Xu Xi, Dear Hong Kong (Penguin, 2017), 144pp.
As I was reading Xu Xi’s latest book, Dear Hong Kong, I recalled an episode from my youth. When I was in primary two, about eight years old, I was introduced to a group of children two years my senior. They were by a large margin the best kids in my school, and my mother had hoped I would tag along and learn something. The best among that circle was John, obviously, since he was perfect. When he graduated primary school, his mother sent him to Dulwich.
In the line-up for this year's Art Basel, nothing is more provocative—and downright subversive—than a mixed-media collage by newcomer Justin Bergman titled “Beyond Art Basel: a Guide for Wanderers.”
When viewed from afar, it was not entirely clear what Jonathan Scales was doing. He wielded two short sticks—which looked exactly like a pair of nunchuks, disconnected—and did a stirring motion, dipping them into two gleaming metal bowls. And there he was: poking and prodding, whipping and brushing. The bowls were angled towards him and one couldn’t see their interiors. The only certainty was that, when Scales stirred his magic cauldrons, with motions that appeared all but frictionless, out came music.