Curiosities: post-art from the edge

Para/Sit Art Space in Hong Kong has recently opened an installation exhibition of four artists from Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and Canada.

(Hong Kong-Sheung Wan) While the child-protagonist Alice’s journey through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole is a consequence of her intelligence and inquisitiveness; so is curiosity the drive for artists to work on materials, elements and found objects they meet in the everyday life. And while familiarly unfamiliar are fairytales and dream adventures are to us all; so are the works of the artists on themes that are universal to the collective unconscious such as dreams, traveling, fairytales and the very sense of being itself.

— NonStarving Artists

post-art from the edge –installation exhibition

Artists: Ivy Ma (Hong Kong), Judy Cheung (Canada), Louise Hubbard (Australia) and Shiro Masuyama (Japan).

Opening Reception: 28/4/2005 (Thurs), 6pm

Exhibition Dates: 28/4 –29/5/2005

While the child-protagonist Alice’s journey through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole is a consequence of her intelligence and inquisitiveness; so is curiosity the drive for artists to work on materials, elements and found objects they meet in the everyday life. And while familiarly unfamiliar are fairytales and dream adventures are to us all; so are the works of the artists on themes that are universal to the collective unconscious such as dreams, traveling, fairytales and the very sense of being itself.

After presenting the vaudevillian garden together with an op-scape and taking the audience to a-rolling and strolling with images in donut shape, Para/site Artspace is proud to present “Curiosities: post-art from the edge” in April and May 2005. This is an installation exhibition comprises works from 4 artists from different background and nationality, and out of a pool of 120 proposals submitted, yet bearing the similar cutting-edge way of interpreting and re-presenting everyday life objects as art-objects out of everyday materials and found objects. And similar too, is the fact that the works may have exhibited somewhere else individually but shipped and post to the site here for an open dialogue with each other; and on what site-specificity may mean; and what everydayness may become in a playful manner.

If “curious”has similar meaning with “concern, eagerness, inquiring mind, inquisitiveness, interest, interestingness, intrusiveness, investigation, meddling, mental acquisitiveness, nosiness, officiousness, prying, questioning, regard, searching, snooping”, yet at the same time synonyms with “anomaly, bibelot, bygone, conversation piece, curio, exoticism, freak, knickknack, marvel, monstrosity, nonesuch, objet d’art, oddity, peculiar object, prodigy, rarity, singular object, trinket, wonder”; then “curiosities” promises certain degree of “interest” and “oddidity”. So be there to explore how oddities may work against the norm; and how interesting an art space can become with the works of marvel.

About the artists & their works:

Ivy Ma (Hong Kong) works in varied media and the notion of using materials in art making as the ever-ending process of transmigration of Subject and Object. Her art is an expression in response to society and her experiences. Her interest in psychoanalysis reflects in the notion of art as a doll that will listen to and absorb her thoughts and emotions. In working in paint and concerning herself only in form, circles and other plane shape, Ma denies the viewers any intricate interpretation, and in doing so create intimate compositions measured only by her artistic intuition.

“One of my series of art pieces is about childhood memories, imaginations, and fantasies. The materials I choose help both myself and viewers stepping into psyche, where the space is always the enclosed room as solitude for putting ‘things’ (memories) in and for someone to ‘create’ (memorize) their own fairy tales.”

Judy Cheung (Canada) works on kinetic installation, photography and video and has been included in exhibitions across Canada, USA, Europe and Hong Kong. Her photographic art is a continuous experimentation and investigation of perceptual reality. Installations she constructs are often interactive, rendering a form in which the audience is propelled into a journey. She received a BFA degree from University of Calgary in 1987 and an MFA degree from Pratt Institute, New York in 1992 and is a recipient of numerous awards for her innovative projects. An active member in the arts community, she is involved as an artist, a teacher and a curator. Cheung lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.

“skyLink is a virtual airport. A multi-component installation, viewers navigate through travel effects, re-created and re-contextualized by the artist, that resonate, with subtle humor, the homogeneity, banality and frequency of international travel. The work exemplifies our cultural existence, increasingly similar and borderless, through globalized consumerism and consumption. It embodies ephemeral moments of engagement, where spatial and tactile senses are aroused through one’s perception and interaction, in an undefined territory.”

Louise Hubbard (Australia) receives her MFA by research at RMIT University in 2000 and has participated in solo and group shows since 1977. She has also been a writer, director, producer of documentaries, short drama and experimental works for cinema and television from 1983 to 1977. Currently she is a lecturer at the School of Art, Victorian College of the Arts.Her work provokes memory and association with a seemingly unstable installation of found objects. Familiar objects are turned unfamiliar yet not unrecognizable but with a feeling of uncanny fear and obsolesce.

“I collect objects which trigger psychological and emotional impulses which I then harness into relationships of abstraction. My work relies upon a strategy that is anthropomorphic by nature. The ‘nature’of training (submission, subordination) is my obsession, as is my interest in pedagogical and disciplinary spaces in which subjectivity and knowledge are formed. My work complies with the doctrinaire no cut and paste, look, put, and look again, means to making sense.”

Shiro Masuyama (Japan) has always been seen as anti-social as he playfully questions the behaviour of people in the norm, Shiro’s works is also special in the sense that he encourages participation from the audience which is rare in the ‘usual’ gallery and museum spaces. Originally trained as an architect at Meiji University, Tokyo, Shiro commences his contemporary art practice and exhibitions, group and solo, in Tokyo, New York, Vienna and Stockholm etc after his Master of Architecture in 1997. Presently he is at an artist in residence program at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.

“I would say that it is after people got involved in it when my work completed. To make the devices is only preliminary for me to a completed work. I think my work is different from peaceful one that is common in so-called “communication art” or conventional “interactive art”, as it puts people trapped to use in the work. It creates a reverse of standpoints of the viewer and the artist; the artist watches the viewer and the viewer is watched. After all, the viewer comes to face himself. I mean I don’t just present my work on the media. I create a four-dimensional situation, having the viewers got involved in the work, and take it as a media.”