Ghost Encounter

Sit Lik Hoi, Kacey Wong, Leung Chi Wo, Ching Chin Wai, Ho Siu Kee, Tim Li

Sep 03 – Sep 21, 1997

"Ghost encounter" is an exhibition about ghosts. Most of the artists involved in this exhibition tend to think in scientific way and choose "technology as their style in creation." 

The venue that the ghost encounter happens will be set up as a *normal* domestic environment which consists of a rest room, dinning room, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, a corridor and so on. But almost all of the fittings and furnishes have been manipulated in some ways. There are something going around but nothing will be found. 

The curator, Yuk Keung Chan explains that he tries to illustrate the paradox between taking ghost as a sign of superstition and technology as a tool to break up superstition. 

The process of science in the theme cannot prove any preposition a truth. It can only be an experiment which is bound to fail. 

Nevertheless, it would be an interesting game. 

From this point of view, procedure is treated as the ultimate aim of art, rather than a means to reveal the truth or to prove certain prepositions. 

The difficulties in this exhibition may not lie in the search for fascinating possibilities between imagination and definition. But instead, in how to conclude from numerous divergent ideas. 

Visual artists are always supposed to be self-oriented and they can manage the whole process of art making. How to unite every single part of the exhibition to form a complete entity puts the artists into the test, i.e. to see if they can sacrifice their self-orientedness for one rather wholeness. 

The exhibition is supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.


Ghost Encounter: An Exhibition Proposal 

There is always a believe that the soul of mankind will not diminish even after the death of the body. Life will continue in some other forms, which are somehow difficult to be understood by the living man, but will, at times, encounter with our tangible world in some very unexpected ways.  

Many phenomena which could not be explained by science or the rational mind will naturally fall into the speculation as I mentioned above: the existence of spirit from some other worlds will be connected to our world through a series of coincidence. 

There is a tendency that the approach and definition of art has expanded considerably, Artists tend to borrow technology from some other disciplines to enrich their own vocabulary, resulting in the modification of the their scope of thinking and art operation.  

Using scientific technology as a device in art has attracted a group of artists in Hong Kong. Technological procedure will no longer be treated as a means to find out the truth, or to prove a certain proposition; but rather it is manipulated in a more romantic way: a device to demonstrate the esthetic quality of the technological process itself. In this connection, the process becomes the ultimate aim. 

The Game 
This project will pre-suppose the existence of supernatural beings, which will present themself through some non-explicable phenomena, such as, some domestic objects being animated by some unknown sources. According to this theme, artists will be invited to design and construct an environment to demonstrate the existence and activities of the "ghost". Therefore, they will be divided into three groups, each will carry out different tasks, namely, 1) Creating the environment (or objects) which will signify the existence of supernatural beings, 2) Providing measurements to determine the tangible quality of the beings. 3) Capturing, recording or transforming the visual evidence of the beings by using electronic and photographic media. 

The aim of art is not to invent new messages, to teach people how to live their life, or to tell the truth; but rather it is to experience life by working with tools and material. The process of making is always more important than the product, or we can say, art is an activity without any pragmatic aim; the aim lies in its process itself. For a similar reason, the aim of this project is to subvert the scientific process, to make use of the seemingly technological devices to prove and detect a bound-to-be-failure result: a purely imaginary condition: a ghost encounter.  

This project is on a thematic basis, which means that all participants will serve for one theme-to detect and capture the ghost. To some extend each artist has to let go their ego and to incorporate his work with the works of the others. This co-operative relation will somehow, hopefully, generate some energy within the group, through the exchange of techniques and ideas, to share some value and to broaden one's vision in art. 

Para/Site Art Space transformed into a domesticated environment became the setting for participating artists to express their ghostly encounters with an imaginary ghost, playing with visible and invisible.