Hong Kong’s Participation in La Biennale di Venezia
Over a thousand visits made by hundreds of international audience and over 100 members of international press were recorded at the opening of the Hong Kong exhibition at the 51. International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia on 10 June. This is the third time for Hong Kong visual artists to exhibit their works in this international event under the banner of "Hong Kong, China".
Presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (ADC), the theme of this year's exhibition is "investigation of a journey to the west by micro + polo". Under the curatorial direction of veteran curator Ms Sabrina M Y Fung, the exhibition brings to the world audience a marvellous and imaginative investigation of travel west in the computer age by anothermountainman (micro) and Mr Chan Yuk-keung (polo).
To mark this momentous occasion, Dr Peter K K Wong, Deputy Commissioner of the Hong Kong, China Exhibition and Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council officiated at the opening ceremony. He said, "Our participation in the Venice Biennale is an important part of the exchange and communication between Hong Kong and the international arts community. We hope this will help our artists establish a close relationship with their counterparts from the rest of the world so as to widen their vision and knowledge. In turn, it help raise the status of Hong Kong in the international arts arena."
Dr Wong praised the works of the artists. He said the works were able to demonstrate the social function of the arts and helped foster the mutual communication of the people. It directed us to think beyond the boundaries of our usual perceptive framework and enabled us to examine things from different angles.
When introducing the works of the artists, Curator Sabrina Fung said the exhibition investigates and explores the blending and divergence of cultures in our societies through the microcosmic vision of the artists. It also reflects parallels and differences between Hong Kong and Venice.
The exhibition comprises of two parts. The work of anothermountainman is a Hong Kong-style teahouse. With the walls covered by red-white-blue plastic fabric, the teahouse is decorated with Chinese window frames and red-white-blue revolving lanterns. It is a statement on the importance of face-to-face communication in society, which is becoming a lost art in the micro-technological age. It also reflects the transitory and unsettled nature of Hong Kong. Re-establishing human contact over a cup of tea can help society resolve issues and regain its focus.
Contrary to the red-white-blue colour, the work of Chan Yuk-keung is the muted tones of natural wood. His cityscape installation, in the shape of Venice, reveals his experiences as a traveller both metaphysically and psychologically. The cityscape is elevated and inverted to provide the viewer a thorough investigation into an imaginary, reinvented world.
Following the introduction by the curator, there was a special performance jointly presented by two eminent Hong Kong performing artists. They are Ms Mui Cheuk-yin (dancer and choreographer) and Mr Kung Chi-shing (composer and performer). It was then followed by a talk on Hong Kong culture by Prof Leung Ping-kwan.
Also presiding at the ceremony were Council Members Prof Dominic Lam, Ms Monnie Chan and Mr Vincent Fung as well as Chief Executive Mr Jonathan Yu. Mr Vincent Fung is the representative of the Home Affairs Bureau.
To facilitate cultural exchange and communication with counterparts from the Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and other countries, the ADC hosted a Gala Luncheon on 11 June. More than 100 people attended.
From today until 6 November, the Hong Kong, China Exhibition, located at Fondaco Marcello, San Marco 3415, 30124 Venice will open from Tuesdays to Sundays 10:00 – 18:00. It will be closed on Mondays.