Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong is pleased to announce Alan Chan’s first solo exhibition with the gallery “Who is Alan Chan?…a journey of art since the 1960s”. A Hong Kong creative with a diversified practice in advertising, design, and branding, the exhibition features a chronological highlight of Chan's personal work, including some new works and drawings made during his teenage years in the 1960s, which are shown to the public for the first time. From First Dream (1970), his early graphic art as a student reflecting influences from pop culture, to A Brand New Game (2006), that characterises the rivalry between megabrands in consumer markets but also have shared marketing visions; and iEye-ai photography series (since 2010) that captures instantaneous moments with iPhone during his travels and re-composes them into visual diaries of everyday life contemplations. Chan’s prolific body of work ranging from graphic art, photography, objects and video installations depicts the quintessence of his journey of art and design, reflecting his strong, personal perspectives on popular and consumer culture, identity; as well as the co-existence of tradition and modernity in contemporary cultural contexts.
Chan’s works of art and design have been presented in major retrospective exhibitions by Ginza Graphic Gallery (2002), Hong Kong Heritage Museum (2003) and Shanghai Art Museum (2007). His works have also been exhibited in local and overseas museum shows and biennales including Shanghai Biennale (2002 and 2006), shortlisted in Hong Kong Contemporary Art Award (2010 and 2012), and collected by museums such as Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Museum für Gestaltung Zurich, the National Art Museum of China (Beijing), Shanghai Art Museum, M+ (Hong Kong), Hong Kong Museum of Art and private collectors in Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, Europe and the United States.
Born in 1950 Hong Kong, Alan Chan grew up in a socio-cultural melting pot of ‘East meets West’, that introduced him to a thriving, cross-cultural advertising industry in his early twenties. Such environment cultivated a renewed appreciation of his cultural roots, as well as arts and crafts through the lens of his Western mentors. This nurtured a lifelong, fanatic dedication to collecting objects of curiosities. A selection of his objects from his collection plus archive materials Chan has kept over the years is shown in this exhibition as a testimony of his inspired creative path.
Since the mid-1970s, with an exposure to Japan’s economic boom, mainland China at its very early phase of economic reform, and Europe’s cultural heritage during his early travels further developed Chan’s instinctive sensitivities and are translated to his design commissions and personal works, revealing the passion of a creative who lives and breathes the metropolitan vibes; manoeuvring between commercial and artistic endeavours, unbounded by mediums, and circumstances.
Stirring the very depth of his identities at different turning points in life, with an acute sense of visual communication and aesthetics, Chan’s practice in creating personal works is a window for realising his
accumulated imageries into an unhindered journey of self-expression, characterised by his visual language of images, forms and colours articulated in multiple dimensions. The video installations Kyoto My Love (2013), One Fine Line/ One Fine Life (2016) and Hello Ginza! (2017) are the latest medium Chan experiments with moving images since digital technology becomes increasingly accessible and easy to manipulate. From tactile to graphics and digital, this exhibition unravels an ongoing creative journey of Alan Chan, with an open and indeterminate definition of his practice, aspirations and purpose.