Frank Tang |tangkaiyiu[a]
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Whispering Canopies 《風樹不靜》
Date: 25 November 2023 to 6 January 2024
Venue: Karin Weber Gallery

Karin Weber Gallery is excited to announce ‘Whispering Canopies’, a solo exhibition by Hong Kong artist Frank Tang, which explores the historical development of a place through its urban landscapes, memorial gardens and local plants.

Tang’s brand-new series ‘Tree Portraits’ reflects the artist’s engagement with a commemorative theme based around landmark subjects, drawing from his personal interest in trees and monuments. Trees have long lifespans and those towering in urban areas bear witness to city development, social events and peoples’ livelihoods through generations. Moreover, the unique form of each tree is shaped by its organic growth. From the perspective of appearance and temporality, ancient trees may hold more landmark significance than many types of architecture. What have these ancient trees witnessed? Are there any events they have forgotten?

Using trees as his central theme, Frank Tang uncovers forgotten histories via geographical locations and their background. Hong Kong was once a barren and desolate environment. The British colonial government undertook large-scale afforestation and introduced foreign tree species planted in British-style gardens, nurturing a sense of nostalgia for the expat population. The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is a key example of this practice, and is the inspiration for Tang’s Tree Portrait #4 – Lysidice, which is based on the lysidice trees in the garden.

An artist residency in Taiwan in 2022 introduced Tang to Dutch and Japanese colonial histories. His new creations from the ‘Memorial Garden’ series including paintings such as Green Island, In the Eyes of King George VI, and Sunset At Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park reflect his exposure to a parallel culture with a comparable historical narrative.

Parks and trees carry different histories and have been integrated into urban landscapes, providing spaces for future generations to enjoy and play, accompanying their growth. Although their stories remain unchanged, they gain in significance over the years, becoming a part of personal and urban memories.



「樹木肖像」系列創作源起自鄧氏對樹木以及紀念碑的興趣:樹木壽命綿長,聳立在城市中的樹木在世代更替中見證城市發展、社會事件及人民生活,又基於樹木作為生命體的有機成長造就每棵的獨特形態,從外觀與時間性來看有些老樹甚至比某些建築 地標更具地標意義,更具紀念性。這些老樹見證過甚麼?又有哪些事被遺忘了?

鄧啟耀再次以樹木為題,從樹木身處的地理位置及歷史背景了解一個個似要被遺忘的歷史。英殖時期的香港曾經是荒蕪一片的爛頭山,港英政府除了大規模植林之外,還帶來外來的樹種在英式設計的公園裡栽種,為英國人一解鄉愁。香港動植物公園便是其中一例,所以他為園中的儀花創作了《樹木肖像 #4 — 儀花》。2022年,鄧氏到臺灣參與藝術駐留,得悉荷殖時期和日治時期的臺灣,殖民者因著異地懐鄉,將自己國家的樹種帶到臺灣,想像自己回到家一樣。十七世紀荷蘭人將金龜樹帶到臺灣,二十世紀日本人將龍柏帶到臺南栽種,從此這兩個樹種便在臺灣定居下來。



Exhibition e-catalogue