14 May 2012
MOBILE M+: YAU MA TEI OPENS TOMORROW
Showcasing Contemporary Hong Kong Artists during ART HK 12
The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) will unveil Mobile M+: Yau Ma Tei tomorrow, Tuesday 15 May 2012, the first in a series of major pop-up "nomadic" exhibitions curated by M+, the museum for 20th and 21st century visual culture. It marks the beginning of the museum's venture into programming, to engage the public, before the completion of the building in late 2017.
Stemming from the strong connection between Hong Kong's contemporary art and the reconstruction of its history, seven Hong Kong based artists - Kwan Sheung-chi + Wong Wai-yin, Leung Mee-ping, Erkka Nissinen, Pak Sheung-chuen, Tsang Kin-wah and Yu Lik-wai - have been invited to reimagine the city's history and stories that resonate with the neighbourhood. Re-inhabiting neglected spaces in the heart of Yau Ma Tei - shops, offices, a park and an empty lot under a flyover - each artist recounts their own perspective of contemporary Hong Kong, ranging from the abstract to the literal, from the political to the everyday (please refer to Annex for details).
Mr Michael Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA, said, Mobile M+: Yau Ma Tei is the Authority's latest initiative to bring arts closer to the people of Hong Kong and to bring life to the WKCD project. "The exhibition does not only endow the traditional Yau Ma Tei district with a contemporary Hong Kong touch, but also provides a wonderful platform to introduce local artists to international audience during ART HK."
Dr Lars Nittve, Executive Director of M+, said, "A museum is not the same as its building and its exhibits should break through its walls. One of our ambitions for the future is for the whole of West Kowloon to vibrate with art. Art can make a difference in terms of signifying a place and Yau Ma Tei is one of the areas that embodies Hong Kong's heart and soul. We look forward to being part of its urban fabric and its rich and complex history. In this journey along Portland Street and Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei, the participating artists challenge our perception of the familiar."
"The seven exceptional artists that will be part of this exhibition represent the excellence and some of the diversity of the Hong Kong art scene. Staging the exhibition during the ART HK 12, it is time for more Hong Kong artists to start to take to the international stage and we hope to take a leading role in realising this," Dr Nittve added.
Complementing the exhibition are free programmes including guided tours every weekend, a series of artist talks as well as a comprehensive downloadable iPhone app detailing the artists and artworks, installation sites and programme details.
A bilingual exhibition catalogue published by M+, WKCDA, is available at all major bookstores in Hong Kong for HKD140/ USD20. The catalogue includes essays on each of the artist's oeuvre in relation to their installations by leading art commentators such as Koon Yee-wan and Olivier Krischer; a series of comic strips by Li Chi-tak in response to the artists' proposals; and writings, photographs and archival images documenting the thinking and process behind the works.
M+ will be the new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, as part of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and the moving image. From day one, M+ is set to develop content from a Hong Kong perspective, the perspective of the "now", and with a global vision, from the "inside out". M+ will be shaped around the ideas, vision and, eventually, contents formulated now and in the coming years through programmes such as Mobile M+: Yau Ma Tei. The scale of the building, at around 60,000 square metres, will be on par with the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is a project with a strong public service ethos, fundamentally as a museum for the more than seven million people living and working in Hong Kong, firmly rooted in the location and its unique culture.
MOBILE M+: YAU MA TEI
Various installation locations in Yau Ma Tei (Annex attached, website and iPhone app details each location)
Exhibition period: 15 May - 10 June, 2012
Open daily, 10am - 7pm (extended hours 15 May - 20 May, 9am - 8pm)
T: +852 2200 0204 | www.wkcda.hk/mobile-mplus
FREE iPhone App 'Mobile M+: Yau Ma Tei'
FREE (first come, first served basis)
1/F Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square Street, Yau Ma Tei
Tuesday 15 May, 7pm - Yu Lik-wai
Saturday 26 May, 4pm - Leung Mee-ping
Saturday 2 June, 4pm - Pak Sheung-chuen
Saturday 9 June, 4pm - Kwan Sheung-chi + Wong Wai-yin
All talks conducted in Cantonese and last for 90 minutes
FREE (first come, first served basis, 20 visitors per tour capacity)
Meet-up point: Info Hub, Shop 1, G/F Yen Chun Building, 18 Portland Street, Yau Ma Tei
Every Saturday and Sunday in Cantonese, 2pm
Every Sunday in English, 4pm
Each tour lasts for 90 minutes. Jointly organised by the Yau Ma Tei Concern for Resident Rights Association and Community Engagement Workshop Ltd and M+.
WEST KOWLOON CULTURAL DISTRICT
The West Kowloon Cultural District is the largest arts and cultural project in Hong Kong to date. Its vision is to provide a vibrant cultural quarter for the city; a vital platform for the local arts scene to interact, develop and collaborate; and major facilities to host and produce world-class exhibitions, performances and arts and cultural events. The District will include 17 core arts and cultural venues and 30,000 square metres of space for arts education. It will be a low-density development, providing ample open green space and embracing two kilometres of a vibrant harbour-front promenade, 23 hectares of open space and a green avenue, and closely connected with the neighbourhood.
The project will be developed in phases with construction scheduled to commence in 2013. The venues to be commissioned in Phase 1 include phase 1 of M+ (20th and 21st century visual culture museum), the Xiqu Centre (main theatre and Tea House), a Freespace with an outdoor stage, a Lyric Theatre, a Centre for Contemporary Performance, Medium Theatre I, a Music Centre with a Concert and Recital Hall, a Musical Theatre, a Mega Performance Venue and an Exhibition Centre. A host of ancillary facilities including a Resident Company Centre, other creative learning facilities and a number of Arts Pavilions for visual arts exhibitions will also be constructed in this phase. Phase 2 will involve the commissioning of the Great Theatre, a small theatre as part of the Xiqu Centre, Medium Theatre II and phase 2 of the M+ development.
WKCDA's first cultural event was the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre which was staged at the future site of the Xiqu Centre near Canton Road during the Chinese New Year in 2012. Mobile M+: Yau Ma Tei marks the second program presented by WKCDA and the first in the series curated by M+ scheduled to occur leading up to the opening of the M+ museum in 2017.
Yau Ma Tei
Yau Ma Tei has historically been characterised by its diverse and varied make-up - at once metropolitan and suburban, industrial, commercial and residential, seafaring and land-based. Originally a narrow anchorage used by fishermen, Yau Ma Tei has grown from a prosperous market town in the late 19th century into one of Hong Kong's busiest residential and commercial districts where a unique fruit market is located. Rows of shop-houses and tenement buildings sprang up, and the area soon became Kowloon's centre of entertainment, with cinemas, theatres, hawker stalls and street performances. Today, there is a dynamic coexistence of traditional and newer business but still primarily a working class district, that gives the area its value of embodying the marks and stories of Hong Kong's grassroots population.
ARTISTS + WORKS
1) Kwan Sheung-chi + Wong Wai-yin
To Defend The Core Values Is The Core Of The Core Values
In this performative and participatory project, a gold coin embossed with the phrase "Hong Kong's Core Value" is especially produced and displayed alongside a collection of related videos and posters. The public is invited to take part in a performance - to take place on a boat at the Harbour - that will determine the fate of the gold coin. Through the process, Kwan and Wong posit the question of what constitutes the value system in Hong Kong's socio-political sphere as a response to recent events.
Kwan Sheung-chi graduated in Fine Art from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2003. In 2002, the Hong Kong Arts Centre presented the exhibition "A Retrospective of Kwan Sheung Chi" and "Kwan Sheung Chi Touring Series Exhibitions, Hong Kong" appeared in ten major exhibition venues in Hong Kong. In 2009, he was awarded the Starr Foundation Fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council to take part in an international residency program in New York.
Wong Wai Yin graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2004, and The University of Leeds, UK (Master of Fine Art) in 2005. Wong experiments with a variety of media, ranging from painting, sculpture, collage, installations and photography. She has exhibited her works extensively in Hong Kong, as well as in Japan, U.S.A, Singapore, and Guangzhou. http://wwy.hk
Installation location: Shop 4, 16-24A Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei (entrance at Portland Street)
2) Leung Mee-ping
I Miss Fanta
Three iconic outdoor neon signs - of Coca-Cola®, Sprite® and Fanta® - along Macau's main shopping artery Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro have been a fixture in many photographs of Macau and an integral part of the city's urban landscape for the past 50 years. I Miss Fanta is the result of Leung's recent discovery of the disappearance of the Coca-Cola® and Sprite® signage - a title amplifying the sentiment expressed from the perspective of the signages about their dismantled past. By transplanting them in the grounds of a park in Yau Ma Tei (similar to how they were found on an outdoor platform in Macau's Coca-Cola® bottling factory), and displaying the process of its move in a nearby recycling-and-junk shop, Leung transforms the function of these visual symbols of personal and collective memory into a sculptural installation, while bringing the tension between heritage conservation and urban revitalisation (or gentrification) to the surface.
Leung Mee-ping graduated from L'École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, and obtained a master's degree in Fine Art from the California Institute of the Arts, USA. Leung received the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Award in 2002. Her solo exhibitions include "Reality - Leung Mee-ping Installation Art Exhibition" (2012) in Macau, and "Made in Hong Kong" (2011) in Taipei. Leung is assistant professor at the Academy of Visual Arts, Baptist University of Hong Kong. www.lmp.hk
3) Erkka Nissinen
Nissinen's installation comprises videos and prints that fuse the construction of a film set with the appearance of a retail space, where eccentric characters face comical circumstances in a visual satire. By questioning and making fun of one's "ego", and its relation to the others, Nissinen offers a personal and humorous insight into the complex relationships between human existence, obsession and the absurdity of modern life.
Erkka Nissinen studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and earned a master's degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. In 2007 he was awarded a residency at the Rijksakademie. His works have been exhibited at the Ellen de Bruijne Project Space and Smart Projects Space (Amsterdam), Helsinki City Art Museum's Kluuvin Gallery and 1646 in Den Haag. He won the Illy Prize at the 2011 Rotterdam Art Fair. Nissinen is co-director of Handkerchief Production - a Hong Kong-based interdisciplinary creative studio. www.handkerchief.com.hk
Installation location: G/F shop, 168 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei
4) Pak Sheung-chuen
L is an interlinked and multi-part urban intervention, consisting of performance, exhibition, and documentation. As an extension of Pak's earlier publication 2011()10()24 made up of diary notes and sketches, it questions the role of art in improving everyday life as it mediates between the borders of spirituality, social interaction, and daily living. Throughout the exhibition period, Pak disseminates "artistic gestures" to the public by orchestrating everyday scenarios in the form of: street promotions of self-enhancement courses based on artistic concepts around Temple Street; night classes aimed at "tired white-collar workers"; and collation of ideas from the classes and Pak's research, promotion and delivery of his creative ideas - in the form of three publications and exhibition in neighborhood shops.
Pak Sheung-chuen studied Fine Arts and Theology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Between 2003 and 2007, he was a regular visual-arts columnist for Ming Pao Daily News. Pak has participated in platforms such as the 7th Taipei Biennial (2010) and the 3rd Yokohama Triennale (2008). He also represented Hong Kong at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. For its 2011 Almanac, ArtAsiaPacific selected Pak as one of the five Outstanding Artists and Promising Figures. www.oneeyeman.com
5) Tsang Kin-wah
The Fourth Seal - HE Is To No Purpose And HE Wants To Die For The Second Time
As part of Tsang's ongoing Seven Seals project (2009), The Fourth Seal is a spatial digital video installation based on "the fourth seal" mentioned in the Book of Revelation - of a rider on a horse with the power to kill 'with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth' (Revelation 6:8). In Tsang's piece, projected words of "death" slither across the floor. As an extension of Tsang's pictorialisation of words beyond flat images into moving light, this work is Tsang's way of examining the embattled ground of values related to the Judeo-Christian worldview, while exploring larger religious and moral questions in response to a post-9/11 world.
Tsang Kin-wah graduated from the Fine Arts Department of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2000, and subsequently earned his master's degree from Camberwell College of Arts. Tsang has participated in numerous exhibitions, such as the 1st Aichi Triennale (2010) and the 10th Biennale de Lyon (2009). His solo exhibitions include "MAM Project 015: Tsang Kin-Wah" at Mori Art Museum (2011) and "Tsang Kin-Wah" at Yvon Lambert Gallery in New York and Paris (2007). http://tsangkinwah.com
Installation location: Junction of Kansu Street and Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei
6) Yu Lik-wai
Drawing on cinematic representations of supernatural elements and societal anxiety, filmmaker-cinematographer Yu reinterprets and re-imagines these visual clichés in a three-channel moving-image and photographic installation. Utilising and incorporating the filmic techniques of sound, lighting and visual illusion, the installation is a physical manifestation of a transformative space that explores our fear and curiosity of the "in-betweenness" around us.
Yu Lik-wai studied Cinematography at the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle (INSAS). Yu's directorial debut was the 1996 documentary Neon Goddesses, followed by Love Will Tear Us Apart (1999; In Competition, Cannes Film Festival), All Tomorrow's Parties (2003; Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival) and Plastic City (2008; In Competition, Venice Film Festival). As a cinematographer, he has lensed most of Jia Zhangke's films to date, from Xiao Wu (1997) to I Wish I Knew (2010), and has worked with Ann Hui (Ordinary Heroes, 1998, and A Simple Life, 2011), among others.
Installation location: Office 1/F, Yen Chun Building, 18-26 Portland Street, Yau Ma TeiBack