Tuesday 26 March 2019

British Chinese artist Faye Wei Wei’s acclaimed neon artwork 

‘Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars’ now on public display at the British Council until its auction in May

Work to be auctioned by Phillips with proceeds going towards a new British Council project to nurture Hong Kong’s young creative talent  

As Hongkongers celebrate Arts Month, acclaimed neon artwork ‘Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars’, conceived and designed by rising British Chinese artist Faye Wei Wei, will go on public display at the British Council offices at 3 Supreme Court Road in Admiralty. The work, which was co-commissioned by the British Council and Phillips auction house for the British Council’s inaugural Festival of Ideas – SPARK: The Science and Art of Creativity – in January, will be exhibited until it is put under the hammer by Phillips in May. Proceeds from the sale will go towards a new British Council project that aims to develop young creative talent in Hong Kong. Details of the project will be revealed at the live auction in spring.

Named ‘One to Watch’ by British Vogue in 2018, Faye Wei Wei created ‘Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars’ as part of the ‘Neon Spark’ project sponsored by Phillips to pay tribute to the iconic art of neon sign making and to instigate a conversation on preserving heritage and culture in the city, highlighting a sunset industry which once illuminated and defined Hong Kong’s skyline. Fabricated by one of Hong Kong’s last remaining neon light masters, the artwork explores the theme of duality by combining the skill of a fine artist with that of a technician working with neon, glass and electricity. Watch the brand-new video of this project here

The artwork was originally unveiled by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, the Honourable Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, at the SPARK festival’s opening ceremony on 18 January 2019 at Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts. Attracting over 14,000 visitors, the three-day festival celebrated creativity across the arts, sciences and education and provided a platform for cultural exchange between the UK and Hong Kong. 

Artist Faye Wei Wei said:

“I have always been drawn to things in pairs. My compositions often end up being heart-shaped: two lovers dancing, two boxers fighting, a tulip caressing another tulip, a horse in duet with its rider. I guess it’s also to do with the nature of things having an opposite - every flower has a shadow, every moon has a sun.” 

Antony J. Chan, Head of Arts and Creative Industries, British Council in Hong Kong, said:

“One of the most talked-about attractions at the SPARK festival, Faye Wei Wei’s ‘Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars’ offers a unique perspective on the tradition of neon sign making, an artform that has long been synonymous with Hong Kong. We are therefore delighted, not only to give more people the opportunity to see this stunning work, but also to be able to auction it with Phillips to help set up an exciting new project that aims to develop young creative talent in Hong Kong. At the British Council, we believe that creativity and imagination play a vital role across all areas of life. The imperative to nurture creativity among young people in Hong Kong and across the world is compelling.” 

Jonathan Crockett, Deputy Chairman and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Phillips in Asia said: 

“Phillips is incredibly excited to support ‘Neon Spark’ which brings together art, culture and heritage in a vibrant and dynamic form. This collaboration builds on our commitment to supporting a new generation of artists. We look forward to making art more accessible to the public in Hong Kong through a future educational project with the British Council that is on the pulse of what is happening now.” 

View Faye Wei Wei’s ‘Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars’ at the British Council offices until May: 

Address: 1/F, British Council, 3 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong 

Opening Times: Monday - Friday 9.00 - 20.30

Saturday 9.00 - 18.00

Sunday 10.00 - 18.00 

Closed on public holidays

Photos and video are available here for use

Keep up to date with the British Council in Hong Kong on social media:

Facebook: BritishCouncilHongKong 

Instagram: @britishcouncilhk 

Twitter: @hkBritish


Notes to Editor

About Faye Wei Wei 

British painter Faye Wei Wei graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2016, and has gone on to exhibit internationally. Her bold, poetic works quiver with a lively, lyrical motion, combining classical poise with vibrant immediacy. Faye is represented by Cob Gallery, London. Faye’s artwork, which has been fabricated into neon for ‘Neon Spark’, is called Frail Silver of The Climbing Stars. www.fayeweiwei.com www.cobgallery.com

About Phillips

Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewellery, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.  In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services. Visit www.phillips.com for further information.

About SPARK: The Science and Art of Creativity

SPARK is a place for debate, inspiration and visionary thinking. A brand-new British Council Festival of Ideas, SPARK celebrates creativity across the arts, sciences and education, and offers a platform for cultural exchange between the UK and Hong Kong. The inaugural SPARK took place 18-20 January 2019 at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong’s newest centre for heritage and arts. SPARK #2 is planned for early 2021.



About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. This past year, they reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. They make a positive contribution to the countries they work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934, they are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. They receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. They have been working with Hong Kong since 1948.