The Journey 2008 - 2010

Art Exchanges

 

Hong Kong – 2 - 4 July 2009

Art on the Road

“Art on the Road”
Curators: Tang Ying-mui, Yu Kei Kei

The theme of this exhibition is about mobility and speed in Hong Kong. Our special way to exhibit 9 artists’ works is by a truck that will roam the streets of Hong Kong. Our artists sure have special feelings about walking in the streets of Hong Kong. Cheung Wai-lok, Lam Lui-kong, Roy, Lau Hok-shing, Hanison, Lee Suet-ying, Tang Ying-mui, Tse Lok-lun, Laurence, Tse Ming-chong, Wong Chun-yam and Yiu Kwan-ho, Boy have expressed, deconstructed, and reconstructed these feelings of “Stop”, “Stay” and “Move” through their artworks.

“Stop_Off”
Tse Ming Chong has photographed an actor of mime with a mask and displayed it along the side of the truck. With the white mask, no one can tell the emotion of the actor. Or does he have an emotion at all? But still the character seems to be saying hi to passer by. Wanting them to come inside the truck and enjoy some artworks? Tse Lok-lun, Laurence don’t want to let time pass, he looks at time in a repetitious way. Everyday, ordinary encounters add up to build time. He suspends them in a slow motion and talks to us in a way contrasting to the speed of Hong Kong city. Similarly, Lam Lui-kong, Roy hopes the audience will slowly move their heads and eyes, pay attention to more people and things around us. Lau Hok-shing, Hanison uses an ancient Chinese painting and let it travels through a modern world. When the truck stops, the painting will be turned into a blind to shade off the sun. When looking up at the shade, the audience will see the ancient scenery amid the high rise in Hong Kong.

“Stay_Found”
Yiu Kwan-ho, Boy and Tang Ying-mui both found something that means to them on the street of Hong Kong. The former doesn’t like walking in the street because of the crowdedness. Passer by, rushing for their daily routine, easily forgot to bring their hearts out with them. Boy wants to make a bag that can put the heart inside so passer by can still have their heart with them. The latter’s work invokes a feeling of collection of specimen from the city. Each specimen has been recorded with date, time and place of capture indicating the mobility of the species. Their final destiny is at the hand of human and they end up in captivity. We hold the fate of all species in the world. How are we going to treat them? What should we do to them?

“Move_Visibly”
Without the drive from the labor sector, how can we build up the Hong Kong cosmopolitan outlook? Lee Suet-ying, Cheung Wai-lok and Wong Chun-yam, started from the laborers’ side and content, tried to tell the characteristics of Hong Kong, China.Workers are the key persons who have to pay lots of effort and labour but what they receive is minimal! Lee has used materials that workers used to create work and a song describing their hard work will be played at the same time. Reminding us of the effort workers contribute to our society. Song about Labor will be playing out loud at the street of Hong Kong! Cheung Wai-lok believes the big paper box is neither goods nor junk. It is a Luminous Hong Kong, for our distant friends to view and embrace the Hong Kong night light. For Wong Chun-yam, the symbol of mobility is cars, trucks etc. They are far too macho. By inputting lace to transform parts and bits of a truck, couple hardness with softness.


Art on the Road Art on the Road Art on the Road Art on the Road Art on the Road Art on the Road Art on the Road




Hong Kong - 19 Nov 2008

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A sharing session co-presented by MIA (Mere Independent Artists) and Lumenvisum, organiser and partner of the Project respectively, was held at the JCCAC on 19 November 2008. The session, titled Pilgrimage, started with a video documentation preview, showing to participants highlights of the Project from its preparation to the realisation.

It was followed by a sharing with the two artists and the photographer who travelled with the first batch of art containers on Emirates Kaneko to Singapore in July 2008. The three of them, Ms Lee Mei-kuen, Carol, Mr Alex Heung and Mr Dick Chan, gave a lively account of the 4 days they spent on board.

Last but not least, Mr Tse Ming-chong, co-founder of Lumenvisum and now the tracking partner of art containers, delivered a talk focusing on the interconnection of cultures and ideas through journeys. He introduced to the participants the book A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East by Italian journalist Tiziano Terzani and the concept of imagined communities by Benedict Anderson, leading to the subject of searching for balance and identity in the modern world.

Mr Tse also talked about his own experience in his years of travelling as a photographer. Attended by both artists and members of the public, the activity was well received with meaningful exchanges and discussions.

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Shanghai -  1-14 March 2009

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“The Thirteen Stories of Portable Art”, An art exhibition curated by Tang Ying-mui, Yu Kei-kei

When the Earth is still rotating and there is no alien like Keanu Reeves (speaking Puthonghua) to come to give us warning, visible and invisible mobility is everywhere around us, from outer universe to inner flu. And recently, one thing that has linked up everyone’s heart is the economic mobility. Art was used by the authorities for propaganda in the old days and now a mirror through which to look at our society. No matter which role it plays, art communicates. When an artwork is on the move, a dialogue will happen between the content of art and its surrounding environment and people. This exhibition is composed of artworks with high mobility. The Thirteen Stories of Portable Art explores at different sectors of life how people prepare to communicate and its process.

“Portable Art” reveals the “action” involved in this exhibition. We, as curators, have invited 12 artists to make artworks of portable size and weight, and then we will lift, bear, shoulder, carry and move the artworks in every way we can to get them out of Hong Kong. On the way, we will photograph “Portable Art” at different stopovers, like the subway, taxi stop or inside the airport, etc. These photos will become part of The Thirteen Stories of Portable Art exhibition and describe the other 12 artworks’ mobility process. To kick start the prologue of The Thirteen Stories of Portable Art:

Rubbish is produced wherever there is human life. It is the by-product of civilization. As material civilization develops, rubbish is produced in greater quantity and complexity. Since when is our city developed on top of rubbish? Pauline Lam packs a full suitcase of leftover from products of civilization. Civilization in a Suitcase flies from Hong Kong to Shanghai. It is displayed barbarously at the venue, allowing materials to rule the space and become part of her installation work. There are numerous movies, TV dramas and comics that centre around the end of the world caused by the endless human greed. One of the classic horror-comics called The Drifting Classroom published in the 1970’s has inspired Cheng Chi-ming, Carl, to use installation work to tell the story of drifting civilization and warn the modern world. In fact, terrorist attack is now everywhere, causing more tension in immigration procedures. Complex checking is enforced for safety reasons, and fear has enhanced supervision. Everyone is required to leave a mark in order to enter a “civilized” city. As in Tang Ying-mui’s Taking Finger Fur, human or animal, all need to provide a mark that proves that they are clean and innocent.

The standard weight and size of hand-carried luggage are all listed clearly. In his Life in a Suitcase, William Lim examines the weight of compressing a life in a suitcase. When the suitcase of Chan Kam-shing, Chris passes through the X-ray of luggage inspection system at the airport, the inspector will see the inside of the suitcase which contains a deer and a crane made of sponge (Chinese pronunciation of “deer” and “crane” are similar to the word that means “world”), then how big is the world?

Some people said that geography should be experienced by our body, and text is only supplementary. Lee Mei-kuen, Carol’s Journey Log detaches from text and employs only lines like an electrocardiogram to record the subtle vibration of her journey. Reading is the best solution to deal with tedious waiting when you travel. When choosing a book companion, you may consider the blue Reading the Horizon by Chan Wai-sze, Teresa, and A Dark Travel Guide by Ho Oi-yan, Carol. The former provides a new perspective to reflect on time and distance. The latter uses picture story to depict the journey in an invisible city. In Shanghai, Lam Chi-kwong exhibits his ceramic work Vessels in Blue and White. In the sea, his art container is voyaging through the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and the Gulf, repeating the route of the Maritime Silk Road.

Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour is a natural harbour with deep and sheltered waters. Therefore, it does not surprise us that the British wanted so much to take her away from the hand of the Qing Dynasty. The northwest side of Victoria Harbour has been developed into the most important container terminals in Hong Kong called Kwai Chung Container Port. It is one of the world’s busiest ports. It was where Heung Kin-fung, Alex boarded a cargo ship together with his art container and sailed to Singapore. In the five-day journey on board, he created When Cargo Ship meets a Whale. Fishing at the Victoria Harbour, people might catch Branchiostoma, a type of fish that Choi Wing-sze, Alice mentions in her work. Although the catch from today’s Victoria Harbour is not suitable for consumption, Branchiostoma (it is called “white canvas shoe” in Cantonese colloquial) can still be found floating in the harbour. Hong Kong has transformed from a British colony to a Special Administration Region, from a small fishing village to a cosmopolitan city with a spectacular show of music and light playing every night. Living in a fast-transforming world, do people choose to change or just have no choice? Tang Ying-chi puts black cotton thread on the beautiful organza with a sewing machine, making the soft transparent fabric harder, and using it to make a high-collar zip coat. When the coat is zipped up, people cannot see the eyes of wearer, but the wearer can see the outside world through this transparent fabric. In this society with high mobility, people are moving around all the time. As one of them, are you the one watching or being watched? Is the surrounding environment harmonious or discordant? Are people coexisting or breaking apart from each other?

The Thirteen Stories of Portable Art is an exchange activity for stage two of the Art Container Project. We would like to communicate and exchange with other cites by means of an exhibition. Therefore, each artwork is carried to Shanghai and experiences a “physical” journey. The action has naturally linked the exhibition content with mobility. Using portable artworks as the medium of communication, we link up the time, space and people of north and south.

  • Participating Artists:
  • Chan Kam-shing, Chris
  • Chan Wai-sze, Teresa
  • Cheng Chi-ming, Carl
  • Choi Wing-sze, Alice
  • Heung Kin-fung, Alex
  • Ho Oi-yan, Carol
  • Lam Chi-kwong
  • Pauline Lam
  • Lee Mei-kuen, Carol
  • William Lim
  • Tang Ying-chi
  • Tang Ying-mui

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Macau - 20 Sept 2008

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A sharing on the making of the art container project at OX Warehouse was carried out in Macau.

OX Warehouse

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Singapore - 17-20 July 2008

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MIA and art container artists had flied to Singapore to receive the container ship, Emirates Kanako at Jurlong Port Singapore and started art exchanges with the local art bodies.

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