Jan 09, 2015 - Feb 06, 2015
1a space is pleased to present a brand new young artists’ exhibition. The exhibition titled Pre-Artist, featuring 4 fresh graduates from Hong Kong Baptist University Academy of Visual Arts (BA): Mark CHUNG, MA On Yee, LAU Po Yan, SUM Wing Kiu.
The title, Pre-Artist, named by these 4 fresh graduates, deeply express their direct but intricate question, “How to start to be an artist?” They realize that the most important thing for a visual arts fresh graduate is to keep the momentum. However, facing the pressure of sustain a living, pressure from the family, pressure from being unsure of your own craft, pressure from the success of your friends; a lot of the students give up working as an artist after 2 years out of their institution. Pre-Artist, is a state of unsure (uncertainty) that they find themselves in. However, among them, there is no doubt that they possess the desire and need to be an artist, but perhaps, as they suggest, this is an obvious statement in a humble manner.
This time, 1a space plays a special role, not only providing the venue, but more importantly, to encourage and establish a platform for the fresh graduates to experience a formal exhibition through a professional process. As a non-commercial exhibition venue, 1a space aims to provide alternative vision for art practitioner, who starts from pure emotions, personal experience, textile sensitivities, to search for a future artistic and conceptual approach and establishment.
The graduates that 1a space have chosen for this exhibition tend to show their differences from the “main stream” practice and outcome in the commercial market. Their raw expression with sensitivity towards their mediums and comprehensive conceptual development amplifies the honest directness of their works.
Among 4 graduates, Mark Chung’s and Ma On Yee’s works are concerning about family history. Mark’s revisiting journey (both physical and mental) of his mother’s history extends from his mother’s growing up town to every single little moments as suggested in the photos and footages of the videos. For Ma On Yee’s story-telling strategy, she shows the fragility of her grandmother by carefully dealing with clay as a drawing surface. Lau Po Yan gives a stunning effect by using thick oil paint and the ‘inserting’ ready-made objects onto the painting. Lau’s painting is about the spatial congestion of the place she lives, while Sum Wing Kiu’s installation is from the very inner-self emotion. The tying and hanging of the “organic” material (bread), almost like a staging set presenting a motion of assembled body parts that performs a Kafka-style of alienation and Francis Bacon-style of distortion.
Mind the gap
07.03 - 27.03.2015
A gap: a narrow chasm in between two zones, a liminal space that can disappear and reappear in a split second. Unlike a completely shut door that divides a space into two, a door that is almost closed except for a tiny crack suggests multiple possibilities. From this gap stories begin to unfold.
“Mind the gap” is the first exhibition planned by the newly formed artistic panel of 1a space. The panel consists of eight artists and writers from very different backgrounds, whose latest creative experimentations are showcased in the current exhibition: Annie Wan, Ng Ka Chun (Hei), Evelyn Char, Ivy Ma, Reds Cheung, Elvis Yip, Mark Chung and Ian Chung. Premises of the works range from the mining of personal histories to direct or indirect engagement with social issues and collective memories.
As the panel was formed in 1a space’s 17th year, we cannot help but pause to ask ourselves: what does it mean to defend the position of an alternative art space in our times? What kind of challenges are we facing? What is so “alternative” and “artistic” about this space?
In the past, alternative art spaces are by definition antagonistic existences that resist and subvert institutional and capitalistic logic. Following the shift of contemporary art towards the relational since the 1990s, it has become increasingly necessary for the alternative art space to re-define itself in relation to other types of art institutions. 1a space has been focusing on local culture and cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer with its projects in recent years, and while the artistic panel plans to further develop in these two directions, it will also take on a more proactive approach in building relationships and constructing space for conversations. We will establish links with various types of art spaces, create a platform for art criticism, and promote trans-regional and cross-disciplinary exchanges with artist residencies,seminars and medium- to long-term projects.
The critical tradition of 1a space will continue tobehonoured and defended, as we will carry on transgressing and challenging boundaries. By exploring the overlapping space between art and non-art, and by generating discussions and negotiations, we will look for possible ways to redefine boundaries along constantly shifting gaps. To go on adventures in various gaps, to start small revolutions with art, and to build an independent art space that belongs to our times: these are our ambitions in the years to come.
Ceramics Show by Non-ceramics Artists
May 06, 2015 - May 29, 2015
Ceramics, a special term for man-made fired clay objects, carries the context of ceramics tradition and culture. It roots in making singular objects by hands with raw material and craftsmanship. Yet the development of contemporary art has moved away fromhands to brains, from raw materials to found objects, from singularity to multiplicity of information. The contemporary world is full of simulacra, as if nothing is physical and singular. Contemporary art tends to be media and image obsessed. For Annie Wan, curator, this exhibition looks into the distance of ceramics from the simulacrum-discourse and aims to open the possibilities of contemporary ceramics art.
In this exhibition, non-ceramics contemporary artists with different backgrounds are invited to do ceramics is the first attempt to see what will come out if approaches return to the ‘original’, to singularity. But this exhibition for Annie is to collect outcomes and explore possibilities, so there is completely no limitation on the directions, and just that how the artists using clay.
Within the exhibition period, a panel discussion will be held among contemporary art curator, researcher and scholar to look into the gap between ceramics and contemporary art.
After the show, conversations will be arranged,each by a participating artist with the curator, as well as a ceramics artist. Content of conversations will be reserved for further research project, such as publication of a book.
Curator: Annie WAN Lai Kuen
Participating Artists: John AIKEN, Kurt CHAN Yuk Keung, Luke CHING Chin Wai, Francis YU Wai Luen, Ivy MA King Chu, Jaffa LAM Laam
Jun 06, 2015 - Jun 28, 2015
Early White: Time is the sculptor
Opening: 5 June 2015, 7:00pm
Early White: Time is the sculptor
The sands of the beach are polished by the sun, the sea, the moon, the wind, day by day, into a beautiful white. What will the sand to do with being white? Still a long journey to go. When artists are going into their midlife, how aging is reflected by their works? This is an exhibition showing the diversity of middle age artists. They are voices from the post 60s and 50s. It is a disclosure of private feelings under specific Hong Kong context. It shows the emotional and political complexity on aging. Also, generation gap is such a focal point in recent political debate, how artists address to this?
Ten local artists from different disciplines are invited to have a reflexive creative responses to the question: how aging have impacts on your spiritual, creative and identity creation after umbrella movement.
Aging is now a globalized social fact, yet not only about economic figures or body changed, but also sense of history, discourse on experiences, memories and identity, aging and cultural ecology, time and media progression, and spiritual transformation. The exhibition aims at unleashing more voices from post 60s and start up public conversation on cultural meanings of aging.
The project is curated by Cally Yu from Grey and Green Ping Pong and artists are: Ching Wah Chan (painting and text) ,Enoch Cheung, (multimedia),Virginia Sau Man Chu, (music and movement) Chung Wai Ching, Bryan (multimedia), Benny Lau(installation), Li Chi Tak (painting) Lo King Wah (video), Anson Mak (sound installation), Annie Wan (ceramics), Cally Yu (text).
INKcarnation: Literary Tattoos
Jul 11, 2015 - Aug 23, 2015
Opening: 11 July 2015, 6:30pm
Let literature be written on our skin, and may the book be with us always
“Literature Tattoos” is an art project in which artists and writers were invited to pose for photos with the title of their choice of Hong Kong literature written on their skin. It was especially created to celebrate the inauguration of the House of Hong Kong Literature in 2013. These 33 stunning photos will meet the public in “INKcarnation: Literary Tattoos” exhibition that brings together literature, calligraphy and photography. This exhibition is also highlight of the first “Hong Kong Literature Season” curated by the House of Hong Kong Literature .
The appearance of writers makes a statement of the presence of Hong Kong literature, and their choice of books, such as that by Xixi and Leung Ping Kwan, marks the milestones of the development of local literature. Tattoo symbolises physical memories, faith and ideology, while “literature tattoo”, written with ink and brush instead of the needle, replaces pain of tattoo with the gentle touch of literature. It is also a new approach to bond people and words, as writers and artists offered their skin as writing surface came to feel the formation of each stroke of the Chinese character as if knowing it for the first time. The sublimation of the word (as in the idea of incarnation in Christianity) is how the title INKcarnation was conceived.
Chinese calligraphy is traditionally a matter of learning, integrity and morals; but in modern days it sheds its practical nature and only its artistic qualities remain. Young calligraphy Chui Pui Chee painted a new portrait of today’s intellectuals by bridging calligraphy and writers as he wrote on their skin. The photographer’s sensitivity is vital to the portrayal of each writer/artist’s uniqueness. Veteran photographer Bobby Sham Ka Ho gave the portraits a dreamy aura by using an antique lens. The blurring of the boundary between reality and illusion echoes the literary world that is both imaginary and real.
Sep 19, 2015 - Oct 30, 2015
If I was Tehching Hsieh, I would tell myself “The status at this stage is the best, please no more idea about art.”
If I was Walt Disney, I would tell myself “Having too much imagination is not good sometimes.”
If I were you, I would tell myself “Be brave!”
If I was Sylvia Plath, I would tell myself that it is perfectly fine to be imperfect.
If I was Anne Frank, I would tell myself “Hold on a little more. I will be freed and be able to look up to the sky fearlessly.”
If I was the moon, I would tell myself “It’s just a distance of a second.”
If I was (not) the origin of life, I would tell myself to join all spirits into one.”
If I was Nagi Noda, I would tell myself “Be more provocative in style. Death is not so scary if your artworks are good enough.”
If I was Chibi Maruko Chan, I would tell myself “I like your work! It's inspiring!”
If I was Ip Kin-Yuen, I would tell myself “This exhibition has shown current visual arts public exam is useless as an assessment.”
If I was Luke Ching, I would tell myself “Can your creation be a little more aggressive and self-absorbed?”
Tap Chan, Jamila Chan, Papaya Fung, Julvian Ho, Lai Chun Ling, Rogerger Ng, Tam Kar Wing, Tong Kam Ting
Reds Cheung, Anki Lau
18th September 2015 (Friday), 7:00-9:00pm
Knowing Contemporary Issues Through Arts
Nov 14, 2015 - Nov 29, 2015
"Art @ Kowloon City District - Knowing Contemporary Issues Through Arts" is organized by Kowloon City District Office, sponsored by Kowloon City District Council and implemented by 1a space. This program invites students who are aged 14 or above to join the creative workshops and discuss the contemporary issues. Subsequently, there is a 14-day exhibition, connecting the artists, secondary school students and Kowloon City District.
Under the leadership of Mr YEUNG Sau Churk, an experienced teacher of Visual Arts, video clips and fieldwork observation were used to increase the secondary school students' awareness on the environment and their self. Through observation, discussion and reflection, students also transformed the rubbish of their homes into creative artwork and responded to the contemporary issues through arts.
After the workshops in five consecutive weekends, we noted that the three basic elements of human survival, namely air, food and water, are all at risk. The air is seriously polluted, the food is not safe, and water is in shortage. Over-production of industrial products are common in rich countries, subsequently producing an enormous amount of wastes contaminating the air, the soil, the rivers and the underground water, etc. The natural environment as a whole deteriorates and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen in the world. We also noted that urban development is favoring the real estate developer and the living space of the citizens are getting smaller. No doubt, the secondary school students have many feelings on the smallness of their homes and the scarcity of public spaces. Furthermore, we are also aware that the long working hours and the immense studying pressure is seriously distorting our personal growth and development, as well as breaking down the relationship of our neighborhood. No wonder there is a saying that "The city is dying".
We have no idea what our city will become. However, Hong Kong is our home and we have a right to choose our way of living. The future of Hong Kong is in our hands. Will you live your life in a responsible manner and take actions to change the world?