Hot Concrete: LA to HK’s unique curatorial perspective uses the four major principles of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, as its point of departure, particularly a fresh approach, movement, balance, and harmony. The exhibition is not only a bridge that connects two significant artistic hubs and geographies, but also provides Hong Kong’s art-viewing public with a glimpse into the current creative energy of Los Angeles and its limitless opportunities for exploration, innovation, and self-fashioning. Hot Concrete not only fosters cultural exchange, but also injects the vibrancy of Los Angeles into Hong Kong’s cultural landscape, benefiting the latter’s community of artists, curators, collectors, and enthusiasts of art.
Hot Concrete is a multi-generational exhibition, presenting a diverse arrangement of artists positioned at various points in their career who define this important moment in Los Angeles’s creative history. It is also multidisciplinary, featuring numerous practices such as sculpture, installation, video, painting, and furniture design to showcase a wide range of talents. Hot Concrete’s artists represent Los Angeles’s unique position as a place where a multiplicity of cultures coexist and flourish. They reflect on their personal histories and lived experiences as minorities, children of diaspora, first-generation citizens, and immigrants in their practice. References to California’s vernacular cultures, including car culture, murals and graffiti found on overpasses, bridges, and the concrete walls of the LA River, or signage on mom-and-pop shops in ethnic pockets, are abound in the exhibition.
All the artists are community-oriented and socially engaged, interrogating class, gender, race, identity, and alternative subcultures, like skating, surfing, lowrider, and graffiti, all of which add to the colorful fabric of the city. They turn inwards while looking to their city’s unique history. Like Los Angeles, Hong Kong is a bustling metropolis shaped by a fusion of disparate cultures. The work of Hot Concrete’s artists serves as a reminder for Hong Kong audiences to reflect on their personal histories, their relationship to the city, and the communities that shape it. Hot Concrete continues the creative legacy of generations of cultural workers using the sprawling city’s vibrant landscape, physical and cultural, and its history, both chaotic and harmonious, as a reference. While often personal, nostalgic, and emblematic of the locale in which it is made, the work of these artists finds parallels globally.