Noto

It took a while for the pleasures of Noto to sink in as we sat drinking Aperol in the Piazza XVI Maggio next to the grand neoclassical Teatro Comunale.   Like all Italian cities, it yields its pleasures more in the side streets where there are old decayed palazzi with decorative metalwork balconies and away from the Corso where the tourists were congregated on a hot Easter Monday.   We started with San Francesco, completed in 1745 by Vincenzo Sinatra:-

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Next door is the Museo Civico:-

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Hong Kong Museum of History

My last port-of-call before catching the plane back to London was the Hong Kong Museum of History where I went to see the Radiant Ming exhibition organised under the auspices of the so-called Min Chiu Society (‘I was not born with knowledge, but being fond of antiquity, I am quick to seek it’).   I went on the recommendation of one of my readers (thank you).   No photography or I would have taken photographs of the gold earrings in the shape of a calabash and the bright emerald green of one of the glazes in susancai style (‘three colours not including red’).

This is my last picture of Hong Kong:-

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Hollywood Road

I spent the morning in Hollywood Road.   I had made an appointment to visit the V&A’s collection of silver which is on display at the Liang Yi Museum, a new collection of Ming and Qing dynasty furniture made by a collector who spent his Saturday afternoons in the antique shops when mainland China was being looted.   The collection includes modern works, including a silver tray designed by David Clarke (2004):-

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Uli Sigg

I went in search of the collection of Uli Sigg, the Swiss businessman who started collecting Chinese art as the representative of Schindler in the early 1980s, became Swiss ambassador in the mid-1990s and has sold/donated his collection to M+, the Herzog and de Meuron designed museum which is due to open in West Kowloon in 2018.   It’s on display in an exhibition space in Quarry Bay and provides a comprehensive narrative of Chinese art post-Mao.   I liked the early paint box from 1970:-

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And the picture of Mao admiring Duchamp:-

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Antony Gormley RA

I spent the middle part of the day exploring the back streets of Hollywood Road and down into Des Voeux Road in search of works by Antony Gormley which have been installed on a wide range of roof tops, 31 in all, throughout Central Hong Kong.   It’s a lesson in long distance visual exploration, searching out for the distant figures perched on the edge of the tallest landmark buildings:-

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Conrad Shawcross RA

In amongst the colonnades and potted palms in the front lobby of the Peninsula Hotel is a large robot designed by Conrad Shawcross, inspired by the work of Ada Lovelace who wrote an algorithm regarded as the first computer programme.   This evening we had a press launch to celebrate the collaboration, followed by a short musical performance in which the robot did a slow form dance to the sound of a short contemporary opera piece composed by Mira Calix and based on words by Alan Turing:-

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