Hot on the heels of Tailwhip, Empty Gallery is pleased to present Bad Timing, Xper.Xr’s second exhibition with the gallery, and his first presentation of new work in nearly three decades. Occupying a seminal, if oft-overlooked, position within Hong Kong art history, Xper stands nearly alone as a regional representative of the radically individualistic and anti-authoritarian potentials embodied by the shared legacy of industrial, no wave, and noise music. Bad Timing sees this interminable provocateur re-animating his long deceased painting practice–– last sighted at the Quart Society in 1991–– with a perverse and unexpected turn towards society portraiture.
Fomented by Hong Kong’s suffocating recent history of governmental ineptitude, political strife, and elite abdication of responsibility, this ensemble of new paintings depicts an international cast of sociopolitical bad actors–– from financiers and technocrats to religious leaders–– brought together by a shared propensity for betrayal of the public trust. Each portrait appropriates its sardonic title from a classic pop song (see such choice examples as MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack), extending Xper’s career-long fascination with ersatz covers of iconic tunes into the media of painting, and indelibly linking the exercise of societal power with the operation of the culture industry.
Please note that this exhibition is open by appointment only.