This week, China braces for Art Hong Kong, an expansive fair showing pieces from 266 galleries from 39 countries. Among the highlights will be new works by Zaha Hadid, the iconic architect (and Pritzker prize winner) known for her futuristic style.
Hadid designed the undulating forms of London’s Aquatic Center for this year’s Olympic games, a railroad in Austria, the Guangzhou Opera House, which was completed in 2010, and countless other sites around the world. (Her only building on American soil is the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, which was completed in 2003).
In 1983, Hadid submitted proposals for the Peak Leisure Club – a private club on the craggy mountains overlooking Hong Kong. Though the project was never realized, it brought her “to the international scene, making the world aware of her work,” says Mathias Rastorfer, director and co-owner of the Zurich-based Galerie Gmurzynska, which is showing the paintings at Art Hong Kong.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Peak Project; and, a result, Hadid has revisited the subject – completing several new canvases of the same subject, which the Galerie is showing side by side with the original works. Hadid’s designs for the Peak Project consist of several horizontal layers that appear to be suspended on the rock face; it looks like a bullet train somehow frozen and cantilevered in the side of the mountain. The new paintings re-elaborate on the building’s splinted forms; they are rendered in several bright colors, and cite the work of Kasimir Malevich and the tradition of Suprematism. (Hadid and the Galerie will publish a book on this subject, Zaha Hadid and Suprematism, with Hatje Cantz next month.)
Rastrofer says that now, the new works are “a celebration of Zaha’s deep professional and emotional ties to Hong Kong.”