When the K11 Art Mall opened, we were sceptical. Art in a shopping centre? It did not seem right. But since then Chi Space, the art gallery section of the mall, has outdone itself. It has curated a series of thoughtful and exciting exhibitions, including, most recently, the German Hong Kong-based artist Michael Wolf’s sculpture installation Toy Story. Now we can add ‘important’ to the list too. This month Chi Space will hold the first ever exhibition of Claude Monet, the French Impressionist painter, in Mainland China. Forty of the master’s paintings will be on display, including examples from his hypnotic Water Lilies series, which were the main focus of the artist’s creativity during his final decades.
Claude Monet, born into a family of grocers in 1840, was one of the founders of the French Impressionist painting movement. His 1872 painting ‘Impression, Sunrise’, of a port in Le Havre, France, inspired a critic to coin the term ‘impressionist’ (the group later took up the name for themselves). Monet is best known for his pieces of gorgeous landscapes and pretty lilies. But he could also verge on the macabre. When his wife Camille died of cancer aged 33, he created a series of oil paintings depicting her body.
This exhibition follows the 50th anniversary of Franco-Sino diplomatic relations and Monet will not be the only French artist displayed. Also exhibited will be 12 paintings by other Impressionist masters sourced from the Paris Marmottan Monet Museum. As well as visiting the show, make sure to look out for a series of educational seminars, film screenings, academic symposiums and children’s and students’ workshops that K11 and the exhibition’s co-organisers, Tix Media, will be holding alongside the show.