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Su Xiaobai Transforms The Lobby

May 01, 2014
Su Xiaobai Transforms The Lobby
In collaboration with The Peninsula Hotels, and supported by established regional player, Pearl Lam Galleries, leading Chinese artist Su Xiaobai has created a dramatic intervention in The Peninsula Hong Kong’s iconic Lobby. Flanking both sides of The Lobby's grand staircase, as well as in a central column situated in front of the Concierge desk, this renowned space has been transformed by a unique site-specific installation, Three Hundred Leafs, consisting of hundreds of lacquered red, black and untreated roof tiles collected by the artist from abandoned Qing dynasty houses in China’s Fujian province.
Suspended from the angled ceiling in front of the grand staircase, and layered throughout the central section of the Lobby, the installation is a dialogue between classical and traditional Chinese architecture. Part of the hotel's “Love Art at The Peninsula” initiative; a series of projects that reflect the hotel's commitment to supporting contemporary artists, and celebrating Hong Kong's burgeoning art scene, the launch of the artwork is slated to coincide with the second Art Basel Hong Kong from 15 to 18 May, with the work showing at The Peninsula from 13 to 27 May 2014.

Here, Su Xiaobai creates a powerful visual tension between the domestic and vernacular, contrasting with the neo-classical aesthetic of the Grande Dame of Hong Kong's legendary Lobby.
Part of the generation of artists who left China in the 1980s to study in Europe, Su Xiaobai has achieved widespread recognition as a major artist in his own right. Su received his formal art training at the prestigious Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (State Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf) Germany in the late 1980s, and has created a consistent thread through his works with the use of materials steeped in Chinese history, synthesizing Chinese sensibilities with an international visual language.

Three Hundred Leafs continues the artist’s career-long investigation of form and material from a cross-cultural perspective, and attests to his continuing, intense vision as he strives to preserve the remnants often overlooked by the shifting landscape of urbanisation.