Empty Gallery is a 4,500 sq. ft. black-cube space located at the edge of Aberdeen Harbor in Tin Wan, Hong Kong.
Founded by Stephen Cheng, the gallery showcases both established and emerging artists alongside a program of pioneering multimedia commissions, performances and music.
With a special commitment to ephemeral, time-based and non-objectoriented practices, Empty Gallery is committed to fostering conversation across cultural, geographic, and medium-specific boundaries while serving as a regional hub for the flourishing East Asian art scene.
Everything Visible Is Empty
Empty Gallery is pleased to present Toshio Matsumoto: Everything Visible Is Empty, a retrospective exhibition of the late experimental filmmaker and visual theorist, examining arguably his most fertile creative period: the years 1960 to 1979. Emerging from the same post-war creative ferment as counter-cultural figures like playwright Shuji Terayama, pop artist Tadanori Yokoo, and novelist Yukio Mishima, Matsumoto’s work remains strikingly relevant today - both for its precocious formal experimentation and its commitment to a deeply personal vision of radical politics.
For this exhibition, Empty Gallery has worked closely with the late artist’s archivist in order to present a selection of rarely screened works including Matsumoto’s early documentaries Nishijin and Song of Stone, his landmark expanded cinema work for three projectors, For The Damaged Right Eye, and a selection of his influential abstract short films - all in newly restored versions. Eschewing an organizational approach based on stylistic or chronological development, Everything Visible Is Empty instead seeks to embrace Matsumoto’s critique of “the visible” as a structuring principle, presenting an arrangement of works from different eras and contexts which are nevertheless connected through their shared inquiry into the social construction of history and the agency of the subject within this construction. Considered by no less an authority than new-wave director Nagisa Oshima as his only rival for aesthetic and ideological influence within Japan’s dynamic scene of post-war image makers, Toshio Matsumoto’s films and theoretical writings form an essential but often overlooked contribution to the global history of experimental film and video art which has only just begun to be re-evaluated in recent years.
Toshio Matsumoto (1932-2017) was a Japanese film director, video artist, and visual theorist who was widely considered a pivotal figure of Japan’s post-war artistic avant-garde. He first came to prominence through his collaboration with artist collective Jikken Kobo on the film Ginrin in 1955, initiating a career-long interest in experimental sound and electronic music which would be reflected in his output over the next few decades. He subsequently created an eclectic body of work comprising experimental documentaries, structuralist films, and early video art while continuing to be influential as a critic, theorist, and educator. Recent presentations of Matsumoto’s work have included “The World Goes Pop” at Tate Modern and “Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde” at MoMa.