Dismantling the Scaffold

Time |
11am - 7pm
Location |
Tai Kwun Contemporary, JC Contemporary
Price |
Free of charge

Presented by Spring Workshop

The inaugural exhibition Dismantling the Scaffold, curated by the Hong Kong curator Christina Li and presented by Spring Workshop at Tai Kwun Contemporary, brings together works from local and international artists and collectives, a constellation of artworks which engage with the social and civil structures we collectively inhabit.

The artistic positions in the exhibition aim to open up insights as well as questions that reimagine and examine the established conventions and norms conditioning how we navigate and give shape to our everyday lives. The two major keystones in the exhibition concept are the site’s history and collaboration: the unique background of the site of the former Central Police Station compound—as a police station, magistracy, and prison in the past—as well as the collaboration of two contemporary art organizations at a convergence in their timelines—the beginning of Tai Kwun Contemporary and the planned hiatus of Spring Workshop after its 5-year operation.

The “scaffold”—the main motif for the exhibition—is commonly understood as a temporary support structure deployed while a building is being constructed or repaired. In its lesser-known usage, a scaffold can also refer to a construction used in the past to stage public executions and punishments. The title Dismantling the Scaffold thus brings together these two definitions in order to draw attention to the site’s previous historical function before its current transformation, all the while looking forward to its new role as a permanent cultural institution and heritage site in Hong Kong. 

Under this central metaphor of the scaffold, artworks in the exhibition explore art’s potential to illuminate and unpack our relationship with society at large. They offer poignant reflections of the invisible and visible structures that constitute and organise our daily existence among our surroundings. The personal and collective artistic presentations raise questions about various issues such as social participation, commodification, exclusion and confinement, urban development, collaboration, and human welfare in both public and private spheres. Dismantling the Scaffold thus hopes to offer alternative interpretations to the social conditions which underpin our experience as human beings.


Artist list

Nadim Abbas, Erkka Nissinen, Magdalen Wong
Big Tail Elephant
Chen Shaoxiong
Luke Ching Chin Wai
Tiffany Chung
Claire Fontaine
Kwan Sheung Chi, Wong Wai Yin
Bing Lee
Leung Chi Wo + Sara Wong
Liang Juhui
Lin Yilin
Roman Ondak
LH02: Pak Sheung Chuen, Jaffe.T, Cathy Tsang, Grace Gut, Siumou Chow
Jhafis Quintero
Superflex and Jens Haaning
Koki Tanaka
Ulay / Marina Abramović
Bik Van der Pol
Yvonne Dröge Wendel
Xijing Men
Xu Tan


Leung Chi Wo, Queen × Pedder × Wyndham & Queen × Pedder x Wyndham, 2001. C-print, set of 2, 76.2 × 101.6 cm each (Courtesy of the artist)


Yvonne Dröge Wendel, Black Ball, 2000, hand felted merino wool around inflatable PVC form (work in public space), 300–350 cm in diameter


LH02: Pak Sheung Chuen, Jaffe.T, Cathy Tsang, Grace Gut, Siumou Chow, Killing 3000, 2018, nstallation, archival materials, workshops, dimensions variable (table 1 × 7 × 0.9m, 0.5 × 0.4 × 0.7m)

About Spring Workshop

Founded in 2011 as a five-year project, Spring Workshop is a cultural initiative that experiments with the way we relate to art. With an international cross-disciplinary programme of artist and curatorial residencies, exhibitions, music, film and talks, Spring has served as a laboratory for exchange between artists, organisations and audiences in Hong Kong and abroad. In December 2017, Spring ceased its usual activities to begin a planned season of rest and transformation.