Zaha Hadid: There Should Be No End To Experimentation


An exhibition of Zaha Hadid's early artworks in Hong Kong sheds light on the late architect's radical vision


The late great Iraqi-born, British architect Zaha Hadid may be gone, but her influence has not been forgotten. 'Zaha Hadid: There Should Be No End To Experimentation', an inspiring exhibition of Hadid's early paintings and drawings at Hong Kong's ArtisTree gallery, shows the futuristic scope of her vision, with bold, kinetic works poised between architecture, art and sci-fi. Originally devised for London's Serpentine Sackler Gallery in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Design, the hit retrospective has been newly expanded with extra archival material, allowing Asian audiences to share the inner workings of Hadid's mind.

ABOVE: 'Confetti, The Peak', Hong Kong, China, 1982/1983

ABOVE FROM TOP: 'Metropolis', 1988; 'Vision for Madrid', Spain, 1992

First conceived with Hadid herself – who died suddenly on 31 March 2016 – this revelation of an exhibition focusses on the early years of her career, before her first building (Germany's Vitra Fire Station) was erected in 1993. Spanning the Seventies to the Nineties, it includes paintings, sketches, calligraphic drawings and private notebooks, revealing Hadid's utopian ideas about architectural form and function during a period when her radical, pioneering works were either not commissioned or were unbuildable in terms of technology. A highlight is Hadid's award-winning scheme for The Peak (1982-83), a leisure club for the Hong Kong hills awarded first prize in a prestigious design competion.


ABOVE FROM TOP: Concept painting, Cardiff Bay Opera House, Wales, UK, 1994-1996; Sketch selection, from Sketchbook 2001

Inspired by Kasimir Malevich and Russian Constructivist artists Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin, Hadid used drawing and painting to generate and communicate her ideas. Her paper and canvas creations were design tools, feeling the way towards as-yet-unrealised buildings. When she did go on to build in 3D, the sweeping, light, space-age volumes of her abstract art came to fruition in the flesh. Four experimental virtual reality experiences, developed with Google Arts & Culture, also bring Hadid's dynamic vision to life, alongside a mobile tour. 'With experimentation, you think you're going to find out one thing,' said Hadid, 'but you actually discover something else... more than you bargain for.'

ABOVE: 'Hafenstrasse Development', Hamburg, Germany, 1989
BELOW: The Zaha Hadid exhibition in Hong Kong, a collaboration between London's Serpentine Galleries and Zaha Hadid Design

Free exhibition 'Zaha Hadid: There Should Be No End To Experimentation' is at ArtisTree, 1F Cornwall House, Taikoo Place, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, until 6 April 2017; open daily 10am to 9pm

Pictures © Zaha Hadid Foundation; Hong Kong exhibition images courtesy of Swire Properties

William Eggleston Portraits


Take inspiration from the colourful world of iconic US photographer William Eggleston


If you loved the vibrant palette of dreamy primary hues in movie 'La La Land' – which recently garnered directing, cinematography and production design Oscars – you'll be seduced by new exhibition 'William Eggleston Portraits' at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria. A pioneer of colour photography, acclaimed mid-century US photographer Eggleston's suburban Americana images from the Sixties and Seventies are peppered with cars, diners, petrol stations, supermarkets and street life, inspiring filmmakers David Lynch, the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant and especially Sofia Coppola, as well as contemporary snappers Martin Parr and Juergen Teller.

ABOVE: 'Untitled (Memphis, Tennessee)', c. 1969-71, dye-transfer print, by 'the godfather of colour photography' William Eggleston

ABOVE: 'Untitled', c.1965-8, dye-transfer print, printed 2004

The moment I first set eyes on Eggleston's arresting images, I was blown away by his rare talent for capturing standout colour, even in casual, momentary snaps (he was famous for only ever taking one shot). From a cobalt blue dress to a ruby red car, patterned orange woman's blouse or girl's long auburn hair, Eggleston sees colour like a painter, giving his documentary images a stylised, choreographed air. But these photos of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers are drawn from everyday life, not an art directed shoot or stage-managed ad campaign, finding beauty in the banal. At a time when black-and-white photography was considered more highbrow, groundbreaking Eggleston also experimented with dye-transfer printing, a commercial technique that produces highly colour-saturated imagery.

ABOVE: 'Untitled', c.1965-9, pigment print, printed 2016
BELOW: Installation views of 'William Eggleston Portraits' at the National Gallery of Victoria, including 'Untitled', 1974 (Biloxi, Mississippi); 'Untitled', c.1975 (Marcia Hare in Memphis, Tennessee)

Direct from London's National Portrait Gallery, the exhibition is on show until 18 June as part of the NGV Festival of Photography, featuring more than 100 works by Memphis-born Eggleston (1939-), including evocative images of the American South and never-before-seen shots of actor Dennis Hopper and The Clash frontman Joe Strummer. The head-turning colour combinations, such as Yves Klein blue and lemon yellow, or retro red and white stripes, could even give you fresh ideas for revving up your home...
'William Eggleston Portraits' is free at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, until 18 June 2017

Pictures: All William Eggleston images copyright Eggleston Artistic Trust; Sean Fennessy (installation views)

Melbourne Design Week 2017


5 Top Tips for Melbourne Design Week


'What does design value, and how do we value design?' The inaugural Melbourne Design Week, running until 26 March 2017, tackles this topical question, with more than 100 citywide exhibitions, launches, workshops, tours and talks showcasing local and international talent. The first of four planned annual design weeks for the city, the 10-day festival is an initiative of the Victorian government curated by the National Gallery of Victoria, spanning iconic chairs, high-density apartments and indigenous design. Here are my five top FizzPicks...

ABOVE: Collingwood's 'Watchmaker' exhibition space, including surreal mirrored installations by Folk Architects, for Melbourne Design Week


NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Until Sunday 26 March
Discover 35 inspiring seats at 'Creating the Contemporary Chair', spanning from 1980 to 2016, including designs by major names Tord Boontje, Konstantin Grcic and Patricia Urquiola. All recent NGV acquisitions, they include a stool coated in volcanic rock and a suspended chair resembling a killer whale.

ABOVE: Installation view of 'Creating the Contemporary Chair', The Gordon Moffatt Gift, at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, including Jacopo Foggini's LED-lit 'Alice' armchair for Edra


Piccolina Gelateria, 296 Smith Street, Collingwood
Until Sunday 26 March

A derelict historic Collingwood watchmaker's shop gets a minimal mirrored makeover by local studio Folk Architects in pop-up satellite space 'Watchmaker', which hosts six shows. Friends & Associates invites 26 Australian designers – including Tomek Archer, Tom Fereday and Ross Gardam – to reconfigure replicas of Jasper Morrison's oft-copied 'Hal' chair for Vitra in '26 Original Fakes', celebrating authenticity in a murky world of fakes. Hub Furniture's Jaci Foti-Lowe curates 'The Found Object', sharing inspirational pieces collected by Melbourne creatives.

In 'Undervalued' Australian designer Nick Rennie champions beautiful, useful designs costing up to $2, £2 or ¥2. Egg forms are explored in 'Ovoid', fine-art photos shot by Nick Horan. Interactive installation 'Apparatus 4' by 227768c is animated by an algorithm which causes its inflatable surface to undulate. Short film 'Untitled (with Gelato)', by Coco and Maximilian, looks at the design arc of relationships.

ABOVE: Converted store space 'Watchmaker', including Smith Street exterior; and installation views of '26 Original Fakes', presented by Friends & Associates, which riffs on replica chairs; Hub Furniture's curated exhibition 'The Found Object' showcasing creative collections; Nick Horan's 'Ovoid' egg photos; and interactive blue floor surface 'Apparatus 4' by 227768c


NGV Design Store, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Until Sunday 26 March

From Brutalist Polish churches to Oscar Niemeyer's uncompleted designs for Lebanon's International Fairgrounds (interrupted by civil war), 'Modern Forms' recalls the architecture of post-war modernism. Warsaw-based Nicolas Grospierre's shots capture the sculptural, geometric nature of these unfamiliar works.

ABOVE: Nicolas Grospierre's photos for 'Modern Forms' include this 2012 shot of 'Bus Stop #4, Crimea, Ukraine' reflecting Soviet architecture


Sophie Gannon Gallery, 2 Albert Street, Richmond
Until Saturday 25 March
Sophie Gannon Gallery presents contemporary Australian design at 'Designwork 01'. The sleek space showcases 10 designers, including Trent Jansen's sculptural Indian-inspired stools and vessels, David Mutch's acrylic leaning lamps, Ash Allen's recycled cork and tyre stools, and Dale Hardiman's 'Wood Is Made From Trees' customised timber IKEA 'Frost' stools, clad with native paperbark used by the indigenous Wurundjeri.

ABOVE: Ash Allen's ceramic 2013 'Dollop' pendant lights part of group show 'Designwork 01' at Sophie Gannon Gallery



Brickworks, 490 Swan Street, Richmond
Saturday 25 March

Catch the work of local young designers from two states at the Victoria Tasmania Graduate of the Year Award 2016, presented by the Design Institute of Australia, which features furniture, industrial and interior design, as well as visual communications, textiles, fashion and jewellery.

ABOVE: Next-gen design talent on display at the Victoria Tasmania Graduate of the Year Award
Pictures: Tobias Titz, Wayne Taylor, Jeremy Dillon

Design Shanghai 2017


This week's Design Shanghai trade fair showcases emerging Chinese talent alongside international brands 


For such a huge economic powerhouse, it's surprising that China has been relatively low-key when it comes to design talent. Design Shanghai 2017 aims to change all that, showcasing established and emerging Chinese designers alongside major global brands and galleries. Asia's largest annual design fair kicks off this week from 8 to 11 March at Shanghai Exhibition Centre, drawing queues of excited design hunters.

More than 300 exhibitors are on show across five halls, exploring how western and eastern design philosophies can work in synergy: Contemporary; Classic and Luxury; Collectibles; Kitchen & Bathroom; and Workplace. Prestigious international brands, such as Europe's Minotti, Roche Bobois, Hay, Magis and Moroso, are here, sharing their latest launches and keen to penetrate the lucrative Chinese market.

TOP: 'Milà' plastic chair by Jaime Hayón for Italian brand Magis, one of the A-List European brands on show at Design Shanghai's Contemporary hall. We love the Sino red!
ABOVE: Chinese Contemporary designs include Fnji's handmade wooden furniture; Frank Chou Design Studio's 'Suit' lounge chair and stool; and Haostyle's Ming-inspired 'The Dragon Chair' by Wen Hao

Perhaps more intriguing for overseas visitors are the less well known Chinese names in the frame, making up an increasing proportion of the fair. Local stands in the Contemporary hall include Beijing's Frank Chou Design Studio, showing clean-lined, graphic seating, Fnji Furniture's simple handmade wooden works, EY-Products alluring accessories, Suyab Design's nature-inspired modern wood pieces, ALiTLE's sleek chairs, Haostyle's Sino-luxe collection, 8hourdesign's eye-catching side tables and Yuso's playful seating.

ABOVE: Mumoon's 'Glob' pendant lamps by Phillip Ding and X+Q Art's sculpture 'The Grandmaster' by Qu Guangci are also on show in the Contemporary hall

For evocative lighting, check out Mumoon's covetable modern collection and Xin Yaoyao's paper pendant lights. You'll find witty Sino-motif objects at  X+Q Art.

Look out for special installations, such as the new China Design Trends Gallery, in which local consultants Yang Design will forecast four future design trends (strategy director Xiaojing Huang will also release a trend report). Re-Design Shanghai is a collaboration between design mag IDEAT and architect Shuhei Oyama to create a futuristic vision of Shanghai's cityscape, fusing traditional and modern elements. The IDEAT Future Award, focussed on influential designs, will also be announced on 8 March. Plug & Hug's interactive globe lights glow brighter the more they're hugged.

Don't miss the debut Emerging Chinese Designer Platform, curated with interiors magazine AD China, which will feature 10 up-and-coming design talents inspired by the theme 'New China Vision'. Expect undulating furniture by Qiaolin Gong and Weijia Wang, industrial-chic chairs and tables by Wenqiang Li, beautiful bronze works by Daishi Luo, minimal blue pots by Qingtong Qian, and sculptural accessories by Xiang Chen and Weijie Huang.

More than 30 speakers will be at the fair's core Forum, including international design talents Benjamin Hubert, Paul Cocksedge, Peter Ting, Bethan Laura Wood and Karim Rashid. Regional names to note include Hong Kong's André Fu and Jesse McLin and Julie Proglin of ceramics duo Latitude 22N. The theme is 'global design, global craft, global manufacturing'.

ABOVE: Highlights from DS in the City's Design Shanghai @ Xintiandi off-site zone include installations 'Dragon Tree' by Media 10; 'Biofore Tea House' by UPM; 'Mesh' public bench by Zhoujie Zhang; 'Moon Birdy' outdoor lights by Pascal Bosetti; 'Malleus Time-Out' prints by Arnd; and exhibition 'New Eastern Making'

Extending its tentacles across town, Design Shanghai in the City includes interesting off-site activities. The main event is Design Shanghai @ Xintiandi (6-19 March), examining the city of the future, with 18 interactive spaces and installations by local and international designers and artists. Highlights include Media 10's 3D projection-mapped 'Dragon Tree' and recycling/deconstruction group exhibition 'New Eastern Making'. You can catch a design tour (daily 1pm-9pm, 8-11 March) taking in Shanghai's best design showrooms, galleries and architecture, between the fairground and Xintiandi zone. Stops include global stores House of Tai Ping, Roca, Leicht, Hay, Minotti and Senab, as well as Nordic-influenced Chinese decor from W+S. Fashion and art have already captured China's imagination, now it's design's turn to shine...

Design Shanghai 2017 is at Shanghai Exhibition Centre, No. 1000 Yan'an Mid Road, Jing'an, from 8 to 11 March 2017. Open Wednesday 10am-9pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-6pm (last entry one hour before closing time). Tickets are RMB 175 in advance or RMB 270 on the door, including optional showguide (RMB 50)

ABOVE: The House of Tai Ping will launch its 'Blur' rug collection at Design Shanghai, inspired by vintage photography, alongside a range by Hong Kong talent André Fu

David Hockney: Current

'David Hockney: Current' taps into the so-now iPad and iPhone art of Britain's greatest living artist


World-premiere exhibition 'David Hockney: Current' at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria is turning heads not just for the iconic English artist's trademark colourful portraits and paintings of interiors and nature, but also for his more recent tech-driven art.

A major solo show dedicated to this still-influential 79-year-old artist, running until 13 March 2017, it features more than 1,200 works from the last decade of Hockney's career, including paintings, photography, digital drawings and video art. Among them are significant new pieces, such as immersive room installation '4 blue stools', a digitally constructed image (or 'photographic drawing') of Hockney's Hollywood Hills studio presented as floor-to-ceiling wallpaper with custom-created stools and chairs. Also striking is the 60-metre long hall housing recent oeuvre '82 portraits and 1 still life', painted over several years and incorporating portraits of entertainer Barry Humphries, architect Frank Gehry and designer Celia Birtwell.

ABOVE: David Hockney inside the world-premiere exhibition 'David Hockney: Current' at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
BELOW: '4 blue stools' 2014, photographic drawing printed on paper, mounted on Dibond, edition 5 of 25; installation view, including iPad drawing 'Yosemite I', October 16th 2011 (1059); installation view

ABOVE: Installation views of 'David Hockney: Current' at the NGV International, Melbourne

Think Hockney and you probably imagine paintings of sun-kissed swimming pools or primary-hued furniture dotted around LA living rooms – in Vuk Vidor's witty print listing artists' attributes, he states 'Hockney owns California'. More recently in 2004, Bradford-born Hockney returned to his native Yorkshire, capturing its vibrant countryside and changing seasons.

But it's his foray into new-tech digital art that's most arresting here, including works crafted on iPads and iPhones. Over 600 iPad works – some animated – span self-portraits, still lifes (from flowers to tea pots, slippers and chargers) and large-scale landscapes of Yorkshire and Yosemite National Park. They're presented both on screens and as monumental prints, some almost four metres tall, alongside a recent video work focussed on Hockney's iPad drawing practice.

ABOVE: 'Self-portrait', 25 March 2012, No. 3 (1236), iPad drawing; 'Untitled', 91 2009, iPhone drawing; 'Untitled', 655 2011, iPad drawing

This is the first show to focus on Hockney's captivating iPad and iPhone works, proof of his constant experimentation. In the past he has made art using Polaroid photos, colour photocopiers, fax machines, computers, and high-definition multi-screen videos, so he's always been an early adopter. Every suit Hockney owns sports a large pocket, once used to hold a sketchbook, but now containing his go-to iPad. 'I've been able to practise the iPad a lot in the last few years... and I've really loved mastering it,' he says.

BELOW: Installation view of 'David Hockney: Current' at the NGV International; 'The Arrival of spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven)' – 31 May, No. 1 (900), and 2 January (1147), iPad drawings printed on six sheets of paper mounted on Dibond

BELOW: 'Bigger trees near Warter or/ou Peinture sur le motif pour le nouvel age post-photographique' 2007, oil on 50 canvases

Hockney was quick to embrace this emerging design technology, getting the brushes out straight away and enjoying the method of drawing on the screen. 'You're drawing on a sheet of glass, really, and you can't really overdraw, which you can on a piece of paper.' The digital canvas is endlessly expandable though, allowing Hockney to zoom in to add more detail or zoom back out to view the whole composition. He credits this digital innovation with reviving the fading art of drawing, confessing, 'I was amazed that it was the telephone which can bring back drawing. I thought that was very funny!'

'David Hockney: Current' is at the NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne until 13 March 2017. UK fans can also catch major retrospective 'David Hockney' at Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1 until 29 May 2017

Photos: Wayne Taylor (portrait); Richard Schmidt