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Mona's Musings : Art month returns

【明報專訊】This week, Art Basel returns to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre after a year of absence, together with its counterpart Art Central, which, in its sixth edition, moved away from its Central location and waived its entrance fee for the first time. Despite travel restrictions posed by COVID, blue-chip galleries still manage to put together leading works in the market. Art aside, the prospect of joining fellow collectors and fair goers at the annual commercial showcases excites many.

A stone's throw away from the Hong Kong Arts Centre, screenings for the Women Direct. Korean Indies! festival are scheduled for May 21 and 22. A stark contrast with the neighbouring fairs, the humble venue makes a good double-bill destination for an "art day out". My personal pick from the programme: Maggie, an unusual narrative about the circulation of a mysterious X-ray slide of a couple having sex. And Maggie? The hospital's pet catfish that quietly observes the ridiculous world of the humans.

The annual Le French May, celebrating France's diversified culture, is also back in its physical form. Joining forces with the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the organisers present Mythologies: Surrealism and beyond — Masterpieces from Centre Pompidou. After its creation in the mid 1920s, the surrealists were said to be in the making of a modern "myth", rejecting past assumptions and perspectives. For those after the French abstraction, a documentary of Chu Teh-Chun (朱德群) could be a refreshing deviation from his usual exhibition showcase.

If all these occasions sound a bit overwhelming to you, head to Present Projects in Sham Shui Po. The independent space has been putting together refreshing artist line-ups for its past few shows. The current show Only a Joke Can Save Us comes with a simple mission — to give you a laugh amidst the daily dramas. Check out their zine section with many low key, humourous collections, quietly rebelling against the daily mundane.

A few streets away, a pack of ghosts and pigeons have inadvertently conquered Thy Lane, where the independent screening space Thy Lab is located. Don't miss the secret screening on the second floor, an indignant account about pigeons that may alter your frequent encounters with the city's common pest.

Happy art hunting!

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Mona C. has a strong appetite for stories. Feed her enough.

Email: monafpchu@gmail.com

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