Ng Ka Chun, Disappearance of Victoria Harbour Skyline, 2013
Ng Ka Chun
Disappearance of Victoria Harbour Skyline, 2013
Photo and video documentation
Image: 14 x 200 cm; video 56‘ 24“
Courtesy of the artist
Above: Photographs by Alain Kantarjian, 2013. © Alain Kantarjian
Still frame of Disappearance of Victoria Harbour Skyline, 2013.
The Victoria Harbour Skyline is one of the most used city marketing images, showing Hong Kong as a globalized cosmopolitan city, and often portrayed in advertising with a panorama of the city’s skyscrapers. Artist Ng Ka Chun’s cardboard sculptures are in a sense a social satire of this by-now iconic imagery. Cardboard, as a recyclable commodity, is commonly collected by the elderly in Hong Kong. With no proper welfare, the poverty amongst the elderly in Hong Kong is increasing, with statistics reporting that one in every three senior citizens lives below the national poverty line.
Curator Daniel Kurjakovic writes: “Ng Ka Chun Hei’s short video documents the deconstruction of the Victoria Harbour skyline, miniaturized and framed as real-time theater in a monitor, ironically defying the equation of size and meaning: the artist built the eponymous Hong Kong trademark with cardboards in one of the poorest districts of Hong Kong, thereby alluding, sarcastically, to the discrepancies of “life at the top”, and “life at the bottom”. In what is more a discursive act brought forth by a low-key notion of participation than a simple happening, the Hong Kong brand gradually gets decomposed by street workers, lump collectors, passers-by with an existential need for the materials—an example of post-politics beyond plans, ideologies or doctrines?”
Beside the work Ng Ka Chun’s caption reads: “Buy cardboard boxes from rag-pickers which they’ve collected. Use them as materials to make models of the skyscrapers along Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong Island. Put this array of cardboard models in a street in Sham Shui Po, the poorest district in Hong Kong.”
Ng Ka Chun (b. 1985 Hong Kong) graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University in 2008. After graduating Ng built up his studio in Fo Tan. Chun is a core member of the community art space Woofer Ten in Hong Kong. Recent exhibitions include, amongst others: Fresh Vision, art@government Building, Sha Tin, Hong Kong (2012), Philosopher’s (knock-off) Stone: Turning Gold Into Plastic, Osage, Hong Kong (2012) and Exhibition under a breeze, Goethe-Institut, Art Centre Hong Kong (2012). His work has been exhibited in Australia, Shenzhen and galleries in Hong Kong.
The skyline of Victoria Harbour, of which Ng Ka Chun, has recreated several of the monumental buildings into cardboard.
Ng Ka Chun working in his studio.
Sketch by Ng Ka Chun, 2013.