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Immortal souls, past lives, and cyberpunk futures fuse in a psychedelic solo exhibition by the Hong Kong artist Kongkee, a.k.a. Kong Khong-chang, which follows the legend of Chinese poet Qu Yuan (c. 339-278 BCE), commemorated annually during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.
Kongkee's animated film Dragon’s Delusion begins after Qu Yuan's untimely ending, in which the poet drowned himself in a river, having been in despair over the tumultuous times in which he lived. Kongkee imagines the poet's resurrection 2,000 years after his death, from the waters of the Kingdom of Chu into a cyberpunk future. As his soul wanders a landscape filled with cyborgs and surprising romantic reunions, several worlds collide, reflecting Kongkee's own philosophical outlook on the past and Qu Yuan's language possessing its own wandering quality which continues to inspire generations of artists.
Part comic book, part motion picture, part speculative journey, Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk is an immersive experience complete with a large-scale LED installation and site-specific neon works, transforming Tai Kwun's heritage site into a cyberpunk universe that bridges the past with the future.
For the presentation at Tai Kwun's Duplex Studio, Kongkee has developed new site-specific works in connection with Hong Kong that reflect on the world we live in today. Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk, first organised by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and curated by Abby Chen, Head of Contemporary Art and Senior Associate Curator, is co-curated by Ying Kwok, Senior Curator for Tai Kwun Contemporary.
Image: Courtesy of the artist and Penguin Lab. Copyright © 2021 the artist