Blank Boy Canvas
Blank Boy Canvas will exhibit as a temporary installation in the Gladstone Hotel’s 2nd floor Space. Curated by James Robertson of Toronto and scheduled to exhibit in Hong Kong during April 2016. Blank Boy Canvas and the character that is used as a canvas is Tian Tian Xiang Shang. Tian Tian was created by Danny Yung, Hong Kong art pioneer and godfather to multiple-disciplinary arts in Asia.
A collective that facilitates collaborative projects and exhibits. Their mission is to sustain an infrastructure that enables artists to develop and explore new opportunities within a creative context. As advocates of youth art initiatives, their goal is to establish the connection between professional artists and young talent. Creative collaborations stimulate fresh dialogue and experience for both artist and viewer, they provide the platform.
From independent expression to social commentary, the collection creatively represents the individual approach to a predefined canvas. This is a cross-cultural collaboration that transcends language and denomination. BlankBoy Canvas will be exhibited in a number of North American cities alongside a youth arts initiative developed to encourage dialogue and participation. The initiative empowers collective creative collaboration concluding in Hong Kong 2016 with an exhibit and auction.
Advocacy Through Arts:
Robertson believes Danny’s emphasis on developing advocacy through arts is a key element for children in finding their own dialogue along side their peers in developing a broader understanding of cross-cultural exchange as well as empowering them by using the same canvas as established artists. This exercise stimulates thinking and enhances communication by creating a more open, equal and interactive platform.
Danny Yung is an experimental art pioneer, the founder and Co-Artistic Director of Zuni Icosahedron and the creator of Tian Tian Xiang Shang conceptual comics, figure and sculpture. Danny attended the University of California at Berkeley and obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He then went to graduate school at Columbia University, where he studied urban planning and earned a master’s degree in urban design. He returned to Hong Kong in the late 70’s and has been devoting himself to all aspects of the arts. In the past 30 years he has been deeply involved in many different fields of the arts, particularly theatre, cartoon, film and video, and visual and installation art.
Yung has worked in more than 100 theatrical productions as director, scriptwriter, producer, and stage designer and his works have been presented in over 30 cities across Europe, Asia and the US. He is a passionate advocate of experimental arts and new art forms. He champions dialectical thinking and has made significant contributions to providing platforms for both acclaimed and budding artists to explore and practice theatre art in Hong Kong, as well as across Europe, Asia, and the United States. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists in Hong Kong and the region. Yung is also Chairperson of the Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture, Convener of the Chinese Creative Industries Forum, Board Member of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, and Member of Design Council of Hong Kong.
Tian Tian by Danny Yung was conceptualised by creating little boy caricatures and drawing comics in the 1950s as a primary school student in Hong Kong. As Danny Yung explains, “In those years, the phrase ‘tian tian xiang shang’—everyday looking up—was written on the wall of every primary school in China…the slogan was written in huge characters stretching over the entire front wall, and it appeared quite threatening to the schoolchildren.”
After 33 years of continuous development, caricature drawings and conceptual comics, Danny had created a thematic, minimalistic form of a boy, standing in the simple posture of a bystander. In 2007, Danny held a comic exhibition in Shanghai entitled “Tian Tian Xiang Shang,” developing the form of the boy with his finger pointing up, his head and eyes looking to the sky—shedding the impression of the little boy as simply an onlooker or bystander. Danny called this little boy “Tian Tian.”
“I have always wanted to stimulate and inspire our society to be more innovative through creativity, and hope that creativity could help promote and maintain public spaces, to stimulate thinking and enhance communication, to create a more open, equal and interactive platform.”
“Tian Tian” has gone from conceptual comics to a three dimensional canvas, see it and believe it at the Gladstone this December.
Other talented collaborators include:
After it’s Gladstone exhibition, Robertson’s Blank Boy Canvas is set to tour in participating cities like Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Vancouver, Singapore & Hong Kong.
Alongside the artist exhibit, Blank Boy Canvas will be working with youth advocacy arts groups to develop a workshop where children will get to express themselves and their infinite possibilities on a small Tian Tian figure while being part of a broader dialogue on creativity, critical thinking and exploring cross-cultural collaboration. Dates Coming Soon!