Exhibition: Videos and Words from a Post-Industrial City, curated by Inti Guerrero
Artists: Kacey Wong, Liu Chuang, Jacobly Satterwhite, Carlos Amorales, Cao Fei, David Maljkovic, Tania Bruguera, Regina José Galindo, Ko Sin Tung, Florian Ma, Trevor Yeung, and Samson Young
Hong Kong-based curator, Inti Guerrero, presents “Videos and Words from a Post-Industrial City”, featuring a diverse group of works by established and rising local and international artists. Based on the Chai Wan industrial area, the video-curated-show consists of 8 powerful video pieces and 5 neon-text-based works. Look out for screens and neons on floors 6, 13, 16,17.
Carlos Amorales (Mexico) is one of the most established artists of his generation in Mexico. Exploring questions of concealment and identity, the artist Carlos Amorales works in a variety of media—from paintings and drawings to animations and performances—to explore the cultural heritage of his native Mexico. Fascinated by horror and fantasy, Amorales also creates worlds populated with ambiguous figures, uncertain morals, and ghostly silhouettes. In Four Animations, Five Drawings, and a Plague (2008), bizarre and macabre renderings of animals and human figures are placed beside digital animations of apocalyptic landscapes, distorting reality and creating an atmosphere of unease. Since 1998, Carlos Amorales has been building the Liquid Archive , a digital database of his drawings, which he has used to produce works in collaboration with other artists across a range of media. Recording his characteristic silhouettes—always in black, grey, and red—of wildlife and human figures, the database unites Amorales’ works by documenting the common motifs found across his oeuvre.
Manimal, 2005, is one of Carlos Amorales’ most ambitious black-and-white, single-channel videos. By combining three-dimensional animation techniques with two-dimensional drawings of silhouettes, the artist produces the effect of a virtual shadow theater. The accompanying soundtrack is characterized by an electric heavy-metal rhythm whose mounting intensity creates a sense of tension as a story slowly emerges. In a postapocalyptic landscape dominated by barren trees and two glowing moons, a pack of wolves migrates from the wilderness to an urban environment by crossing an abandoned airstrip where several passenger planes are positioned. This is undoubtedly a dark tale, one in which, as the title suggests, man and animal have morphed into one sinister creature. In staging the drama of Manimal, Amorales chose for his cityscape adobe-style houses that resemble dwellings in the working-class districts of Mexico City. His critical voice clearly emerges as he presents an allegorical interpretation of the collective fears experienced by contemporary society.
Tania Bruguera is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in behavior art, performance, installation and video. She has been a participant in Documenta 11 (Germany) as well as in several biennales such as Venice (Italy), Johannesburg (South Africa), Sao Paolo (Brazil), Shangai (China), Havana (Cuba), and Site Santa Fe (United States.)Her work has also been exhibited at The New Museum of Contemporary Art (United States); The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (United States); Boijmans van Beuningen Museum (The Netherlands); Museum für Moderne Kunst (Germany); Helsinki Art Museum (Finland), The Whitechapel Art Gallery (England); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam (Cuba) and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Cuba).
Tatlin’s Whisper # 6 (Havana Version), 2009 was held during the Havana Biennial. The audience was handed two hundred disposable cameras with flash to document the performance and told that they could freely express their thoughts for a minute through the microphone in the podium. There was a long silence. The first person took the podium guarded by two persons in military uniform (a woman and a man). They put a white dove on the speaker’s shoulder, an allusion to the emblematic image of Fidel Castro when delivering his first speech on January 8th 1960 in Havana after the Triumph of the Revolution, an image that ratified his absolute leadership in a generalized consensus which worked for those who wanted to see in this image either the peace guaranteed in the lives of the citizens, the Messiah or the aesthetics of the future to be built.
Chloe Cheuk (Hong Kong) focuses on the emotional connection with mechanical devices, exploring ordinary objects and their encounter to bring about dialogue and multiple implications. She received Special Mention Award at the 19th ifva Festival (Interactive Media Category). Her works have participated in local and overseas galleries and arts festivals, which includes 10 Chancery Lane Gallery (HK), the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Arts (Dubai) and Ars Electronica Festival (Austria). She was selected to participate in an AiR program in Futurelab from Ars Electronica Centre (Austria) in 2014 and supported artist of year 2014-15 by soundpocket (HK).
This video takes the wheel, as a symbol of the ruthless encroachment of urbanization. After the clearance of Occupy Hong Kong site, Cheuk patrolled the streets and documented the process of wheels devouring every inch of the remaining trace of the protest over 20 days. As the wheels roll on, different protest sites join together and fall apart endlessly.
Liu Chuang (b. 1978 Hubei, China) is an art interventionist acting in the public space who challenges our perception of everyday life details and usual patterns. Exploring social rules, he plays along with them in order to disrupt the conventional status of things with simple poetical ideas that resonates politically and philosophically. As a thirty-something, he witnessed, during the span of his lifetime, the unprecedented industrial and urbanism growth of China, and his practice naturally interacts with this ever-evolving and disconcerting environment.
Untitled (The Festival), 2011 is a video documenting a performance that Liu enacted the morning after Chinese New Year’s Eve. He walked amidst the chaos left behind by the night’s celebrations – ruins and remnants of joyful moments embodied by the remains of fireworks. He then lit up a piece of paper from a newspaper or magazine, walking with it on fire, picking up another one and lighting it with the one in his hand. The whole process became like an Olympic torch rally but with a strong sense of spiritual rite. In many religions, the burning process is a means of communication and of passing on information or a message. Liu was, in that poetic and ephemeral moment, symbolically passing on information from last year to the next.
Liu Chuang, Untitled (The Festival), 2011:
Cao Fei (China) was raised in the city of Guangzhou, where she experienced the great transformation of this city where, starting from the 1990s, artists have critically engaged with the rapid urbanization. She is known for her multimedia installations and videos, and is acknowledged as one of the key artists of a new generation emerging from Mainland China. She mixes social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism, and documentary conventions in her films and installations. Her works reflect on the rapid and chaotic changes that are occurring in Chinese society today.
RMB City is a virtual city in the online world of Second Life, planned and developed by the artist Cao Fei, Launched in 2008, and open to the public since January 2009, RMB City is a platform for experimental creative activities, where boundaries between virtual and physical existence are put to test through different mediums. RMB City is a condensed incarnation of contemporary Chinese cities and accordingly displays most of their characteristics; that is to say, a series of new Chinese fantasy realms that are highly self-contradictory, full of irony and suspicion. has cultivated different spectators and participants of RMB City. She organizes events in this city, such as interviews, mayor’s speeches, and Naked Idol – a nude avatar contest. Within this context, she invites other artists to produce and show their work.
Regina José Galindo b. 1974, Guatemala City | lives and works in Antigua, Guatemala has developed a socially and politically motivated practice in which she strives to acknowledge the thirty-six years of civil war endured by her country while looking forward to a more peaceful and productive future. Her videoBlind Spot (Punto ciego, 2010) documents a performance by the artist in which she is shown nude and standing on a pedestal as if she were a sculpture. Though seemingly inviting of voyeurism, the tone of the work shifts dramatically as the gallery fills with an audience of blind people. Her 2013 video Tierra is a haunting reinterpretation of the atrocities recounted during the trial of José Efraín Ríos Montt, a former President of Guatemala.
In Marabunta, 201, a pack of men dismantle an entire car where the artists stays completely still inside the driver’s seat. The violence and hyper masculinity around her are visible throughout what seems a savage destructive process.
Cristina Lucas’s works often examine cultural, social and political power structures and the mechanisms they produce to limit individual freedom. She produces in the process highly effective images, often weaving them into iconoclastic narratives that draw their discursive power from banal, everyday contexts. She studied at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and University of California, Irvine. Solo exhi-bitions devoted to her work have been shown, among others, at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC), the Museo de Arte Contemporanea (MAC) in Santiago de Chile, the Museo Amparo Puebla, Mexico City and the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. Her works were most recently on view at the comprehensive solo exhibi-tion at Matadero, Madrid. She has also participated in numerous international group shows, for example at the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemizsa in Madrid and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA).
A group of Liverpool unionists and their families are gathered for a collective performance to vandalise the façade of the now-defunct iconic “Europleasure International” building where the participants or their relatives used to work. Today, many buildings like this one stand empty in post-industrial cities as obsolete monument to a past economic era. Neo liberal global capitalism has steadily dispersed such factories to new sites across the globe. Whether in India, Brazil, or China, there is a new Europleasure International in operation, maybe even bearing the same name, sharing the same philosophy or producing the same goods.
David Maljkovic (Croatia) examines collective memory and amnesia in contemporary Croatia. Maljkovic’s work consists of collages, installations, videos and drawings. His work incorporates images of dilapidated modernist landmarks, monuments and buildings commenting on the country’s idealistic discontinuity. Erected during the communist era and left empty or deprived from its original use, these rundown monuments mark the gap between utopian heritage and disillusioned presence.
In Lost memories from theses days, 2006 The Italian pavilion of the 1957 Zagreb Fair, designed by Giuseppe Sambito, makes up the background of an absurdist spectacle. Sexualized yet bored women are posing ned to showroom cars. They seem to represent a disenfranchised global youth, secluded from the optimistic progress that was once represented by the modern pavilion and its celebration for industry and technology.
Jacolby Satterwhite’s (USA) vibrant work weaves together performance, animation, and personal ephemera. His videos and performances build on household or cosmetic products that his schizophrenic mother imagined and sketched. Satterwhite traces these objects and incorporates them into a virtual world filled with family videos and recordings of the artist dancing and vogue-ing in bright, tight body suits. “There are limits with what you can do with objects, because objects are imbedded with history, politics and all kinds of anxiety,” he has said. “To put myself in a virtual world is a political gesture, negating all those associations.” Satterwhite’s worlds evoke the escapism of Afro-futurism and suggest a posthuman quasi-utopic virtual reality.
In Reifying Desire 6, 2014, artist Jacolby Satterwhite crafts surreal 3D animated videos while transporting characters from his virtual worlds into the streets of New York City. “We’re in the age of the remix,” says the artist, who observes that “now it’s about how you use the information around you to generate your individuality.” At a modest computer setup in his Chinatown studio, Satterwhite digitally traces by hand his mother’s schematic drawings of inventions, reimagining them into baroque, neon-colored landscapes in a constant state of flux. Adapting additional visual references—home movies, family photos, documentary footage, and images throughout art history—Satterwhite “queers” the purpose and meaning of his source material, creating a unique personal mythology through stream of consciousness storytelling techniques.
Kacey Wong (Hong Kong) ’s experimental art project investigates the space between men and their living environment with a social intention. He think being an artist is similar to being a detective, the case on hand is to investigate the self. Kacey was born in Hong Kong in 1970. He was the winner of 2012 HK Contemporary Arts Award given by HK Art Museum, Best Artist Award in 2010 and Rising Artist Award and Outstanding Arts Education Award given by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2003. He studied architecture in Cornell University and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Chelsea School of Art and Design and Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Paddling Home is a documentation of a sculptural performance centered around a 4 feet x 4 feet house floating on the sea. This tiny building resembles a typical residential apartment block completed with features such as bay windows, air conditioning unit, and stainless steel gate, etc Like a paddling boat, two paddling oars can be push out from the two walls allowing the house to be slowly paddle away.The concept of this project came from the extremely expansive living condition Hong Kong where the people can only afford tiny apartment flat and have to spend their lifetime repaying the mortgage. Real estate developers only follow one successful formula that is to squeeze as much money out of the land as possible, then package it with illusive commercial selling grandeur and luxury. That is why people always say we are not working for ourselves but working for the real estate developers and the bankers instead. Paddling Home is about mobility and compact living. It questions alternative way to live in the city; it is about freedom and the search for a better place. The artist think the image of a helpless little house paddling away in a vast dangerous ocean towards the infinite shoreline is similar to using 20 to 30 years time to repay a huge mortgage loan, it is dangerous and helpless.
All of these artists will be asked to make a site specific neon sign, or adapt an existing neon piece which relates to the context.
Ko Sin Tung was born in 1987, and graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2009. She lives and works in Hong Kong. Using various media including painting, video and digital print, Ko Sin Tung reflects on the private state of living and its relationship with the city through her practice. She is concerned with the functions and psychological influences fulfilled and embedded within the form of visual elements. It provides her a way to understand how people project their expectations and the emotional discrepancies that exist in-between.
Florian Ma is aHong Kong born emerging artist who created a world of signs teeming with aesthetics, history and life symbols at his 2011 exhibition Gene held at the Hong Kong K11 Art Mall. Florian Ma Ho Yin graduated with a degree in Fine Art and a Masters Degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Upon graduating, Ma embarked on further artistic studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, France. Ma engages himself in the mediums of design, painting and art installations, photography and video art. His works have been exhibited in Hong Kong, Taiwan, United States and Paris.
Trevor Yeung is a young, diligent artist. His motivation comes from his various inner conflicts. Yeung’s practice uses botanic ecology, photography and installations as metaphors referencing the emancipation of everyday aspirations towards human relationships. Yeung is a horticulture and aquarium enthusiast. Such hobbies, that are usually associated with men in their golden age, require an appreciation for slow processes, a preference for systematization, and aptly reflect the artist’s approach to his art. On the surface of his recent installations with pot plants, pristine glass tanks and water systems lies rationality and beauty, but upon further study, this itch for cultivating little worlds and ecosystems reveals an appetite for control and gentle domination.
Samson Young – composer, sound artist and media artist. Received training in computer music and composition at Princeton University under the supervision of computer music pioneer Paul Lansky. In 2007, he became the first from Hong Kong to receive the Bloomberg Emerging Artist Award for his audio-visual project “The Happiest Hour.” In 2009, CNN’s global portal CNNgo named him one of the top “20 people to watch in Hong Kong.” His brainwave non-performance “I am thinking in a room, different from the one you are hearing in now” received a Jury Selection award at the Japan Media Art Festival, and an honorary mention at the digital music and sound art category of Prix Ars Electronica. He was Hong Kong Sinfonietta‘s artist associate in the 2008/09 season, an organization for whom he had created a number of multimedia music productions.
Art Interventions by Hong Kong and International Artists
6/F, 13/F, 16/F, 17/F, Chai Wan Industrial City Phase 1, 60 Wing Tai Road