June 9, 2020 - Tai Kwun - Tap Chan, Thea Djordjadze, Jason Dodge, Eisa Jocson, Pratchaya Phinthong: My Body Holds Its Shape
June 9, 2020

Tai Kwun

Exhibition view, My Body Holds Its Shape, Tai Kwun Contemporary

Tap Chan, Thea Djordjadze, Jason Dodge, Eisa Jocson, Pratchaya Phinthong
My Body Holds Its Shape
May 25–September 20, 2020

Tai Kwun
10 Hollywood Road, Central
Hong Kong
Hours: Monday 2–8pm,
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–8pm


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The space becomes a living body from the first hour to the last.

A 12-meter-long steel needle, piercing through the air, points towards the temporary opening of the fire escape. A new view appears in this exhibition space, Tai Kwun’s F Hall, built as a printing house in 1900 and later served to confine female inmates. In its third incarnation as a contemporary art center, the “white cube” is cut out, casting light and movement through the window. Part of Thea Djordjadze’s new installation, this endeavor to expand existing enclosures and rules lies at the heart of this exhibition—looking in and out of the box, weighing the limits, walking on both sides.

In the metaphorical shape of a body, the exhibition conceives of “I” and “us” as individuals, things, beings, collectives, and countries. It reflects on how eagerly we seek to tie our world together, in maneuvring in the world and exercising authority over others. New works by the five artists circle around the expansion of limits and constraints, to serve as an artistic framework rather than as objects of antagonism. Experimenting with concepts of “sculpture,” the artworks are ways of relating our multifaceted facts and ecologies, spanning lived-in stories and realized imaginations.

Constraints often imply boundaries; they mark out a field of warning signs, of where we ought not go near. When we look upon this zone of intimidation, should we think of how fearful it is to look down from the skies, or merely enjoy the dizzying vertigo? Such distances from the earth to the atmosphere are translated through weavers’ palms in Jason Dodge’s "Above the Weather" series, making the unimaginable physical and tender. Or another sign: in the breathing bodies of dancers in Eisa Jocson’s new work Zoo—a durational performance researching the laboring gestures of theme park animal performers—in conjunction with material studies of caged animals in zoos and quarantined humans, the scores are interpreted by dancers moving like shape shifters, and led by the artist livestreaming from her confined home in Manila. Constraints are walks of awakening and dreaming with Tap Chan, whose kinetic sculptures spin at the speed of night as a memento of where reality is anchored. And Pratchaya Phinthong’s alchemy brings bomb shells from polluted farmlands in Laos, transforming nightmarish materials into screws for installation support and a sculpture of two sides—a peaceful mirror surface and melted-down chaos.

Within the body of this exhibition, no walls or fixtures are added; this is one of the principal premises. The artworks rely on each other and yet are autonomous on their own. The exhibition comes alive when visitors flow in, when dancers activate moments with routines and off-track improvisations, practicing to perfection until the very last hour, holding it in place.

Artists: Tap Chan, Thea Djordjadze, Jason Dodge, Eisa Jocson, Pratchaya Phinthong

Curator: Xue Tan

About Tai Kwun Contemporary
Tai Kwun Contemporary is the contemporary art programming arm of Tai Kwun dedicated to showcasing contemporary art exhibitions and programs as platforms for a continually expanding cultural discourse in 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 hosts six to eight curated exhibitions every year alongside exciting public programs. Reflecting as well as contributing to Hong Kong’s contemporary art landscape, these exhibitions affirm the city’s position as a leading international art hub in Asia. 

Tai Kwun
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My Body Holds Its Shape
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