For the 2021 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, de Sarthe is pleased to present artwork by Double Fly Art Center (est. 2008), Mak Ying Tung 2 (b.1989), and Andrew Luk (b. 1988). Luk will also present his large-scale installation, Haunted, Salvaged which is featured prominently at the center of the fair.
Giants of Chinese contemporary art, Double Fly Art Center set the stage for a generation of artists to engage in absurdist, boundary-pushing, and humor-laden critical discourse. Mak Ying Tung 2 represents this emergent generation, creating work that embraces chaotic humor while addressing many of the key issues of our times. Andrew Luk's laborious practice engages the perceived intersection between nature and man, speculating imagined landscapes. Fundamental to his work is the notion that humankind, and all of its byproducts, are one with nature.
Double Fly Art Center's Double Fly Klein Blue series are acrylic on canvas paintings that are the result of an absurd and comedic performance of the same name. A pastiche, or arguably a parody, of Yves Klein's performance Anthropométries, in Double Fly Klein Blue the artists recreated the performance in a white gallery space by sliding down an inflatable slide largely nude, covered in blue paint. A critique of the transnational art ecology, the artwork unabashedly restaged Yves Klein's famed performance, while also seriously approaching an artistic sense of freedom. Filled with errant behavior and absurdist humor, the performance exemplifies DFAC's contribution to Contemporary art in its crazed, humorous nature and meaningful critique.
Mak Ying Tung 2's Home Sweet Home series takes aim at the art world and crafts insightful reflections on our current era. A series of triptychs on canvas composed using the popular American life simulation videogame "The Sims," each panel of an artwork in this series is painted by a separate painter on the Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao. "The Sims" is often used as a form of escapism as it grants players absolute power to control and alter their surroundings. However, as Mak Ying Tung 2 asks painters to materialize the idyllic virtual imagery she stages within the game, the final outcome becomes unpredictable owing to the painters' inconsistent skill levels, techniques, and use of materials. By enabling external factors to intervene in the process of actualization, Mak 2 elucidates the inevitable disparity between reality and fantasy. Further, the production of the series functions as an accelerationist critique of the art market itself, providing the market with its preferred medium, paintings, while ensuring the quality of the painting itself is insignificant compared to the strength of the final result and concept.
Andrew Luk's mixed media artworks examine humanity's relationship with nature. His newly debuting series, Deep Earth Event Horizon consists of large reliefs formed from resin and silicon carbide. The series derives its aesthetics from archeology and the study of deep history but also combines elements from natural history with the contemporary techno-sphere, effectively collapsing time and space, encoding it onto a single two dimensional plane. This process refers to a tenet of string theory known as the "holographic principle." The portrayal of Anthropocene landscapes is a recurring motif in Luk's artworks. Central to his practice is the belief that not only is humanity a part of nature, but human entities such as war, technology, and culture are as well. In his Horizon Scan series, Luk utilizes a material formerly used by the US military, napalm, to torch and char canvas-a process that is violent and destructive yet reflective of both natural forces and warfare. The burnt remains are then collaged together and preserved in layers of resin, forming an aerial landscape. Using two rows of alternating LED lights, the piece is then lit from within its frame, illuminating an unfamiliar landscape that seems to exist outside of the wall it rests upon. As minutes pass, the layers appear to shift and slide as the lights change, revealing nuances and subtleties in the mutable patterns