July 29, 2016 - OCAT Shenzhen - Jon Rafman, Adrian Wong, Lantian Xie: Summer Triangle
July 29, 2016

OCAT Shenzhen

Adrian Wong, Untitled (Grates VIII/IX: Derrick Industrial Building/Shun Tak Ferry Terminal), 2014. MDF, latex, enamel, stainless steel, glass, neon, 115 x 115 x 10 cm (detail). Courtesy of the artist.

 

Jon Rafman, Adrian Wong, Lantian Xie
Summer Triangle
July 31–October 23, 2016

Conversation between the curator and the artists: July 31, 3–4:30pm
Guided tour: July 31, 5–6pm

OCAT Shenzhen
F2 Building, OCT-LOFT
Enping Road, Nanshan
Shenzhen
China
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5:30pm

info@ocat.org.cn

www.ocat.org.cn
Facebook / Instagram / Weibo

Jon Rafman, Adrian Wong, Lantian Xie
Summer Triangle
July 31–October 23, 2016

Conversation between the curator and the artists: July 31, 3–4:30pm
Guided tour: July 31, 5–6pm

OCAT Shenzhen
F2 Building, OCT-LOFT
Enping Road, Nanshan
Shenzhen
China
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5:30pm

info@ocat.org.cn

www.ocat.org.cn
Facebook / Instagram / Weibo

OCAT Shenzhen is proud to present Summer Triangle, a seasonal exhibition comprised of artworks by artists Jon Rafman, Adrian Wong, and Lantian Xie. Showing artworks referencing to Hong Kong’s cityscape, this project attempts to examine how popular media construct the image of a city. 

An astronomical asterism with its defining vertices at Altair, Deneb, and Vega, the Summer Triangle is an essential navigation coordinate in the northern hemisphere’s pre-GPS summers. “Constellations are a way in which we make sense of the sky.”(1) The shapes of asterisms and the boundaries of celestial spheres evolved fluidly according to changes in cosmological views like a palimpsest. Demarcated by humans’ optical parallax and self-awareness, constellations form dialectical relationships in non-linear space and time, composing multitudes of Benjamin-ish “dialectical image.” Like star patterns, the image and identity of a city are at once the intermixture of history, politics, language, and the crystallised essence of a mass culture. This exhibition takes constellations as a metaphor, with Hong Kong as a case study, exploring the process of crystallisation of a city’s identity through the prism of mass media.

Jon Rafman straddles the roles of flâneur and scavenger on open virtual platforms from Google Earth to Second Life. In Kool-aid Man in Second Life (2008–11), the classic mascot travels to various scenic spots in the 3D online world, including a virtual Kowloon Walled City. Video Neon Parallel 1996 (2015) features Hong Kong’s night scene (captured from the computer game Sleeping Dogs)—a standard of dystopias in sci-fi films—to deploy an archeology of the future.

French philosopher Derrida believed eating was a process of assimilation. Perhaps not only people and food but also the chef and the gourmand can “incorporate abstractly.”(2) Lantian Xie’s eponymous work employs a carousel slide projector to accentuate the movements and sounds of Martin Yan’s cooking, creating links between food and the human body through sensory experiences other than the taste. Hong Kong Restaurant (2013–) is an installation project that features the menu of a restaurant named after the city Hong Kong. “Improved” Hong Kong cuisine symbolises a “non-place” where globalism attempts to create an universal taste outside the boundary of a city, opening a cultural non-place.

Bejewelling the city like an array of glittering stars, architectural elements are crucial constituents of a holistic urban image. With a background in developmental psychology, Adrian Wong projects ideological structures into urban space. In Hong Kong, people are often blind to door grills, a ubiquitous object in the city, but their role as a divider of space, and the negative freedom they imply, cannot be denied. These grills consequently become the research subject and artistic form of Wong’s works Untitled (Grates VI/VII: Shun Tak Ferry Terminal/Derrick Industrial Building) (2014). 

Constellations thrive and evanesce in the dark sky; even once assigned with names and widely acknowledged, they cannot escape being replaced by the transmutation of humans’ epistemological landscapes. So too is the urban image constantly updated and written over by the skewed views of mass media. This exhibition does not aim to define the lines between the “constructed” and “authentic” aspects of a city, but presents and appreciates how a multitude of perspectives on a given urban space reflects and modifies itself just as a gem’s brightness is defined by its faceted surface.
 

(1) Raqs Media Collective, The Museum of Lost Constellations, 2013.
(2) Daniel Birnbaum and Anders Olsson, “An Interview with Jacques Derrida on the Limits of Digestion,” e-flux journal, January 2009, http://www.e-flux.com/journal/an-interview-with-jacques-derrida-on-the-limits-of-digestion/

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