Different cultures on tap

Weekend Glitz | Katie Hung 10 Nov 2017

Art always enjoys a unique and indispensable bond with craftsmanship. So it is hardly a surprise to see American kitchen and bathroom brand Kohler being associated with art. This years Kohler Bold. Art. Exhibition 2017 in Hong Kong showcases 13 sculptures, each one made by an artist from different countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Middle East.

Aiming to integrate aesthetics with practicality, the exhibition has multiculturalism as the theme. Cosmopolitan Hong Kong is the ideal location for it as different groups co-exist harmoniously in the city.

We are inspired by different cultures, said Angel Yang, president of Kohler Kitchen & Bath, Asia Pacific. It is not only about Hong Kong and the city itself. It is more about multiculturalism which shows the diversity of customs and traditions reflected in our daily lives.

The 13 artists are from diverse places, including Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. All are under 30 years old. This is a group of people for the future, innovative and very bold. Theyre very much engaged in new technologies and wish to challenge themselves, Yang added.

Hong Kongs representative, Yiu Chun-wah, regards multiculturalism as a means of connecting with people of diverse nationalities and backgrounds. Yui, who majored in ceramics, also learned Muay Thai or Thai boxing, giving him inspiration for his art piece, Straight Hook Straight.

Language issues while taking Muay Thai lessons made Yiu realize that such barriers can be broken down and overcome by movements such as punching and kicking. His artwork, made of discarded clay and local earth, was made with his strong belief that art has the same power as Muay Thai moves. The crafted fissures with the new form of clay and earth represent Hong Kong, which brings together diverse cultures.

All materials used by the artists, including ceramics, cast iron and steel, were provided by Kohler. Yang said each artist gave his or her own personality to the materials, which in turn reflected their respective cultures. Through the exhibition, she hopes people will appreciate more in life. We would like to drive or bring gracious living to everyone, said Yang, who cited this as Kohlers corporate mission.

Kohlers collaboration with art dates back to 1974. Its first arts/industry program in the United States offered a four-week residency to artists at the companys pottery. The Bold. Art. series is one of the extensions from its art collaboration in the US.

Kohlers involvement in art in Asia began six years ago in China.

The exhibition runs until Sunday from noon to 8pm at the shopping mall Elements Water Zone.

Admission is free.

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