Tai Kwun Artists’ Studio 2020-21

Artists’ Studio Programme

Date & Time

1 Mar 2021 - 31 Aug 2022

Price

Free of charge

General

With artists’ studios and residency apartments in the historic former residential quarters (Block 06 and 07) of Tai Kwun, Tai Kwun’s Residency Programme hosts artists, performers, art practitioners, curators, architects, researchers, writers, educators, and academics. In parallel with Tai Kwun’s diverse educational and public programming, the Residency Programme expands the depth of programming and fosters a wide-ranging network connecting artists, professionals, and the public, with the aim of spurring interdisciplinary collaboration and contributing to a flourishing art and cultural scene in Hong Kong. The goal is to enable artists and professionals in the creative spheres to develop their artistic and creative practices and to benefit from Tai Kwun and its partners’ networks; moreover, hosted guests also actively contribute to Tai Kwun’s engagement with the public.

Ten selected applicants from the Artist's Studio programme 20-21 are: Iv Tsz Man Chan (artist), Chang Yuchen (artist), Cold Ears Factory (artist collective), Dong Xianliang (researcher and theatre practitioner), IHAVENTSTARTEDEITHER (artist collective), Lai Yuk Ching (actor and researcher), Leung Lee Chi (writer), Man Mei To (artist), Debe Sham Hoi Yee (artist) and Wong Chun Hoi (artist). 


Residents

Dong Yan (Current)
IV Chan (Current)
Man Mei To
Leung Lee Chi
Charles Kwong
Jess Ching-Wa Lau
o!sland
Chan Wai Lap

Residency: 23.08-06.11.2021

Tai Kwun welcomes researcher Dong Yan to our Artists’ Studios Programme. Dong Yan (a.k.a. Dong Xianliang) graduated from City University of Hong Kong with a major in Chinese and History in 2020.

During his residency, Dong will explore the contribution he could make to the connections between academic research and performing arts projects. The residency will thus begin with the following question: what is site-specific art in Hong Kong? When a creative practitioner views Tai Kwun as a “specific site”, challenges arise: how would Tai Kwun be embodied in the projects? How does one deal with the relationship between the performing spaces in Tai Kwun and the neighbouring communities? What are the limitations and boundaries in utilising the heritage site of Tai Kwun? How does the architecture, public sculptures, contemporary art programme, and the performing arts programme speak to each other? How could performing arts break through its temporal limitations and contribute to the everyday landscape of Tai Kwun?

Dong Yan will conduct preliminary retrospective research on Tai Kwun’s performing arts programme in recent years, and will also strategically observe and participate in Tai Kwun Performing Arts Season: SPOTLIGHT in autumn 2021. On top of studying the production and performance processes, Dong will also discuss Tai Kwun as a “specific site” with the presenters and artists involved in SPOTLIGHT. The discussion process itself will be the core of the residency project.

Residency:  17.06-16.09.2021

Tai Kwun Contemporary welcomes the Hong Kong-based artist IV Chan to our Artists’ Studios Programme. Chan’s art practice is rooted in the exploration of the complex relations between the human body and the soul. She sees one’s inescapable corporeal existence as tragic and ludicrous, sordid yet pure. Through the transfiguration of materials in installations and sculptures, Chan inspects her own problematic bodily experiences as a presumptuous attempt to seek new perspectives on mortal flesh and its potential, and to explore the interrelationships between Man’s original sin and catharsis. By probing the “problematic body”, aspects of ambivalence that are inherent in the concepts of death, sex, sacrifice, violence, taboo, religion, and mythology etc. are confronted and questioned.

In the residency project, IV Chan will focus on recollecting and preserving memories of the laundry activities in Tai Kwun where her mother once lived and where her family once worked for almost 70 years. To pay homage to the grassroots and bring to light the dignity of their existence (namely laundry workers and shoe shiners in this project), Chan aims to materialise humble housework elements into symbols of the sacred through new artworks. For instance, Chan will research the repetitive, ritualistic bodily movements during uniform washing and ironing, and the specific use of tools and techniques for unwrinkling fabrics. Chan hopes not only to take the audiences down the memory lane, but also to evoke atmospheres of domesticity and sacredness at the same time.

IV Chan received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (US), a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London (UK), and an MFA from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (HK). Apart from participating in solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally, she is also actively involved in set and costume design for film and theatre projects.

Residency: 01.04-30.06.2021

Tai Kwun Contemporary welcomes the Hong Kong-based artist Man Mei To to our Artists’ Studios Programme. Man’s artworks tell stories with materials as the point of departure, and delves into various mediums on a technical level. Through observing the intimacy of the body, she explores urban vistas, life under urbanisation, and transient things. Her works aim to raise awareness of the existence of all kinds of beings as well as the connections between their fragility and silence by objectifying, cloning, reconstructing, or quantifying elements found in everyday life. 

In the residency project, Man Mei To takes “Silent Whispers” as the central theme. She imagines the spread of whispers in a room during the pandemic and records shifts in bodily gestures, sounds, language, and emotions in the city, prior and subsequent to the “stream of consciousness”. She also seeks to quietly inquire into the abnormal changes in the city as a way to deal with intense pressures and to reorganise a field with the same space but of a different era.

Man Mei To obtained her Bachelor of Arts at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) and Hong Kong Arts School in 2017, majoring in painting. Man has held a number of solo exhibitions since 2016, including “Laundry Shop” (A walk with A3, Hong Kong, 2016), “The Distance of Space” (Floating Projects, Hong Kong, 2018), and “Sediment and Undercurrent” (ACO Art Space, Hong Kong, 2019). She has also participated in numerous local and international group exhibitions, including “Primitive Sense Art festival” (Omachi City, Nagano, Japan, 2016), “Ensemble” (VT Artsalon, Taipei, 2017), “Zoo as Metaphor (2)”(Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Hong Kong, 2018), “Big wind blows” (Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong, 2020), and “The Spaces Between the Words Are Almost Infinite” (Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong, 2020), among others.

Residency:  10.03-07.06.2021

Tai Kwun Contemporary welcomes the Hong Kong-based writer Leung Lee Chi to our Artists’ Studios Programme. Leung Lee Chi was born in 1995 and graduated from the Chinese Language and Literature Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a minor in Cultural Studies. She has won many literary awards with works that look into the relationship between individuals and the times they live in. Currently, she is the producer and host of the CIBS programme "Thirteen Invitations to Hong Kong Literature" on Radio Television Hong Kong. She is also the author of a collection of novels: "People who live on a safe island" (2014), "Bright and Beautiful" (2018), and a collection of poems "Miscellaneous Specimen" (2017). In 2020, she won the 14th Hong Kong Arts Development Award for Young Artist (Literature and Art), and was invited to participate in the Singapore Writers Festival. 

During her residency, Leung Lee Chi will start a new writing project named "Prisoner of Oneself". Tai Kwun was formerly the Central Police Station compound, with the former Victoria Prison, which have long symbolised detention and isolation. While the site is newly transformed, sentiments of “inability to leave" and "the feeling of guardedness" have spread out in the city. In the past two years, under the turmoil of protests and the pandemic, many have been restrained from leaving. Meanwhile, within the constructs of capital and power, people suppress desires and hold back from “escape” or “amorality”. This writing project hopes to record life in our city through intersecting virtual and real brushstrokes, capturing the perspectives of various individuals, and writing out their inner states of tension between push and pull. This is juxtaposed with the history of the city in order to contrast the physical lack of freedom with prisoners in the past.

Residency: 01.07.2020- 28.02.2021

Tai Kwun Contemporary welcomes the Hong Kong-based composer Charles Kwong to our Artists’ Studio Programme. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Charles Kwong's creative output ranges from orchestral and choral music to works written for all types of chamber ensembles and solo performers. In recent years his music has been internationally featured in numerous festivals in Japan, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Korea and Hong Kong. Kwong is appointed Artist Associates of Hong Kong Sinfonietta in the 2020-2021 season. In early 2020 he also took up a four-month residency with the City of Zurich Artist-in-Residence Programme for International Artists in association with Zurich University of the Arts.

Kwong’s compositional explorations stretch beyond the paradigms of concert hall music, resulting in numerous site-specific works, sound installations and cross-disciplinary collaborations that highlight the experiential dimension of music. Kwong was the curator and composer of “Our Audible City” (2018-2019), a project in collaboration with Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, soundpocket and visual artist Frank Tang. For the project Kwong created a series of site-specific compositions titled “Atlas”, tailored for non-concert-hall spaces in Hong Kong.

For the Tai Kwun Contemporary residency, Charles Kwong will work on Requiem, an extension of his research and exploration in site-specific music. The project transforms Tai Kwun into a fictional village where fictional rituals for the dead are composed and performed.

Residency: 01.07.2020-14.02.2021 

Tai Kwun Contemporary welcomes the Hong Kong-based artist Jess Lau Ching-Wa to our Artists’ Studio Programme. Born in Hong Kong in 1991, Jess Ching-Wa Lau received a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Media from the City University of Hong Kong in 2014. Lau’s work focuses on themes such as memories of the body and of the city, and the accumulation of time. Growing up in a densely populated city, she explores the relationships and distances between people and the city by incorporating traces of everyday life such as human voices and handwriting into her multimedia work. Often working in video, animation, and installation, she experiments with the uniqueness and malleability of each medium. Lau is a member of Floating Projects Collective, an experimental artist-run space in Hong Kong.

During her residency, Jess Lau Ching-Wa will start a new project titled ‘Fragment Transition: River’. River—both the rivers in Hong Kong and the ‘rivers’ inside human bodies (blood vessels)—will be the starting point of the project. Rivers stand witness to history and often symbolise the passing of time. The project aims to illuminate the big picture of urban development by compiling fragments of individual lives and of the city space as well as pushing the boundaries of animation and video art.

Residency: 11.12.2020-03.03.2021 

Tai Kwun Contemporary welcomes Dorothy Wong Ka Chung and Benjamin Ryser  (o!sland) to our Artists’ Studio Programme. Living with (and sometimes collaborating with) communities in different countries, they use images, videos, sound, texts, and stories to piece together artworks that grapple with contemporary society from a personal perspective and raise questions about the future we share.

For the project ‘Searching for a Place Where Light Belongs’, o!sland starts from images of light and shadow, and uses them as a medium for storytelling. At the centre is the perspective of community—they weave the stories of individuals in a community to gain deeper insights into our times and the history that led to it. They also explore the relationship between images, urban space, and sound. With a poetic approach, o!sland seeks ways in which images permeate everyday life and become an expressive medium within communities. Most importantly, o!sland would like to open up themselves to comprehend the view of different generations in Hong Kong on brightness and darkness by means of field research and interviews.  They will then tell the stories through images (family albums/ newly created images) and voice recordings.

Their research focuses on experiences of postcolonialism, sense of belonging, identity shifts, and experiences of distance. In recent years, the collective has been living with and engaging the Truku aboriginal tribe in Taiwan, a community of immigrants in Zurich, as well as communities in Hong Kong. The form and time scope of o!sland's work shifts with the people and the environment of the community they live in. They aim to find alternative places for images, videos and sound outside traditional art spaces, often creating site-specific and interactive artworks. They have for instance made works incorporating family albums deserted in an attic, radios hung in the middle of a field, and memories at the bottom of people’s hearts.

Residency: 01.12.2019-23.06.20201 

Tai Kwun Contemporary welcomes the Hong Kong-based artist Chan Wai Lap to our Artists’ Studio Programme. Drawing on his personal experiences and affection for collectibles, Chan’s creative practices take a critical look at absurdities and happenings in everyday life. Made with simple materials, his work often portrays serious issues with a sense of humour, exploring alternative connections between the audience and everyday objects.

During his residency, Chan Wai Lap will continue his research on swimming pool culture, focusing on comparing the history, usage, architecture, and surroundings of public swimming pools in Central and Western District as well as illustrating pools as a miniature society.  He will also experiment with the medium of artists’ book for the first time.

Chan Wai Lap’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in various art institutions, including “I Cannot Wait For Three Months” (halka sanat projesi, Istanbul, 2019), “I say Marco, you say Polo” (Fringe Club, Hong Kong, 2019; School of Visual Arts, New York, 2018), “The Bacteriology Drawing Lab” (Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Hong Kong, 2019), “Everything’s Alright” (chi art space, Hong Kong, 2016) and “Yesterday’s” (Osage Gallery, Hong Kong, 2013).


Artist Interview

Chan Wai Lap
o!sland
Jess Lau Ching-Wa
Charles Kwong