Nika Spalinger: Travel Agency

Nika Spalinger

Apr 16 – May 16, 2004

Swiss artist Nika Spalinger has widely exhibited in Europe but owing to her strong impression and sensitive experience of Hong Kong, she will address the issue of art and tourism that is pertinent to the situation in Hong Kong by making a site-specific project here to interact with the local people.

Para Site Art Space is proud to present images and site-specific multimedia-installation works by Swiss artist, Nika Spalinger, multimedia artist and professor at the Lucerne School of Art+Design (HGK). Spalinger has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows throughout Europe and USA.

The forthcoming exhibition, Travel Agency, deals with the phenomena of Tourism, a profitable and lucrative industry. Increased wealth and leisure-time, along with affordable travel has enabled many from wealthier countries to travel freely. Spalinger's investigation is fuelled by multiple questions; Why do people travel? Who travels? What do tourists expect? What is expected from them? How does tourism affect the world? What is the relationship between the Visitor and the Visited?

For millions of travelers, most are driven by the promise of the ultimate holiday experience and the 'unexpected'! However, there are as many people who travel for business as those who are forced to travel in attempts to search for better living conditions. But whether in desire or out of necessity, the journeys of these travelers intersect in many ways. In her work, Spalinger attempts to reveal these crossing-points through acute observations of the different kinds of travelers in this global age of moving-around.

There are also many similarities between art and tourism. Both often use imagery that promises unlimited individual freedom; the discovery of the new; exotic locations; beauty; excitement and endless pleasure, although in reality - in both cases - the truth can be quite different. To what extent, then, do these idealized images obstruct our view, our real experiences in both the world of traveling and in our own imaginations?

In Travel Agency, Spalinger will attempt to enter into dialogue with Hong Kong in a site-specific installation, offering the audience a super cheap but enjoyable "trip".