Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys


Tai Kwun Contemporary, JC Contemporary, Hong Kong

2021|23/4 - 1/8

 

Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys.jpg

About the exhibition //

Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys stems from Asia Art Archive’s research since 2014 into the personal archive of the late Hong Kong–based artist Ha Bik Chuen (1925–2009). A self-taught sculptor and printmaker, Ha left behind a vast personal archive—his “thinking studio.” He documented exhibitions that he attended from the 1960s till the 2000s, and kept records in the form of ephemera, negatives, contact sheets, and photo albums. He also collected printed matter like illustrated magazines, and created book collages from these publications. As an autodidact, Ha’s library contained books on art and visual culture from far beyond the port city of Hong Kong. Ha’s idiosyncratic ways of collecting, organising, and regrouping materials blur the boundaries between document and artwork.

This exhibition comprises ten “sets” that share what this archive can do—how it fuels practices of artists, and how it shapes and shifts our understanding of Hong Kong’s history and art. Five of these sets present new commissions by artists Banu Cennetoğlu (Istanbul), Kwan Sheung Chi (Hong Kong), Lam Wing Sze (Hong Kong), Raqs Media Collective (New Delhi), and Walid Raad (Beirut/New York). Some of these artists began their engagement with Ha’s archive in the past year in preparation for this exhibition, while others have had years of continuous conversation with AAA. Each artist brings their own stories relating to Ha’s archive—they respond to various facets of his archival and art practice, as well as AAA’s ongoing efforts to make the archive accessible. The remaining sets restage documents and historical objects in new contexts made possible by research into Ha’s archive. These articulations construct more complex narratives about Hong Kong’s art ecology of the last five decades, and reveal parts of Hong Kong’s cultural worlds that are not always visible.

Each set is a carefully composed ensemble of images, objects, and stories, guiding us to explore our sense of scale, self, and history. These sets become portals leading visitors from one place to another, perhaps even more than one place at a time, defying rules of spatiality and temporality. They make way for (un)timely encounters across geographies, affects, and times. They juxtapose different kinds of knowledge created through artistic, scholarly, and curatorial ways of engaging the archive. Together, these sets catalyse a condition where artistic speculation and research inquiries of disparate contexts and sources collide.

Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys is part of AAA’s 20th anniversary programmes, and is curated by Michelle Wong, with support from Vivian Poon, Garfield Chow, the Tai Kwun Contemporary Team, and the AAA Team.

《咫尺之內,開始之前:隨意門及其他足跡》源於亞洲藝術文獻庫自2014年起對已故香港藝術家夏碧泉(1925–2009)個人文獻資料庫的研究。夏爺是自學成才的雕塑家和版畫家,離世後遺下一個龐大的文獻資料庫:他的「思考工作室」。他收集展覽印刷品,又製作底片、相辦和相簿,一一記錄自己由1960年代至2000年代參觀過的所有展覽。他亦收集圖文雜誌等其他印刷物,這些書刊成為了他創作拼貼書本的材料。身為自學的創作者,夏爺涉獵廣闊,他的藝術和視覺文化藏書遠超香港的地理界限。他獨特的收集、組織和重組材料的方法,亦模糊了紀錄和藝術品的類別分野。

這個展覽揭示夏碧泉檔案的創造力,表現它怎樣滋養藝術家的創作,以及塑造和改變我們對香港歷史和香港藝術的理解。展覽由十個「場景」組成,其中五個展示藝術家的委約作品,包括Banu Cennetoğlu(伊斯坦堡)、關尚智(香港)、林穎詩(香港)、Walid Raad(貝魯特/紐約)和Raqs Media Collective(新德里)。部分藝術家在過去一年展覽籌備期間開始接觸夏碧泉檔案,其他則與亞洲藝術文獻庫聯繫多年。各人帶着自己與夏碧泉檔案相惜的故事開始創作,創造出回應夏碧泉文獻收集實踐和藝術創作的作品,也反映了亞洲藝術文獻庫將檔案開放給藝術界和大眾的努力。其餘五個場景則以新角度表述文獻資料和歷史物事,為過去半世紀的香港藝術生態寫下更豐富的敘述,揭示香港不易瞥見的文化世界。

每個場景都是一套精心組合的圖像、物件和故事,挑戰我們對比例、對自我、對歷史的理解。想像這些場景都是隨意門,打開它,咫尺之內可達他方,甚至違反時空定律,同時遊歷多個地方。它們踰越地理、情感和時代的邊界,容讓及時或不合時的相遇一一發生;無論是因藝術創作、學術研究或策劃展覽而接觸檔案庫,其併發出的知識均在並置呈現。迥然不同的背景和材料,衍生出各異的藝術想像和研究,十個場景同時是一個處境:東西互相碰撞、介入、重新詮釋。

《咫尺之內,開始之前:隨意門及其他足跡》為亞洲藝術文獻庫二十周年慶典活動之一,由黃湲婷策展,並由潘蔚然周約雅大館當代美術館文獻庫團隊提供製作支援。