The SAD School of Artists Development (SAD) is an ongoing conceptual art project initiated by Silas Fong in 2019. The project is informed by the wide array of observations on various roles in the art ecology, from artists, curators, collectors, to art schools, and personal experience throughout his career in art. Adopting marketing strategies, he developed a series of products and services for his make-believe art academy, transforming his thoughts into a series of videos, performances, artist's books and art installations. The objective of SAD is to define a set of seemingly standardized and professional job skills for artists. Detailed studying of these skills, however, would reveal their speciousness – it is a parodied reflection on the phenomenon that the professionalization of art has diverted the focus of artists to job skills such as image building and personal network development, leaving the quality of the artworks to a state of being neglected and marginalised.
Following the SAD Info Days and SAD: School of Artists Development held in Korea in 2019 and 2020, Silas Fong has organised SAD Info Day 2021 at the invitation of vA!. Survival kits and crash course notes, which he has been continually developing for SAD to respond to the various social settings in the art community, were showcased. In the name of SAD, two seminars were held to explore how to apply Feng Shui and image design to help artists excel in their careers. Aspiring art students and young artists were invited to take part in the seminar. A video with the event highlights was produced and played repeatedly at the exhibition as a part of the art installation.
Silas Fong is a contemporary artist born in 1985 in Hong Kong. He furthered his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Cologne after earning his MFA from Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012 and BA from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2008. Since September 2017, Fong is Assistant Professor at the Department of Photography, College of Arts in Chung-Ang University. Silas Fong evaluates the context behind each project to develop respective approaches for conceptual and critical expression. His work is often reflective of his role as an observer, artist and educator. He has held solo and group exhibitions at Liverpool Biennial (2010), Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2020), Hong Kong Museum of Art (2009), Goethe- Institut Hongkong (2016), Taipei Soka Art Center (2012), City Gallery Wellington (2013), ZKM (2013), Tate Modern (2010), Saatchi Gallery London (2012), Dresden Cynetart (2013) and Microwave International New Media Festival (2013), etc.
He currently lives and works in Hong Kong and Seoul.
Date: 17.5 — 20.12.2021