i_think_it_rains (2013)

Concept

The exhibition I Think It Rains by Burger Collection successfully took place earlier in May 2013. Organized together with 1a space, an independent artist run space, and held at the Cattle Depot Artist Village the project explored collaborative curating and research. The project brought forth innovative forms of thinking about exhibition agency, e.g. how to activate the exhibition on the level of in-depth explorations of artistic methodologies, of redefining spectatorship, of undertaking artist-oriented research and of examining the potential social impact of cultural production.

Situated in To Kwa Wan, the Cattle Depot Artist Village is Hong Kong’s only alternative art village. The site itself was part of the project’s semantics as the To Kwa Wan area is intensely marked by local community life with diverse ethnicities—with Cattle Depot Artist Village functioning as a leisure area rich with a variety of both grassroots and professional cultural productions. Visitors could meander their way through six exhibition spaces spanning some 1,000 m² in the grade II historic site of the Cattle Depot Artist Village. Since 2011 this site, formerly used as a slaughterhouse, is the home for numerous art and culture organizations as well as artist studios. The exhibition, located on Hong Kong’s Kowloon side in the city’s northern region, a 30-minute travel from Central, became the quaint interruption for art aficionados from the animations during the busy ‘art month’ of May.

Straying away from one pronounced thematic focus, at the core of the exhibition was the inquiry into and questioning of notions of history, time, and artistic process through artistic methodologies. Apart from a wide variety of works—spanning newly commissioned works, installations, video works, drawings, or works in the public space—visitors could leaf through so-called source materials, compiled onto shelves, full of notes, photographs, drawings, and findings on topics as varied as crystals, African masks, twin façades, empty studio spaces, and more. They allowed one to construct a parallel reading, one that was different from the experience of contemplating the works.

In the exhibition’s various works there was a pervading sense of duality or dialectics present, between, on one hand precise conceptual dispositifs, and on the other hand historical, social or political undertones: the reverberations of various forms of violence (Filipa César, Vittorio Santoro), the protocols of radicalized politics (as in Bani Abidi), or the effects of neoliberal urban development (Lau Ching Ping, Ng Ka Chun). Likewise, various works allowed for a deeper reflection on the subliminally felt changes, which affect culture’s material base, such as books (see the work of Alejandro Cesarco, Choi Yan-chi, or Annie Lai-Kuen Wan), or again works that, more onto-poetically, propose alternative notions of time, space, and consciousness, in direct or indirect opposition to the thriving globalist protocols of subjectivity (Pak Sheung-chuen, Enoch Cheung, Muhanned Cader).

Appraised as a feat in engaging with the site and with the local artistic community, the exhibition presented both existing works from the Burger Collection and the commissioning of new works from the more than 30 artists and writers (of which several have been acquired for the collection, including Lam Tung Pang’s audio installation Ghost – Disappeared Hong Kong Art (1): 90s, Kurt Chan and Annie Lai-Kuen Wan’s installation Time Regained). Lee Hyo-won of BlouinArtinfo described the exhibition as “a novel, exciting challenge in rethinking the complexity of the creative process and its temporal and spatial impulses.“ Click here to read the article.

The opening week saw various events unfold, including the one-day festival From Dusk Till Dawn wherein real-time activities by some fifteen artists were presented, as well as the start of a short-term residency program for foreign artists such as Muhanned Cader (Sri Lanka), Filipa César (Portugal), Florian Germann (Switzerland), and Fiete Stolte (Germany), all represented in the Burger Collection.

Some press highlights for further reading: In an in-depth conversation with critic Maggie Wong curator Daniel Kurjakovic discusses I Think It Rains, the bookazine Torrent, and the function of a private collection. Click here to read. And Elaine W. Ng, editor-in-chief of ArtAsiaPacific, portrays the Burger Collection. More press articles can be found on the blog.

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<滴溚 滴>匯聚了由Burger Collection及1a space邀請的藝術家、作家及評論家,共同創建一個長達三年的實驗性跨領域合作模式,希望不同媒介及專業界別的藝術家、作家、填詞人有更充份的時間醞釀、互動、扣連,建立複合多樣的有機創作實踐。

是 次合作計劃早於2012年11月啟動,由合作計劃核心團隊張康生(藝術家)、蔡仞姿(藝術家)、俞若玫(作家)及Daniel Kurjakovic(策展人)四人正式會談開始。早期的討論主要關注如何建構一個有意義的創作脈絡,容讓多樣豐富的藝術實踐,進行更本質性的實驗。與此 同時,成員的對談主要圍繞如何建設一個可供參與者漸進地建立、重新檢視及轉化本身創作內容的運作模式,並策劃為期三年可持續發展的活動平台。於三年的框架 中,旨在開創一個扣連本地及國際的合作模式,同時充分考慮香港文化的特殊性和當代藝術在跨國趨勢下的實踐。正如藝術家蔡仞姿女士指出:「這個項目旨在建立 一個平台去推動交流,引發平日關係較鬆散的藝術社群,就不同模式的文化生產進行持續對話及討論。」

策展人Daniel Kurjakovic表示Burger Collection「四部曲」之二的首年活動將會「關注藝術家如何叩問歷史,如何探究微觀及宏觀歷史之間的關係,如何從當下已認知的模範及社會行為轉化 為面向未來的動力。不少藝術家都愛以各式各樣的研究作為創作的基礎,而這些調查,往往跟當世時序無縫連接,又或恰恰相反。」首個展覽<滴溚 滴>將會強調參展藝術家及作家的多面向創作,包括混合媒介、裝置藝術、虛擬寫作或電台廣播節目等不同形式。

<滴溚 滴>將於歷史建築群牛棚藝術村舉行,展場包括牛棚各個單位及露天場地,讓藝術家在古樸而獨特的空間展示創作過程及作品。展覽更設有演出日,將於牛棚及周邊 地區舉行多個表演,讓參觀者通過實時活動體驗藝術。同日亦會發佈由Burger Collection主理的雜誌《Torrent》第一期,當中包括不同藝術家的創作,以及有關香港文化及藝術產業的深入討論。

項目第一階段由2013年5月起到12月為止,當中第二期的展覽將在秋季舉行,主要包括藝術家駐地創作計劃、研討會及工作坊,屆時亦會出版圖錄以總結這個為期一年的過程。

展 覽的英文名字「I think it rains」採自尼日利亞詩人沃萊·索因卡(Wole Soyinka)的諧音詩,並非純粹描繪勾勒主題的要旨,卻帶出了整個項目的動機:指向物質的真實性、官能上的觸感、細節和多樣性、持續的存在、空間的滲 透性,以及無形與有形之間的連繫。而中文名字<滴溚 滴>以擬聲的文字重構意象,是下雨不是下雨,是時間的滴漏又或前行,「滴溚」跟「滴」之間的空間是有形和無形之間詩意的張力和懸念。

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