18 artists write a story about Wan Chai

The Hong Kong Arts Centre celebrates its 40th anniversary by presenting its annual flagship exhibition “Wan Chai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense”, including 18 artists works on Saturday.

The 18 participants include Hong Kong artists from different generations, backgrounds, and nationalities, as well as artists from the international community who have a connection to Hong Kong.

The exhibits come in a variety of forms, including paintings, photography, videos, sound performance, and mixed media installations.

A person is watching “Untitled” (Fantasy Landscape with Undersea Mountains) by Luis Chan at the Hong Kong Art Centre on Oct. 1, 2018. On the left is a mixed media installation Wanchai Islands: Wanchai Island by MAP Office. (Yuyang Chen)

Curated by Valerie C. Doran, an independent curator, critic and translator raised in Hong Kong, the exhibition shows the “Topophilia”- a strong sense of place, which often becomes mixed with the sense of cultural identity among certain people and a love of certain aspects of such a place – as its core conception.

“Every response from artists to Hong Kong and Wan Chai is different. Those works are like the dialogue between the artists and the audiences,” said Valerie C. Doran. (According to the exhibition booklet)

Theme tours of the exhibition include the “Garden Party” thematic tour, “Re-Discovering Wan Chai” thematic tour, fotomo workshop, polaroid tour, and film showcase. Each is to highlight an aspect of Wan Chai.

“‘Past, Present, and Future Tense’ is a cross-generational, cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural exhibition. We hope that through this exhibition, we will explore the composition of cultural identity from different perspectives, inherit history, and look to the future,” said Eva Wong King-yan, assistant manager of venue operation of the HKAC.

“My favorite exhibit is ‘Tin Hau is Coming for a Piece of Water,’” said Kwong,, 15, a high school student studying visual art. “The special blue light and sound of ocean brought me a feeling of mystery. The direction that Tin Hau is looking at is exactly the sea It wants us to understand what Tin Hau is praying for.”

As the annual flagship exhibition, the exhibition will last until Nov. 4.

“I like those sounds performances most, they did show me the special emotions from artists,” said Gao, a tourist from mainland China. “Those sounds work better in this quiet gallery, but what surprised me is that there are very few people come to see this exhibition, particularly today, which is a public holiday in Hong Kong.”


Chen Yuyang, Oct. 1,  2018

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