Did you know that Hong Kong was still last night?
Guy Bar-Amotz, Lisa Cheung, 張思敏, Anthony Key, Yeu Lai Mo, 毛羽麗, Olof Bjornsdottir
Mar 08 – Apr 13, 2003
Did you hear anything? See anything? Did you feel it, taste it?
Five artists from London try to discover Hong Kong through their senses. They will listen to her urban groans, feel her rough concrete and slick glass facades, be dazzled by the coloured neon lights, and taste hot, sour, fishy, sweet smells.
For one intense week they will respond to the culturally diverse city, and make new works (or adapt existing works) in a site-specific context, with relation to their new environment and audience.
The urban metropolis of Hong Kong assaults the senses from the moment you enter the city. This all engrossing, super-stimulating place blares garish neon lights, rings of pop music mixed with traffic drones, the aromas of delicious cooking intoxicates as one slides along the greasy concrete sidewalks. With the aid of the senses, one is able to navigate around this urban jungle, in search of individuality, locality and a sense of 'home'.
The artists chosen for this exhibition, consciously and unconsciously comment on many issues surrounding contemporary fast-paced Hong Kong culture, but coming from outside that context they bring with them fresh and alternative viewpoints. Their works speak of dislocation, loss of individuality, pop culture and soul-searching.
Guy Bar-Amotz uses urban sounds, transforming them into cyber pop Karaoke experiences. Not just mere transmitters, his sleek sound systems are sculptures that mix street music with urban noise. These are custom-made sounds emitting from his ‘Lo-Fi’ system. In Hong Kong, Bar-Amotz will improvise by building a new small-scale stereo sampling device that will incorporate the very best of Hong Kong’s Growls.
Lisa Cheung plays with urban lights reminiscent of neon signs, crafty kitsch lanterns and nostalgic children’s carnivals. The garish colours dance around the viewers, illuminating spaces that have been forgotten and neglected. Many of her works involve a level of interaction, whereby audience participation disperses the authorship of the artwork into a collective experience.
Anthony Key’s work deals with issues of location, or rather dislocation, specifically of the Chinese experience. His humorous sculptures, made from everyday objects and foods stuff, deals with cultural displacement, personally and collectively with reference to the everyday world. The simple materials he chooses are at once poignant and absurd. Key will attempt to re-interpret HK’s famous skyline.
Yeu Lai Mo uses foods and food culture to attract and repel. Her video is a queasy menu of foods that are at one point delectable, now transformed into an examination of culture and lifestyle. Like Key, she is also concerned with issues of cultural (dis)placement and the everyday Diasporic Chinese experience, all the while playing with our taste buds!
Finally, Olof Bjornsdottir’s work touches you, quite literally. ‘Beneficial Squeeze’ involves a sensuous repetitive massage action that touches another in a way that feels at first alien and perhaps even frightening within an urban setting. However, slowly as one relaxes in the care of her hands, one is mentally transported to another place. The tactile nature of her works elicits strong sensuous responses.