Another Round: Re-Imagining COVID-19
Organiser: Hong Kong Arts Centre
Sponsor: Mrs. Emma Liu Hu
Since the discovery of the virus at the end of 2019, the name COVID-19 has become a part of our lives. The Delta variant and the latest Omicron virus mutation have caused much distress and our way of life has been rewritten forever with no one unscathed. Unstable conditions, however, are often what most easily inspire the sensitive minds of artists. The six participating artists of the present exhibition, including Cheung Chi Wai, Maria Cheung, Almond Chu, Eric Hu, Ringo Tang, and Vincent Yu, alongside curator Edwin K. Lai, have all used the camera as a tool to respond to the challenging new normal under the volatile pandemic. Their records of the city through different perspectives explore the hopes and possibilities in a post-pandemic Hong Kong.
In the series Invasion, the artist Vincent Yu documents the changes of Hong Kong under the pandemic using extra wide lens in sweeping monochrome panoramas. The images both capture reality and reflect poetic expressionism.
Since the start of the pandemic, the idea of ‘rapid change’ in life may remind us of Kafka’s novella Metamorphosis, wherein the male protagonist finds himself transformed from the family’s financial support into a gigantic insect in fear of losing employment after waking up from his sleep. Inspired by Metamorphosis, the artist Cheung Chi Wai interviewed different families and recorded their feelings about the pandemic in text, and also invited them to don custom insect costumes to create his photographic work Metamorphosis.
Masks have unquestionably become a daily necessity in people’s lives. The work Whose Eye’s are These? by the artist Ringo Tang focuses on capturing masked faces as the public image of the times. Can the audience empathize with their emotions through their gaze? Can we resonate with others beneath our masks through listening to the feelings of others?
Normal Temperature by Eric Hu presents an inherently different strategy: using an all-round immersive sensorial experience, the artist shares his personal feelings of living under the pandemic since the beginning of last year with the audience in a dark enclosed space.
The artist Almond Chu choose to respond to these questions and imagine the future through the work IN THE FUTURE. The pandemic has brought an unprecedented impact on human civilization, and Chu’s new work imagines scenes of post-disaster regeneration amidst ruined wilderness and the creation of new human civilization.
The artist Maria Cheung collected different styles of masks from various people to weave folk blessing item—patchwork quilt—and displays them using photographs in the work Bless this Place to bring blessings, warmth, and good health for the audience.
Hong Kong Arts Centre – Art for Passion, Art for Life, Art for All
Since 1977, the Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) has been a platform for nurturing and supporting artists, and infusing art into everyday life. Its unique arts and educational programmes aim to make the arts accessible for all. The HKAC believes in the transformational power of art for people from all walks of life. Established for more than four decades, the HKAC endeavours to bring arts to the people of Hong Kong – by presenting programmes for visual arts, performing arts, moving images and media arts, comics and animation. Our other areas also cover arts education, conferences, festivals, public art and community projects. All with the vision and mission of engaging and inspiring creativity in the Hong Kong community. In 2000, HKAC founded its education arm, Hong Kong Art School (HKAS). The HKAS provides award-bearing programmes to nurture artists and art practitioners, as well as short enrichment courses for the general public. The HKAC aspires to engage everyone in the community to become an active participant in the arts – as an enthusiast, an artist or a patron. In 2023, the HKAC will celebrate its 45th anniversary. Let’s continue to embrace ‘Art for Passion, Art for Life, Art for All’, and share the inspiration.
Official website: www.hkac.org.hk
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