HK Sound Station

Vito Acconci, John Levack Drever, Phoebe Hui, Steve Hui, Keith Lam, Leung Chi Wo, Edwin Lo, Anson Mak, Cedric Maridet, Kingsley Ng, Kurt Schwitters

Feb 07 – Apr 03, 2009

Curated by Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya

HK Sound Station is an exhibition of sound works that surveys Hong Kong visual artists and their relationship with sound. The project is connected to the development and introduction of sound in association with visual arts. The exhibition is constructed around two singular moments in the History of Art—the avant-garde in the early decades of the 20th century and the development of Conceptual Art in the late 60s and 70s. The former is represented by Dada artist Kurt Schwitters, whereas the latter is spoken for by Vito Acconci’s work. Works by John Levack Drever, Phoebe Hui, Steve Hui, Keith Lam, Leung Chi Wo, Anson Mak, Cedric Maridet, Kingsley Ng and Edwin Lo are also included in the show.

The exhibition also draws on the relation and collision between high and low technologies, and the ideas of the modern in contemporary art. Several strategies have been developed to address these issues, specifically through the deliberate installation of low-tech display in the exhibition. The choice of using CD player, an obsolete technology that was iconic in the 80s’ and 90s’ but totally archaic now, contrasts with the technology that artists use today to construct their sound works. The inclusion of CD players, one per artist, aims to highlight the sculptural possibilities of sound. Each work is displayed through a modern plinth made of Chinese fibre, on top of which a CD player sits with two headphones. A total of eleven such units, one per artist, originate an unrestricted itinerary for the audience through the space, into which the idea enjoyment and contemplation of the work of art is also brought. This exhibition model is amplified through the use of modern era wall pigment, readdressing the issue of how sound is valued within the art community and the museum environment.

HK Sound Station includes artists from a variety of backgrounds who are currently working on different media, from artists who consider themselves as sound artists to visual artists who commonly use sound as an identifiable media. The show includes an array of sound and conceptual genres, from the street recordings by Anson Mak and John Levack Drever, from the constructed narratives of Leung Chi Wo and Vito Acconci to the sound electronics of Steve Hui, among others. All the works included in the show are connected to Hong Kong or the idea of Asia. American conceptual artist Vito Acconci makes his first appearance to Chinese audiences through an installation that narrates the story of a Chinese gangster in Chicago.

The exhibition includes the publication of a bilingual (Traditional Chinese and English) catalogue comprising descriptions of the selected works and essays by specialists within the field.

Events that come with the exhibition include a Panel Discussion with the Artists and two Gallery Talks held by Para Site Art Space, as well as a three-class workshop presented by independent organization soundpocket.