"Charming Experience", a new exhibition produced by Ms Grace Cheng, who was invited by the Hong Kong Museum of Art to be guest curator, enables visitors to open up their senses to the works of art and messages conveyed by participating artists.
"Charming Experience", running from tomorrow (February 20) to April 19, is the last in the "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" exhibition series organised by the Museum of Art. The exhibition is designed to challenge the concept of conventional exhibitions which merely display artworks. With its emphasis on enjoyment and experience, the exhibition allows visitors to appreciate artworks with different senses so that the true meanings of the exhibits can be fully communicated.
Speaking at the opening ceremony today (February 19), the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow, said since the "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" series was launched in May last year, three thematic exhibitions with different approaches had been organised to probe the development of Hong Kong art. These three exhibitions had attracted 160,000 visitors, aroused wide interest from the public and art circles and received a positive response and good media coverage. Not only did it become a platform for the promotion of Hong Kong art, the exhibition series also brought a new look to the local art scene.
Mr Chow noted that the works on display in the latest exhibition are products of interactive encounters between local artists and special community groups. The works are created in a way that enables visitors to appreciate them through touching, smelling and hearing, bringing a diversity of sensory experiences.
"To give audiences an extraordinary experience and allow them to understand the needs of people with different capacities, the exhibition also provides a variety of supportive equipment to cater for people with different needs. It demonstrates how the curator respects the harmony of the community, cares about the quality of life, values and loves art," Mr Chow said.
Grace Cheng selected eight artifacts from the collection of the Museum of Art for this exhibition and invited seven local artists to use different media and materials to create artworks, which attempt to present their unique interpretations of "participation" and "enjoyment".
Otto Li Tin-lun actualises Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 into a sculpture for the audience to feel the brandishing of musical notes. Doris Wong Wai-yin reproduces posters of the museum by hand-drawing and putting them side by side with the genuine prints to prompt the audience to think about what is real and what is not. "Red White Blue", another piece by Doris, was inspired by the playful idea of making daily commodities with plastic materials. The "dysfunctional mahjong" by Chow Chun-fai provokes audiences to question the unconventional use of familiar objects. The "Qing" (ancient Chinese musical instrument) created by Ho Siu-kee demonstrates synaesthesia so as to break the boundary of individual senses. With "anothermountainman", Stanley Wong tries to retain his intimacy with common household furniture before and after death. Inspired by nature, two works by Danny Lee Chin-fai plead with visitors to pay attention to every single tiny thing in their daily life as they can offer a reflection of the world.
With the concept of "half", Pak Sheung-chuen created a conceptual artwork that takes two persons to complete, and invites audiences to think about the myth of incompleteness and the whole. The work by Lee Kit is a hand-painted tablecloth he used to serve his mom and friends for a lunch at home. The mechanical "friends" designed by Joyce Hsu is offered as a perfect solution for human beings to ease the desire for companionship and control. Can Kwok Ying's hand-drawings of commodities prompt viewers to pay more attention to the beauty of their life? The flashlights collected by Kingsley Ng from the cameras of tourists coming to Hong Kong bring viewers a multi-media concert. Leung Mee-ping, who grew up in Mongkok, shows another facet of Mongkok that visitors might have overlooked and yet are familiar with. Luke Ching has set up some places to sleep in the museum, wishing viewers a good dream of the future.
To tie in with the exhibition, an open forum entitled "When Arts Intervene in Private Spaces and Public Territories" will be held on February 28 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at the Lecture Hall of the museum. It will be hosted by the Director of ARTMAP, Mr Tam Wai-ping, with the Chief Curator of the Museum of Art, Mr Tang Hoi-chiu, and Grace Cheng as speakers. In addition, a series of workshops by Grace Cheng and the participating artists will be held on Saturdays between March 7 and April 19 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm in the lobby of the museum. To be conducted in Cantonese, the activities are free with 150 seats for the forum on a first-come-first-served basis and 20 seats for the workshops, which require advance booking.
"Charming Experience" is the last in the "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" exhibition series organised by the Museum of Art. The series has gained wide support from art circles since its launch in 2006. It attracted 20 exhibition proposals from local guest curators featuring a variety of styles and approaches in appreciating Hong Kong art. After deliberation with 10 guest art professionals, the Museum of Art selected four proposals to be implemented between 2008 and 2009. They are "Digit@logue" by Miss Ellen Pau, "New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond" by Ms Alice King, "Looking for Antonio Mak" by Ms Valerie C Doran and "Charming Experience" by Ms Grace Cheng.
The Museum of Art is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It opens from 10am to 6pm from Sunday to Wednesday and Fridays, and from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10 and a half-price concession is available to full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
For enquiries, please visit the Museum of Art's website at http://hk.art.museum/ or call 2721 0116.
Ends/Thursday, February 19, 2009
"Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No.5 in C Minor, First Movement", created by Otto Li Tin-lun, is a transformation of music and sculpture, and an interpretation between the two mediums. The work is created in a way that allows the visually impaired and the hearing impaired to experience music on the same field as others.
"Mahjong" by Chow Chun-fai shows how the change of form makes the mahjong unusable. A round mahjong table with round seats set up with round-shaped mahjong pieces shifts the players' attention from the game to their bodies - how to control the pieces rather than play the game.
The video and sound installation by Kingsley Ng will give visitors a special experience of enchanting visuals and sounds that interpret the symphony of random bursts of light. Flashes of light from visitors taking pictures of the harbour from the Peak were archived and etched into a 12-inch disk which is played on a modern version of the gramophone in the exhibition.