Participatory Public Lab: To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room Project Exhibition

8th May – 31st May 2020, 1a space

1a space proudly presents Participatory Public Lab: To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room, an exhibition traces the interactive journey of the To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room and its neighbourhood in the past 3 years. Ranging from Observation on the community's needs, Intervention and Spatial imagination, Sharing the possibility of a co-living style to the Constructing design ideas, the project aims to empower the local neighbourhood by providing resources to support participants to design their own public space. Like an untamed and thriving river, the exhibition will showcase streams of thought by different shareholders in the project including local community members, architects and district council members, etc. With the means of hosting multiple activities, workshops, focus groups by local communities and more, while conflicts and mediations occur and digest regularly, the project aims to create a methodology of community and urban planning while everyone in the community can participate cohesively.
About the exhibition
To Kwa Wan is an old district full of surprises. Regardless of the aged monuments and historic legacy, the most valuable part hides in the streets and alleys while you can feel the hospitality and warm-hearted atmosphere in the neighborhood. Pakistani neighbors having meals and chitchatting at the doorstep of a tuck shop, an old grandpa taking a stroll under the eaves, a newlywed couple enjoying a family afternoon on a park bench with their daughter in a baby cart, domestic helpers gathering at the open space near the tarred road on the weekend, just to name a few, are enriched with the spirit of the district's historical past and the deep connections between the public space and the people of To Kwa Wan.

Could these public spaces serve as an effective venue for interaction between different communities? Does the existing facilities and hardware sufficient enough to support the needs for all? Could people with diverse backgrounds of ethnicities, class, age, gender and more raise a voice on the urban planning together? How to create and facilitate more possibilities of community participation in public space?
This exhibition showcases the experimental result of the To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room in the past three years – Handmade furniture made by the neighborhood, commissioned shutter artworks at local stores inspired by community tales and traditions, constructing design proposal by collaboration with architects and district councilor, etc. Meanwhile, the exhibition invited four local artists to interpret the process and imagination of social-involvement design. Carmen Ng creates a community map to showcase the interactive journey of the project with the community and local neighborhood; Tse Chun Sing’s sound installation demonstrates the needs and thoughts of the local community; Jimmy Lee reproduces the interaction between the neighborhood and their creation through photography; Fiona Lee uses oyster shell in her sound installation to present the breaking-in period between different voices and conversations in the design process and how it sparks and nurtures further improvements. The exhibition will also reconstruct a game of ‘virtual space’ allowing the audiences to explore the logical path as a community designer and to understand the crucial process of community participation.

Participatory Public Lab: To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room Project Exhibition
Exhibition: 8 May to 31 May 2020
Time: Tuesdays to Sundays 11 am – 7 pm; closed on Mondays
Address: 1a space
Unit 14, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road,
To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Participating Artists

Carmen Ng
Carmen Ng, graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University, a Hong-Kong based contemporary watercolorist and ink painter who renders her complex, city-inspired dreams in vivid and delightful detail on paper. She was awarded the distinguished print award in the 29th Hong Kong Print Award in 2017 for her book project ‘Illustrated Map of Hong Kong 18 Districts’.

Fiona Lee
Born in Hong Kong, Fiona Lee's works of art are derived from the intersection between installation and improvisation performance. Listening creates an important connection between Fiona and the world; this is when she feels the movement of every single moment. She believes her art creations represent the progress she is making in exploring and accepting her own and others' possibilities. Her performance integrated with built-up electronics and DIY sound objects, in order to create a new experience in the space with musicians & audience.
Lee’s installations and performance have featured at a number of art festivals, including Playfreely festival (Singapore,2019),Intersection In MidAir(Hong Kong ,2019), ART CAMP TANGO 2017(Japan), ifva Carnival 2016(Hong Kong),Around Sound Art Festival 2014 (Kyoto, Japan), Transi(en)t Manila Project Glocal 2014 (Manila,Philippines) Asian Meeting Festival 2016(Japan), Kill the Silence festival(Hong Kong).

Jimmy Lee
Jimmy Lee is a University part-time lecturer, art space officer, visual art practitioner and documentary photographer Lee's practice comes across documentary and experimental narrative. He started his photographic practice in a Hong Kong-based newspaper as a photographer during his time in higher education, after that he pursued the MFA in the UK. He sets out to discover the possibility of documentary photography, to expand its horizons and to work with projects that convey his personal concerns. He currently serves 1a space in the title of Program Officer.

Tse Chun Sing
Tse Chun Sing’s art explores possibilities in the often unnoticed daily objects or events, and presents the intriguing relationships through installations. With a passion for sounds, he explores various sounds and presents his imaginations and discoveries in his artworks.
He obtained a bachelor degree from The Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University in 2017. He recently held a solo, Out of Focus, at PMQ, Hong Kong in 2020. Also, he shortlisted for 23th and 24th ifva Awards Media Art Category in 2018 and 2019, and residency at Centre A, Vancouver in 2018.

Curatorial Team

Working team from To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room
George Yuen, Him Lui & Hans Chan
To Kwa Wan Dining Room Project is led by a social worker, an ordinary housewife and a word-lover, who are interested in exploring the relationship between resident and public space. Regardless of inexperience in curation, they strive to organize different kinds of activities to encourage residents' involvement in community development so as to raise their sense of belonging in the community.

Chung Wai Ian
Hong Kong based artist. Chung Wai-Ian received her BA from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2009. She works with sculpture and installation. She concerns space and habit in human living situation and explores the contradiction in daily culture. Her works have been invited to be presented in exhibitions including “Both Sides Now - Somewhere between Hong Kong and the UK” in Osage (HK, 2014), “Macau city Festival -Parade in Inner Harbour” (Macau, 2011), “Walking to Canton X Canton Canton” in Fei Gallery (Guangzhou, China, 2010). In 2013, she has invited to participate in a residence program “ [en]counters 2013: powerPLAY” organized by ArtOxygen, India.

About St. James' Settlement

Founded in 1949, St. James' Settlement is a non-governmental charitable organization in Hong Kong with more than 70 years of history. It provides high quality and comprehensive services to meet the diverse needs of our society, including rehabilitation, youth, family and counselling, continuing care and supports community development. With more than 60 service units across Hong Kong, SJS supports individuals to help themselves and to help others by enabling them to discover their potential and values. With the support of the government and sponsors, SJS’s carries out its mission by leading innovative projects such as "Viva Blue House" Conservation & Revitalization of Blue House Cluster Scheme and To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room.

About To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room

Supported by the Urban Renewal Fund, To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room started to serve in the district from 2017. It aims to raise the sense of belonging of people in the community through a range of activities and workshops. While observing the quality and needs of public spaces, groups are formed by residents and architects to reinvent these spaces in the community. All stakeholders join hands to improve facilities in the district, while more residents are drawn to participate in various community activities.

About Curatorial Partner

1a space
1a space, founded in 1998, is an independent, non-profit making contemporary visual art organization and art venue founded by a collective of Hong Kong artworkers. It aims to promote the critical dissemination of contemporary visual arts practices and affiliated artforms through 1a space programme drawn from Hong Kong and international arena. The operation funding of 1a space has been supported by grants and donations. 1a space's administration cost is partially supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Co-presented by
St. James' Settlement
To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room

Supported by
Urban Renewal Fund

Curatorial Partner
1a space

The Working Group of To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room Collaboration Platform
The Resident Group of To Kwa Wan Community Dining Room
DOMAT Limited
Making On Loft
Wheel thing Makers
Notre Dame College
Pooi To Middle School
CCC Kei To Secondary School
SKH Tsoi Kung Po Secondary
St. Teresa Secondary School
Shun Tak Fraternal Association Seaward Woo College
The YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College
Carmen Ng
Chung Wai Ian
Elly Fay
Fiona Lee
Jillian Ma
Ng Ka Chun
Or Wai Wai
Sadie Lau
Tse Chun Sing
Wayne Lai
Wong Wing Tong

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1a space @1998-2020

T: +852 2529 0087 | E: 

Unit 14, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

1a space, founded in 1998, is an independent, non-profit making contemporary art space founded by a collective of Hong Kong artworkers. 1a space presented more than 160 contemporary art exhibition in Hong Kong over two decades.