Ben Brown Fine Arts Hong Kong is thrilled to present Vik Muniz: Grand Tour, from 5 December 2020 – 16 January 2021. This will be the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the Hong Kong gallery, and first exhibition in our new and larger space in Wong Chuk Hang. Vik Muniz: Grand Tour will bring together a selection of the artist’s most iconic and evocative works, from his most celebrated series over the last two decades, taking the viewer on a fantasy ‘grand tour’ through time, art history, international cities and the artistic practices of one of the most ingenious and imaginative artists working today.
Muniz is renowned for his unique employment of a wide range of materials, including dust, sugar, chocolate, diamonds, caviar, toys, junk, scrap metal, dry pigment, vintage postcards and magazine shreds, to reconstruct images that tap into the viewer’s subconscious visual repository and ask us to reconsider the familiar imagery in its altered form. His material constructions are photographed, then either magnified or shrunken in scale, the final work of art a documentation of his conceptual and artistic processes.
During a time when the world is nostalgic for travel, Vik Muniz: Grand Tour presents whimsical images, fashioned from old postcards obsessively collected by the artist, of the Shanghai skyline, the Great Wall of China, and San Francisco’s resplendent Golden Gate Bridge, as well as a world map as designated by flags, after Alighiero Boetti’s famous embroideries, rendered entirely from raw pigment. We are transported to the Museo del Prado in Madrid via re-imaginings of Velázquez’s Las Meninas and Titian’s Bacchanal of the Andrians, cleverly crafted from museum catalogues and printed materials; to the exotic jungles of Brazil (Brazilian Jungle, after Rugendas (Repro), 2019); to Hiroshige’s 19th century Ukiyo-e landscapes (Fuji from the Sea of Satta, Gulf of Suruga, Number 23, after Hiroshige (Pictures of Paper), 2009); to Van Gogh’s vantages of Saint-Rémy (Wheat Field with Cypresses, after Van Gogh (Pictures of Magazines 2), 2011); and to Ed Ruscha’s classic Pop image of the burning Standard Oil station (Burning Standard, after Ed Ruscha (Pictures of Cars), 2008), created from car sheet metal and steel. Also included in the exhibition are unique works from the artist’s Handmade series that incorporate his typical photographic work interspersed with actual objects and imagery, to create vexing trompe l’oeil effects that address notions of perception and materiality. There are three works from the Handmade series in the exhibition that are comprised of materials and imagery inspired by Muniz’s many visits to Hong Kong over the last decade, entitled Letter Rack Hong Kong (Blue, Yellow and Brown respectively), all 2019.
We look forward to welcoming you on a ‘grand tour’ through the enchanting, ingenious and transformative oeuvre of Vik Muniz.