subtlyextravagant documenta 2010 is a mischievous retrospective showcase of A‧lift events in 2010. Established by a group of creative minds in November 2009, A‧ lift is where independent artists and designers execute their surrealistic desire and imaginative concepts. With exhibition site, The A‧lift, in Futian District of Shenzhen and studio in Fotan, Hong Kong, we provide a platform to showcase interesting works from Hong Kong artists and designers in China.
Our talk “domesticexport” based partly a review of our development in 2010, and partly a sharing of our style to presenting Hong Kong artists in China. The A.lift Gallery is going to discuss our diversified observations on creative ecosystem in mainland China, and adaptability of the domestic audience. Along with our guests as well as our collaborators, A·lift will reveal our postmodern surviving strategies through our insiders’ gossips, prattles and noise.
Sensible versus non-sensible; normal versus abnormal – human beings like to use these opposite binaries to define what it means by a ‘normal’ way of living. Nevertheless, what is known as normal is only a constraint sculpted by the modern social and cultural ideology which makes everyone follow the same direction to develop and to conform, disregarding all other way of living outside the acceptable frame. Just as Michel Foucault quoted in the preface of his writing ‘Madness and Civilization’, Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky said: “Men cannot use their imprisoned neighbour to affirm that they themselves are mentally stable.” In fact, many voices are buried within the so called ‘sensible’ power. One would have the question of whose belief it is that is restricting people from choosing other ways of living? It may now be time to reflect on this subject and to erase any thinking that is bounded by frames of the society
Often incredibly subtle, forces of nature may never let you know when you are connected to it, by then leading to derivation of endless imagination. While Meipo Yuen entangles with art, in a split second, she and the nature coincides. With an intrinsic telepathy between nature and her soul, Yuen believes her unusual ability to communicate with different objects. Applying art as interface, Yuen creates her works by substantiation of dialogue, achieving a series of minimal yet illusory creation. In one of her pieces titled
The rise of capitalistic production has made men’s work unitary. Capitalists aim to eliminate all variations in production, which include forbidding “human” to become a variable factor in their business. Human, escaping from the loop of inhuman production, turns to involve in art and creation for pleasure during leisure time. To the society, art is mistakenly regarded as an activity with no actual economic benefits.
TANG Ying Mui, in recent years, dedicates her creation to investigate on ‘heart’ as the subject matter, how it is travelled from ancient to present, and is transformed from animal to human. As civilization evolved through the baptism of life, human steps into the modern world from the primitive one, the basic extinct of human has been moderated by urbanization. Tang’s work is an attempt to dig out human’s primal memory of nature as well as a murmuring of how the nature is eroded by civilization.
Human beings and machines are closely interconnected in industrial production. In the repetitive production process, all end products appear to be no different to one another. Men and machines work together to make products through continuously repetitive motions. Human beings seem to have become part of the machine.
“Since I am not Cinderella, I do not need glass slippers. I do not hold any hope to be saved by fairies, I do not believe in fairy-tales. I have already watched too many Hollywood movies which have made me feel tired of those standardised stories about dreams coming true. I do not want to become a slave of this kind of imagination, I need to step out of the fantasy of fairy-tales and bravely face a reality which story-tellers would describe as horrible and ugly. Even though the real world is full of flaws, it is not as daunting as fantasies that have been purposely sketched out. Fairy-tales are not only used as bed-time stories for children, they can also hypnotise adults like you and me.” (Extract from “Waiting for Hong Kong – Entertainment Chapter” by LAM Yik Wah, Edward)
Every city possesses its own characteristics and every social district has its own memories. We live in cities and become familiarized with things that fall into our vision. The streets that we pass by each day, every brick walls that we see, the unnoticed marks on escalators, the pressed mortar on the ground – these are all trivial matters to many of us. However, it is through these fragments that we compose the space and city memories that we are conscious of.
Enculturation signifies the development of some unique values and actions of individuals as a result of gradual influences from the society. Acculturation refers to the fusion of two cultures after they collide and interact. Born in Hong Kong and studied in London, artist NGAI Joe-joe has been influenced by both the enculturation and acculturation of two different cultures in both the way of living and the path of learning. This leads to the growth of his attention and exploration of cultural and identity recognition.