Dreaming Rich – Yinka Shonibare’s first solo show in Hong Kong

Renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare presents his first solo show with Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong, entitled Dreaming Rich. The exhibition continues the artist’s exploration on colonialism and post-colonialism with a series of all new works. These works address Hong Kong’s modern day relationship with labour, power and wealth, ideas particularly pertinent to a city that was colonialized in the past.

Dreaming Rich is a colourful critique of wealth, while simultaneously acknowledges society’s complicity with it. Shonibare presents a social commentary on luxury commodities, which have become a medium for social identity in Hong Kong and many other global cities. Cake Man—the centrepiece of the exhibition—is a life-sized sculpture of an aristocrat dressed in elaborate Victorian dress bent over carrying a tower of cakes on his back. Shonibare subverts an act of labour into one of decadence, revealing the contradiction faced by many wealthy societies which ultimately rely on the hardships of a labour class

Through a gripping social critique of the trappings of wealth and luxury, Shonibare delves deeper into his work on colonialism and disparities. His work will undoubtedly resonate deeply with the public, especially given Hong Kong’s colonialist history.

Cake Man (2013)
Life-size mannequin, Dutch wax African printed cotton textile, leather, gold, polyester and plaster

Champagne Kid (Balancing) (2013)
Life-size mannequin, Dutch wax African printed cotton textile, leather, resin, chair, globe and Cristal champagne bottle

Hong Kong Toy Painting (2013)
27 panels, acrylic on Dutch wax printed cotton textile, toys and steel rods.

by Louise Lui

Dreaming Rich is at Pearl Lam Galleries  from November to January 9, 2014,