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Curatorial Statement

Beyond the curtain ‧ Envision the city

[email protected] 2012 kicks off with the exhibition “Beyond the curtain‧Envision the city” presented at the Tsim Sha Tsui East Waterfront Podium Garden by 14 students from the Faculty of Architecture of The University of Hong Kong. Adding extra vitality to this part of the coastline with their creativity, the students have applied engineering logic and aesthetics first to explore and then to incorporate the conditions specific to the location into their works. Rediscovering the attractions of this waterfront park amid the layered illuminations on both shores of Victoria Harbour, the exhibition stimulates the urban dweller to reconsider how space is used in the city.

An ideal and popular location for relaxing and enjoying the night-time scenery, the Tsim Sha Tsui East Waterfront Podium Garden is given a fascinating makeover with the addition of works of art that have been created by dedicated art and architecture students and that complement the cityscape with their vibrancy and beauty.

Curatorial Statement

Looking across the Victoria Harbour at the magnificent urban skyline of Hong Kong, four installations standing around the viewing deck of Tsim Sha Tsui East explore unique ways of envisioning and sensing our city beyond the curtain of vision.

These four installations carried out by architectural students and teachers from The University of Hong Kong were conceived to investigate and challenge the way the artificial and natural environments in the city are perceived in public spaces. The projects also explore the nature of materials and construction as well as new modes of design and fabrication. With a common theme of understanding and transforming our senses and visions in public space, each project focuses on rethinking body movement and senses, material joints and connections, and how they can be reinforced or transgressed in a specific way to deal with their surrounding environment: sea, sky, trees, greenery and topography, visual and physical access as well as their interactions with park visitors.

Some project teams analyzed the landscape of and views from the park and designed a series of spaces or boundaries that re-connect the public with a new vision of nature. Others created new systems or envelopes within the space that encourage visitors to move through or more actively participate in a public space. As installations, the projects should be considered as temporary works of architecture as well as thoughtful and interactive works of public art. They encourage park visitors to see, touch and listen, also to walk, sit, play and reflect. The installations challenge our preconceptions about “natural” urban spaces as they create new public spaces for our senses in Hong Kong.

Wang Weijen
Jason Carlow
Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong