Hong Kong is renowned for its high population density and dense living conditions. In this compact metropolis, how do artists employ art and imagination to release them, and us, from the confines of our living spaces? Osage Kwun Tong is pleased to present Dwelling, an exhibition of works by artists in Hong Kong, engaging with issues of space, or the lack of it, and its creative utilisation.
The dense living condition in Hong Kong has largely been a result of land policies, from land sales in the early colonial era, to public housing in the 1950s, to urban redevelopment in recent years. This consistent development of compact living spaces has inevitably created a unique culture of space utilisation and symbolism. The critique and evaluation of these conditions has been a constant topic for many scholars in Hong Kong, who very often, examine them through western theories of space production. Yet, it is precisely the space constraints and the consequent culture of space utilisation that effected the artistic development of artists in Hong Kong, resulting in changes to their artistic form and style.
Dwelling, curated by Jeff Leung, presents the works of 13 artists which engages with the issue of space. The exhibition will examine three aspects of the issue. 'Space for Practice' focuses on the physical space that is in actual use, the limits and control implied or directly shown through its manipulation/operation, such as in the works of Au Wah Yin, Kwan Sheung Chi, Leung Chi Wo, Kacey Wong, and Yeung Hok Tak, which reflect the common quality of people utilising compact space and reveal symbols of socioeconomic class symbol ingrained in different homes. 'Space out of Space' examines how individual space is created beyond the constraints of physical space. The four artists in this section, Hanison Lau Hok Shing, Kimhoo So & Ahong Chueng, and Wong Chun Hei, extend their private space in a non-confrontational way, as they employ immediate spatial tactics in a predetermined space to create a self-sustained 'Little Paradise'. 'Space as a Metaphor' portrays space as a site for 'signification' through the works of Gavin Au Ka Yiu, Jonathan Leung Hoi Yat, Samuel Adam Swope and Tsang Chui Mei.
The exhibition invites viewers to re-imagine, through the artists' experiences, their own living spaces in various perspectives and opens up possibilities for its imaginative use.