June 11, 2018 - Tai Kwun - Dismantling the Scaffold / Wing Po So: Six-Part Practice
June 11, 2018

Tai Kwun

Tai Kwun Contemporary.

Dismantling the Scaffold
Wing Po So: Six-Part Practice
June 9–August 15, 2018

Tai Kwun
10 Hollywood Road, Central
Hong Kong
Hours: Monday–Sunday 11am–7pm,
Friday 11am–9pm

art@taikwun.hk

www.taikwun.hk
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Tai Kwun Contemporary is a new art centre in Hong Kong’s Central district, dedicated to presenting contemporary art exhibitions and programmes as platforms for a continually expanding cultural discourse in the city. Operated by Tai Kwun’s contemporary art team, the art centre is an integral part of Tai Kwun at the former Central Police Station compound, Hong Kong.

Working with other like-minded institutions and art groups to present the highest standards of exhibition making and art programming, Tai Kwun Contemporary will host six to eight curated exhibitions every year alongside ongoing public programmes. Both reflecting and contributing to Hong Kong’s contemporary art landscape, these exhibitions will affirm the city’s position as a leading international art hub in Asia.

Tai Kwun Contemporary’s exhibitions will be presented in museum-standard galleries, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, which add up to more than 1,500 sqm. Additionally, with the Central Police Station compound, there will be a number of public art works specially commissioned by Tai Kwun Contemporary. The first set of public works are by Lawrence Weiner, Nadim Abbas, Gaylord Chan, Ceal Floyer, and Izumi Kato.

The two inaugural exhibitions are Dismantling the Scaffold and Six-Part Practice: Wing Po So Solo Exhibition.

Dismantling the Scaffold
Nadim Abbas, Erkka Nissinen, Magdalen Wong / Big Tail Elephant / Chen Shaoxiong / Luke Ching Chin Wai / Tiffany Chung / Claire Fontaine / Kwan Sheung Chi, Wong Wai Yin / Bing Lee / Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong / Liang Juhui / Lin Yilin / Roman Ondak / LH02 : Pak Sheung Chuen, Jaffe.T, Cathy Tsang, Grace Gut, Siumou Chow / PolyLester / Jhafis Quintero / SUPERFLEX and Jens Haaning / Koki Tanaka / Ulay & Marina Abramović / Bik Van der Pol / Yvonne Dröge Wendel / Xijing Men / Xu Tan

The inaugural exhibition Dismantling the Scaffold, curated by Christina Li and presented by Spring Workshop at Tai Kwun Contemporary, brings together works from local and international artists and collectives, a constellation of artworks which engage with the social and civil structures we collectively inhabit.

The two major keystones in the exhibition concept are the site’s history and collaboration: the unique background of the site of the former Central Police Station compound—as a police station, magistracy, and prison in the past—as well as the collaboration of two contemporary art organisations at a convergence in their timelines—the beginning of Tai Kwun Contemporary and the planned hiatus of Spring Workshop after its five-year operation.

The “scaffold”—the main motif for the exhibition—is commonly understood as a temporary support structure deployed while a building is being constructed or repaired. In its lesser-known usage, a scaffold can also refer to a construction used in the past to stage public executions and punishments. The title Dismantling the Scaffold thus brings together these two definitions in order to draw attention to the site’s previous historical function before its current transformation, all the while looking forward to its new role as a permanent cultural institution and heritage site in Hong Kong.

Under this central metaphor of the scaffold, artworks in the exhibition explore art’s potential to illuminate and unpack our relationship with society at large. They offer poignant reflections of the invisible and visible structures that constitute and organise our daily existence among our surroundings. The personal and collective artistic presentations raise questions about various issues such as social participation, commodification, exclusion and confinement, urban development, collaboration, and human welfare in both public and private spheres. Dismantling the Scaffold thus hopes to offer alternative interpretations to the social conditions which underpin our experience as human beings.

Six-Part Practice: Wing Po So Solo, curated by Kurt Chan Yuk Keung and presented by the MA Programme in Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is the Hong Kong artist Wing Po So’s first solo exhibition.

Born into a family with several generations of history as traditional Chinese medical practitioners, Wing Po So has been acquainted with the textures, forms, and smells of Chinese pharmacological herbs from a young age. She grew up a stone’s throw away from Tai Kwun, in the area now called SoHo which used to be filled with unassuming print shops, dai pai dongs, and Chinese pharmacies.. Her artistic practice has consequently taken her on an investigation of Chinese medicinal herbs—physically but also philosophically—as well as associated interests, both historical and fanciful, from plant reproduction and energy flows to structural assemblages and celestial wonders, mixing the mythic and the scientific, weaving the microscopic with the macroscopic.

Her works in this exhibition all involve medicinal herbs found in traditional Chinese medicine, yet she approaches them with a sense of wonder. She imagines plants as celestial constellations, seeds as distant planets, and conjures bodily organs from pharmacological ingredients. In a way, this is a classic correlation of the microcosmic and the macrocosmic as found in traditional Chinese medical philosophy. On another level, this is also a very contemporary approach of appropriating poor, inexpensive everyday materials for artistic production. Her artistic practice is about slowing down and fully engaging with our senses, about rediscovering hidden connections and uncovering new strands of awareness.

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