin Supriyanto will examine the increasingly over-determined economic interpretation of the value of art. Both events are co-presented by City University of Hong Kong as part of the university’s 30th anniversary celebratory events.

The basis of the exhibition is to question ‘value’ as assigned or measured by the global art markets; more specifically, it aims to critically engage with the increasingly pervasive conflation of aesthetic value with market price – a phenomena which has been exacerbated by the booming contemporary market’s general tendency to favour particular media, styles and ‘brands’. Art in this case is reduced to a vehicle for representation rather than a basis for exploring ideas and issues or a way of engaging with the world through the senses; in other words, subject matter takes precedence over the concept and materiality of works. The exhibition will feature artists from Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand. The creation of object based and conceptual work rooted in this region has a history that is often overlooked, and such work remains, to a certain extent, unexplored. The exhibitions will thus tease out the intrinsic aesthetic value and connections between works and practices in the region.

Charles Merewether was born in Scotland and earned his Ph.D in Art History from the University of Sydney. He is an art historian and writer on modernism and contemporary art who has taught at universities in the United States, Mexico and South America, Australia and Singapore. He was Collections Curator at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles from 1994 to 2004, Artistic Director and Curator for the 2006 Sydney Biennale, Deputy Director for the Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi from 2007 to 2008, and Director at Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICAS), LASALLE College of the Arts from 2010 to 2013. Since 1991 and at the ICAS, he has curated a number of major exhibitions of major artists from across South America and Asia, including Central Asia. He has published extensively articles and books including Ai Weiwei: Under Construction (2008) and Ai Weiwei: Beijing, Venice, London, Herzog & de Meuron (2008) and After Memory: The Art of Milenko Prvački – 40 Years (2013). He has also coedited After the Event: New Perspectives on Art History (2010), Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the public sphere in postwar Japan 1950-1970, (2007). He is currently Visiting Professor of the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University.

David Elliott is a curator and writer who has directed contemporary art museums and institutions in Oxford, Stockholm, Tokyo, Istanbul, Sydney and Kiev. A specialist in Soviet and Russian avant-garde, as well as in modern and contemporary Asian art, he has published widely in these fields as well as on many other aspects of contemporary art. He is currently Artistic Director of A Time for Dreams, the IV International Biennale of Young Art, to open in Moscow in June 2014, co-curator of PANDAMONIUM: New Media Art from Shanghai (on show in Berlin at present), and associate curator of the Hors Piste Film Festival in Tokyo. He was President of CIMAM (the International Committee of ICOM for museums of modern and contemporary art) from 1998 to 2004, and is currently President of the Board of Triangle Art Network/Gasworks in London, Chairman of MOMENTUM in Berlin, a member of the Asia Advisory Board of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Guest Lecturer in Curatorship at the Chinese University in Hong Kong. In 2008-10 he was Artistic Director of the 17th Biennale of Sydney and in 2011-12 directed the inaugural International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Kiev, Ukraine. He has also advised the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charitable Trust on the development of the Central Police Station heritage site into a centre for contemporary art.

Osage Hong Kong
4/F, Union Hing Yip Factory Building
20 Hing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Central Hong Kong
Ph. +852 2793 4817

Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 6.30pm
Sunday 2.30pm – 6.30pm
Open to special appointments outside of these times

City University of Hong Kong
18/F, Academic Three (AC3) Building
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Ph. +852 3442 7654

Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 7.00pm
Sunday 2.30pm – 7.00pm
Open to special appointments outside of these times

Related images

  1. Young Rim Lee, Four Gray Boxes, Image courtesy of the artist and Space Cottonseed, Singapore
  2. Masanori Handa, nakakiyo no entakukei, Image courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, photographed by Wong Jing Wei
  3. AU Hoi Lam, Untitled (19.11.2003), 2003, Courtesy of the artist, Photographed by Eddie Lam Chi Ying
  4. Ian Woo, While They Slept, Image courtesy of the artist
  5. Nipan Oranniwesna, Untitled(Flood), Image courtesy of the artist
  6. Ng Joon Kiat, Memory of Surfaces, Image courtesy of the artist