Artists Gilbert & George debut new work in Hong Kong

Fri Mar 2, 2012 7:07am EST
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By Stefanie McIntyre

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Death, hope, life, fear, sex, money, race and religion through Britain's tabloid headlines is the subject of the latest art exhibition from British art duo Gilbert and George, premiering in Hong Kong.

The immaculately dressed Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore, who met at art school in London in the late 1960s and still live, work and eat all their meals together every day, are among Britain's best known artists. They married in 2008.

While their early work aimed to shock the establishment, the illustrious British duo are now considered "godfathers" of the contemporary art scene -- but insist their work remains as subversive as ever despite their new insider status.

"This is why we have two very important cries," Passmore told an audience in Hong Kong, before they chanted in union: "Ban religion! Ban religion! Decriminalise sex!"

Often dark, sometimes humorous, the "London Pictures", which opens in Hong Kong on March 2 and goes through May 5, are made up of 3,712 newspaper posters, "stolen" by the artists over six years from newsstands near their home in east London.

"We believe that everyone understands what is inside everybody which is death," Passmore said before they alternated saying: "hope, life, fear, sex, money, race, religion."

"We're only dealing with the universal elements and we love to do that with people wherever they live," Passmore said.

"And we do believe that these subjects are universal. They are not London," Proesch said.   Continued...