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Chan Yuk-keung

Chan Yuk-Keung
hollow inverted, suspended
inspiration, installation
about the artist


hollow inverted, suspended

Chan Yuk-KeungThe city, suspended in the air, severs the sky from the sea.

Plastered on its upper surface is a mosaic of
the glory and decay,
the ebbs and flows, of history,
Rubbing up against each other.

Yet, amazingly, a shimmering silver light floods
the landscape on the under side,
From genesis to the present,
Time and its marks, sink into oblivion,
And the column stands submerged in the tranquil sea.

The City that was born out of a well of life,
Branches out in all directions,
Spinning a web that becomes the water-sky connection.

Take a look back,
And see that above and below have changed places,
And sea and sky have blended together into a single colour.

On the banks of the canal,
I catch a glimpse of a city suspended and inverted.
And I take my leisurely stroll, becoming lost in the silvery brilliance.

Where I stand allows no time for contemplation -
The early tide of October runs ashore and soaks my feet.

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inspiration, installation

hollow inverted, suspended
Chan Yuk-keung

My idea was inspired by the book "The Description of the World" written by Marco Polo in the 13th century. It is his personal account of travels and explorations. This semi-real, semi-imagined account of a voyage is in fact, a mixture of documentary and fiction, which on the one hand illustrates the writer's 'real experience' acquired through his travel to an exotic place, while on the other hand, it inevitably reflects the fact that it is both a work of literature and a product of the writer's imagination, which was itself influenced by his own cultural background and state of mind...

Improvements in modes of transport and rapid developments in information technology, along with an overriding concern for safety and convenience, have meant that travelling is becoming more and more formulaic and standardised; travel destinations and experiences are becoming more homogeneous, and travellers are no longer forming unique, personal and individual impressions of the places they visit...

Initially I work with images of the cityscape with reference to the map of Venice. As in my previous work exhibited in 2003, several boards will dissect the exhibition space horizontally. Unlike last time, the boards will be suspended from the ceiling, around eight feet from the ground, and on the underside of the boards, an inverted city will be built.

I am inverting the city because I want to stress the fact that the 'city' seen by the spectators is unreal: it defies gravity and its 'real weight' is actually in the air, connoted by the opened paper bags suspended from the bottom of the board and above the viewer's head. The spatial relationship between the city and the viewer is thus inverted.

The viewers will then be guided onto a ramp, which leads up to a platform, from where they will be able to walk through the 'canal' that dissects the two main regions of 'the city' and survey another 'landscape' from the top of the boards, on which the entire surface is covered with silver leaf.

This shiny surface symbolises the past splendour of the city, which is said to be sinking deeper into the mud every year—this process perhaps being the most touching metaphor for the fading glory of such a beautiful and legendary city.

The experience of travelling can only be real and complete in our memories, but this means that it is always being reinvented.

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about the artist

Chan Yuk-keung
Born in Hong Kong in 1959

  solo exhibitions
  2003 QK- Mixed Media by Chan Yuk Keung
Hong Kong Arts Centre
QK- A Collection of Daily Specimen by Chan Yuk Keung
Para-site, Hong Kong
  2001 Mutation: Fish X Bird
G.O.D. (Art Window Project), Hong Kong
  1995 40" x 40" Mixed Media Paintings by Chan Yuk Keung
Agfa Gallery, German Cultural Centre, Hong Kong
  1992 Enigma- Mixed Media Works by Chan Yuk Keung
Hong Kong Arts Centre
selected group exhibitions

  2004 Building Hong Kong- Redwhiteblue
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
  2003 Who- 12 Artists from Hong Kong
Prickle Art Centre, Beijing, China
Warehouse Armazem de Boi, Macau
Cheng Ming in All Direction
Hong Kong Arts Centre
  2002 Zhang Fang
Pottery Workshop, Shanghai, China
Asian Spirit-Nationality and Tradition
Busan Cultural Center, South Korea
  2001 The Gambling Show
John Batten Gallery, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art
Hong Kong Museum of Art
  2000 NORD/LB art for EXPO 2000
NORD/LB Bank, Hannover, Germany
Exhibition of Selected Works for Competition on Sculpture Design for the Hong Kong Central Library
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Centrifugal Vision- Video Circle 2000
Exposition Hall, H.K. University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Double Space
Young Uh Museum of Contemporary Art, South Korea
Hong Kong Art 2000
Hong Kong Museum of Art
Digital Art Project for "Art+01: A Digital Exploration"
Heritage Museum, Provisional Regional Council, Hong Kong
My Personal Skyscraper
Para-site, Hong Kong
  1999 Neues Aquarell-International Biennale Neues Aquarell 1999
Kunstation Kleinsassen, Fulda, Germany
Public Art Scheme Competition Exhibition
Sam Tung Uk Museum, Hong Kong
The 9th International Biennial Print & Drawing Exhibition 1999 R.O.C.
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan
  1998 New Voices - Contemporary Art from Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai
Hong Kong Art Centre / Zhung Zheng Gallery,
National Taiwan Arts Education Institute
The Hong Kong Biennial of Contemporary Art
Hong Kong Museum of Art
Painting Hong Kong
1a Art space, Hong Kong
  1997 Contemporary Art of China 97
The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
The Faculty Show in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the
Department of Fine Art, CUHK.

Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
6.30 exhibition
Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong
  1996 The 2nd Asia-Pacific of Contemporary Art Triennial
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
selected writings on Chan

  2003 QK- A Specimen Collection of Chan Yuk Keung
Published by Para/Site, Hong Kong
  2002 Is Good Art Teacher Not Necessary a Good Artist?
His Story- Our Interpretation Research in Hong Kong Contemporary Art (1990-1999)
  2001 David Clarke, 'Chapter 2 Living in the Shadow of the Future', Hong Kong Art: Culture and Decolonization, Hong Kong University Press, 2001, p.43
  1997 Oscar Ho, "More than just Chinese", Transfusion, Auckland, 1997
(Exhibition Catalogue)
  1996 Oscar Ho, The 2nd Asia-Pacific of Contemporary Art Triennial, 1996
  1994 Chang Tsong-zung 'A pact of Separate Peace – The Art Scene in Hong Kong, 1991-1993", New Trends – Art Hong Kong 1994 information

David Clarke, 'Between East and West: Negotiations with Tradition and Modernity in Hong Kong Art,' Third Text, Autumn/ Winter, London: Kala
Press, 1994, p.71
  1993 Raymond A. Dragon, Law Wai-ming, Art & Space: From Sculpture to Installation, HKUST Arts Endowment Committee and Office of Public Affairs & Hong Kong Arts Centre, 1993, pp.5-6
  1985 Petra Hinterhud, Nina Corazzo ed., 'chapter 6,' Modern Art in Hong Kong,
Hong Kong: Meyer Publishing Ltd., 1985
public arts

  2003 The Sea Says ...
Kepple Port, Singapore
  2000 Collecting Star Dust- Public Arts Project at Tai Po Central Park
Heritage Museum, Provisional Regional Council
  1991 Environmental Drawing
Hong Kong Museum of Art

  2004 Nerve - Works of Chan Yuk Keung 86-04
  2003 QK- A Collection of Daily Specimen of Chan Yuk Keung
  1992 Mixed Media Works by Chan Yuk Keung


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