Today after Tomorrow
11.01 - 04.02.2008
Artist: Ceci Liu
Closed down shops are omnipresent phenomenon in Hong Kong. Shops disappear and reappear. But it seems no one pays much attention to the vacant, yet present spaces. Nobody seems to notice these changes. Are they too fast to keep track of?
The exhibition will display a series of small sized photographs in which the “closed down shops” are captured in different places. Today after Tomorrow maps the story of closed down shops, where visitors enter into a condensed state of urban changes. The exhibition becomes a recording of the transitions of urban life in Hong Kong.
About Ceci Liu
The artist Ceci Liu likes to explore the meaning of photography in her work. She uses the camera to capture the everyday life. Ceci Liu was born and bred in Hong Kong. She started her artistic career in 2002 after graduating with a Diploma in Fine Arts (Photography) from The Art School in Hong Kong Arts Centre.
Her recent participation in exhibitions include: “Ten Years of Images – A Gift of Hong Kong” (2007, Too Art Gallery, HK), a solo exhibition “Carry on till Tomorrow” (2006, Para/Site Central at Hanart TZ Gallery, HK) and “View Finder’s – a group exhibition” (2005, White Tube Gallery, HK).
Other than developing artworks, she is engaged in introducing photography into arts education by cooperating with other organizations and schools.
14.03 - 13.04.2008
Curator: Magdalen Wong
Participating Artists: Nadim Abbas, Yuk King Tan, YY Ma, Anastasia Wong
This is an exploration into the effect of a “place”. A place is not just a space defined by objects within it, but it is an area with a specific ambiance altered by the interaction between people and the surrounding environment. It is an atmosphere that could change or influence one’s feelings, thoughts, and actions by simple modification of spatial dimension, colour, noise, or smell. In this exhibition, four artists at different stages of their creative career bring together their responses to their understanding of spatial relationship between people, that are often influenced by the everyday responsibilities dictated by our developing cultures and passing histories.
Nadim Abbas’s poetic imaginings bring together mundane objects in a romanticized spatial narrative, while YY Ma’s minimal video performance reflects on Hong Kong’s pop culture through political gestures. Scattered throughout the space are tiny short animations by Anastasia Wong, depicting simple motions of union and separation. Bringing all these individual works together is Yuk King Tan’s installation that transcends the form and function of the exhibition area into an active space, where the audience is required to pay attention to their paths while traveling through the show.
Featuring animation, video performance, sculpture and installation Altered Ambiance invites the audience to enter into different spaces where discussions of human interactions are made.
22.03 - 30.03.2008
Guest curator: Michael Lee Hong Hwee
Assistant curators: Sum Wing Man, Chung Wai Ian
Participating Artists: Alan Ng Ka Lun, Ant Nagi Wing Lam, Attor Cheung, Catherine Tse Cheuk Ting, Mable Choy Pui Man, Ng Ka Chun, Silas Fong Sum Yu, Sue Mo Man Yee, Vangi Fong Wan Chi, Wayne Wong Ka Wing
“Arrest” could be understood as a form of attraction.
Therefore you enjoy looking at it, taking a breather with it, and thinking about its intriguing quality.
We are all seeking, when creating, this ending.
The exhibition Arrest consists of 10 pieces of artworks, composed by 10 students yet to be graduated. Each composition contains a subtle allure. It comes from a
subversion of inner monologues, techniques and materials.
It also comes from unique and thorough observations by each artist, taking different materials and attitudes towards the topic. With the exhibition, we could perceive a hidden force from the thought of freshness, and more distinctively, the
calmness away from the bustle and the hustle.
A new piece of land, for them, emerges.
Choi Yan Chi
Vice-chair, 1a space
On Slowness and Solidification
Much of art across culture and history is preoccupied with arresting observations, ideas or feelings in a tangible form. Art bears witness not just to realities of the physical world and of imagination and memory inside the body, but also to those hidden beneath the humdrum of daily life. Art records by slowing down. Art slows down.
Arrest: An exhibition of frozen time and space engages art’s age-old function of record, in the contemporary context of global media technology and culture. It showcases the works of 10 emerging artists who, though still pursuing bachelor degree studies in the visual arts, are beginning to make inroads into their exploration of issues and ideas with
personal lines of inquiry.
Objects have inherent properties that may change in time or contact with others. Alan Ng Ka Lun’s work records the interactions between ink and agar-agar as the latter turns
from liquid to semi-solid state. Apparently in stark contrast to the quick, decisive brushstrokes of a literati ink painter, Ng’s inkwork nonetheless involves painstaking lab experimentation that yields multifarious and refreshing outcomes. Beyond
functioning as a container, as for Ng, glass material for Catherine Tse Cheuk Ting has evocative qualities that stir ideas and emotions in her. She makes replicas of everyday
objects such as light bulbs that call attention to these magical properties. Attor Cheung’s diorama of a basin overflowing with water weaves the sculptor’s desire to create solid, three-dimensional representations of reality with issues of site-specificity and material-based conceptualism.
One of human beings’ perrenial dilemmas is in dealing with memory: What to retain in one’s memory, what to let go? How? Try as one may, however, memory rarely disappears or reappears completely at one’s will. Mabel Choy Pui Man has identified the fast vanishing makeshift stalls as sites of poetic beauty, especially in the diversity of trades they accommodate, the little creativities in storage and categorisation of goods, and the calculated processes of opening and closing for business. She currently attempts to capture these qualities using photo-cutout and assemblage methods. Rather than trying to find means to retain reality, Wayne Wong Ka Wing’s problem with memory is that it refuses to go away. He has devised a computer program that both illustrates and relieves his ambivalence towards specific moments in his life.
Like Wong, Ant Ngai Wing Lam attempts to better understand her fixations through a combination of painting, poetry and video. What one cannot resolve in life may be
better addressed through aesthetics. Though similar in form and approach to Ant’s, the video piece by Silas Fong Sum Yu is closer in theme and complexity to Sue Mo Man Yee’s
installation consisting of painting-fragments with the city skyline barely visible behind the persistent haze. Both engage the paradoxical qualities of melancholy as limiting and
liberating. The saddest moments may well be the most beautiful.
Perhaps a major challenge for many artists (who take up positions willingly or helplessly at the edge of society) is to find a way to enter the commercial market without losing their souls. Vangi Fong Wan Chi is attuned to the many ironies where art and commerce meet, such as the hyperbolic sales pitch of master artists’ prints in mega-chainstores like Ikea, and she attempts to use a combination of photography and painting methods to address her observations. In this regard, Ng Ka Chun presents his audience with an impossible economic proposition: to purchase his mobile phone number. How much money is one willing to part with in exchange for a soul mate? His work opens up a new way of thinking about interpersonal relationship in this electronically connected
world, criteria of aesthetic judgment, and the role of artists in relation to our community.
May the adrenaline rush in these artists while being struck by creative ideas or problems, or during their creative processes, stir through their work the sea of emotions in the viewers! Art’s biggest contribution is not in presenting beauty per se,
but perhaps through its beauty or ugliness but always with a touch of magic, in slowly but surely planting seeds in the mind of the perceiver.
Michael Lee Hong Hwee
Mobility – Chinese Is a Plus
02.05 - 13.06.2008
Curator: Cornelia Erdmann
Participating Artists: Sylvie Boisseau & Frank Westermeyer
Sylvie Boisseau and Frank Westermeyer are a French-German couple and an artists’ team. They collaborate in their works at the same time as they draw their ideas from their (cultural) differences and identities. Their interest is devoted to spaces that are determined by language. The human being not only lives in physical spaces, but also in linguistically spaces. These physical and virtual spaces coin the mindset and structure our comprehension.
In the exhibition Mobility–Chinese is a Plus the artists try to measure those spaces, to fathom their limits and question what is happening between the individual space’s edges. Their intention is to play and to experiment with the role of the observer. The idea is to explore how the public space is overlaid by linguistic/cultural spaces. By a complex aesthetic experience the observer will face the linguistic and cultural relativity of his perception.
The exhibition will show a video documenting a language school for Chinese somewhere in Germany. Among the clientele are people of Chinese origin and people that need the language for their job – all groups of people that are a record for modern mobility. During a short residency the artist will continue their research about linguistic space and will carry the exhibition beyond 1a space with a public art intervention near the French Consulate in Admiralty. The audience is required to pay attention to their paths while traveling through the show.
Bond, Agent Bond.
20.06 - 27.07.2008
Participating Artists: Zack aka Lilpinkdevil, Desmond Teo and Francis Poon
The exhibition “Bond, Agent Bond.” is a bonding agent which brings people together.
As a collective curatorial approach, the 3 Singaporean artists’ confrontation on the given theme – mobility, is to create a social interstice; an event, a festival or even a potential intervention at the gallery space. Its main trait is ‘relational’ as it involves human interaction and crowd participation. Thus, the objective is not to let the audience walk through the artwork but to socialize, mingle and interact adhering to the notion of the ‘state of encounter imposed on people’.
Rather than laying an object for the audience to gaze like usual exhibitions, the artists will lay a setting or a festive for human sociability. Thus simultaneously hyping up the given theme and treating the venue as a model for future possibilities.
The 3 artists are coming in as a coherent unit but varying in forms; respectively, the outcome will be somewhat of a performance, a ritual and of random materialism. Activities will happen concurrently (on the opening day of exhibition) in an attempt to engage the audience and to create an arena of exchange that is potential for discussion.
To rephrase the ‘manifesto’ to our context of mobility is not to summon the viewers to gaze at an object but rather, to invite the viewers to touch, participate and socialize with the art. Whatever the viewers experience during the event (at present) will bring back memories on cultures and would definitely change their perceptive analysis in the near future.
08.08 - 21.09.2008
Curator﹕ Ali Wong and James Chong
Participating Artists: Yuk King Tan, Michael Lee Hong Hwee, Huang Xiaopeng, Yuen Cheuk Wa, Jeff Leung Chin Fung ,Liu Wai Tong
*bōk- is the Germanic root of the word BOOK, where the Old English "bōc" comes from; It is an instrument for carrying messages, history and wisdom; *bōk- also has its ability to create certain ambience with its poetic uniqueness. One can feel the aura of books even without reading them.
They are part of the definitions.
What else….and what next?
The exhibition features 6 international artists who all are Chinese but were with different cultural background. They are invited to regard this project as a conceptual challenge, to respond by re-defining ‘book’ with reference of their experience and to engage in an experimental dialogue with it. This process of redefining, remixing, recreating and responding to ‘book’ is a mean of pushing the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm and re-examining the value, the role and the cross-disciplinary possibilities of the existing forms of ‘book’ in this contemporary age.
In the exhibition, Huang Xiaopeng will showcase the “correct” version of the Communist Manifesto; Liu Wai Tong will present a poem for the future spirits; Jeff Leung’s work is inspired by reading through 1a space’s publications; Michael Lee will display one of the Singapore national collections which is in response to an unbuilt Singapore art gallery in four books; Yuen Cheuk Wa will show the poetic side of ‘book’; Yuk King Tan will show a video work about the Future of Books with a performance of a fortune teller during the opening.
“The soul of a book” is not a too far-fetched metaphor. The art project offers an opportunity for the general public to reflect upon it and come up with their own conclusions.
For program details, please click﹕www.bookless-shelf.blogspot.com
Super Art Team HK: Hooray
04.10 - 15.11.2008
Team Captains: Adrian Wong, Magdalen Wong, Lee Kit
Team Members: Kwok Sze Shing, Daphne Ho, Lo lok Him, Samantha Wong May Po, Vangi Fong Wan Chi, Chung Wai Ian, Ng Ka Chun, Attor Cheung, Choi Yuk Kuen, Elise Lai Yuen Shan, Ko Sin‐tung and Kong Chun‐he
1a space would like to take the opportunity to re-inject and foster several habits/tendencies/trends currently lacking in the local arts community. The first is engagement with space. Due to the high cost of real estate, the overwhelming majority of local sculpture and installation is bound by the continually shrinking size of the artist’s workspace. To exacerbate this, many recent group exhibitions have taken on the strategy of the Salon exhibitions of the 19th century, packing work into small spaces to maximize density over curatorial stringency. By inviting artists to use the entirety of 1a space’s 2000 square-foot gallery to create a singular and complete artwork, the possibility of working on an enormous scale is reintroduced.
The second is the spirit of artistic collaboration. Donald Barthleme wrote in his final published essay, “[N]ot knowing is crucial to art; [it] is what permits art to be made. Without the scanning process engendered by not-knowing, without the possibility of having the mind move in unanticipated directions, there would be no invention.” This was a caution against the insular and didactic practices that are fostered by removing oneself from engagement with one’s environment, audience, and peers. Hong Kong is a place where artists operate primarily in isolation. Limited by space constraints as well as its frenetic work environment, it is only in relatively recent history that local artists have had the ability to form arts communities. From humble beginnings in the Oil Street Arts District to the Cattle Depot Artist’s Village and the Fo Tan Studios, local artists now have access to a number of platforms to interact with their peers. The present situation offers an unprecedented chance for artists, musicians, curators, critics, and other arts professionals to exchange ideas, coordinate efforts, and engage in critical discourse, though the collaborative spirit has yet to catch on.
Super Art Team HK: Hooray is our attempt to remind our emergent artists that they are part of a community which is an invaluable asset. Over the course of October, three teams of artists representing various institutions of arts education in Hong Kong with engage in a series of collaborative construction projects, competitions, happenings, performances, and organic constructions to be unveiled in a closing ceremony on October 31st.