Metropolis Strip(p)ed

Lee Kit, Ellen Pau, Sara Wong, MAP Office / Gutierrez + Portefaix

Apr 21 – Apr 30, 2005

What makes a city metropolis? Is it by remaking Singapore into a Renaissance City? How do you adapt a foreign model into a local environment?

Leung Chi Wo, curator of the exhibition says  “Metropolis Strip(p)ed is my straightforward response to my last trip here. Stripes are both the metaphor and visual intervention to urban issues.”

The invited artists approach the city with diverse mediums and modes. MAP Office (Laurent Gutierrez & Valérie Portefaix) uses selected photographs of public housing taken from their extensive research project Mapping HK. MAP Office’s photography displays a surreal sense of the extreme reality of Hong Kong urban situation.

Sara Chi Hang Wong’s Local Orientation series gives an alternative view to wandering in the city. Sara walks along a random or directional straight line drawn on the map across roads and buildings. Sometimes she walks through a building. Sometimes she detours around to continue. A struggle between deviant and conformist. A story of adventurer, stranger, jaywalker. The dialogue continues.

Ellen Pau’s Heavy Head Drama is a 5 min video of snaps in motion created in editing with a play on the Chinese character but hei (Cantonese literally means “not up”). A collage of text and life scenes, Drama is a visual poetry of chance combinations, recalling an intimate urban sensibility in a fast moving world.

Lee Kit’s stripe painting parodies the nature of commodity in today’s art. Lee embraces the urban material culture and uses it as the perfect setting for his art. Paintings used for picnic, table even and towel. It is art reincarnated.

“Where is the glamour when the metropolis is striped? It is something about the stripes but not exactly, something about Hong Kong but not exactly, and also something about Singapore but not exactly...” Leung concluded.

Metropolis Strip(p)ed is the first phase of a bilateral exchange between Para/Site Art Space from Hong Kong and The Substation in SIngapore. Both Para/Site Art Space and The Substation have always sought, in our respective local arenas, to privilege the relationships and processes involved in artmaking rather than the exhibition of products. Our common purpose for this project is to establish a long-term partnership between the two organisations, where The Substation and Para/Site Art Space collaborate on a project every year. In this way, we hope to sustain the dialogues between the arts spaces as well as with the many artists, curators and writers who work with us.

 

About the Artists

MAP Office / Gutierrez + Portefaix
Laurent Gutierrez (1966 - Casablanca) holds a Bachelor in Science (INSA, Lyon), a Diploma of Architecture (Ecole d’Architecture de Paris Belleville), and is preparing a Doctorate in Urbanism (Université Paris 8). He is an Assistant Professor at the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Valérie Portefaix (1969 - Saint-Etienne) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Beaux Arts, Saint Etienne), a Diploma of Architecture (Ecole d’Architecture de Paris Belleville, Paris) and a Doctorate in Urbanism (Université Pierre Mendes France, Grenoble). She is a part-time Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture, the Hong Kong University.

Gutierrez + Portefaix are French architects, based and teaching in Hong Kong. In 1997, they founded MAP Office - a collaborative studio involved in cross-disciplinary projects that incorporate architecture and the visual arts. They have participated in several local and international exhibitions, including the 7th Architecture Venice Biennial and the 1st International Architecture Biennial in Rotterdam, where they won an award for the best ‘Inspiration’. In 2000, MAP Office was extended with MAP Book Publishers. Gutierrez + Portefaix published a number of articles on urban phenomena about Hong Kong and China. Their publications include mapping HK (2000), which details both the physical and dynamic transformations taking place in Hong Kong; HK LAB (2002), a interdisciplinary book in which Hong Kong is seen as an advance laboratory for innovative solutions; HK LAB 2 (2005), and exploration of Hong Kong interior spaces; and an architectural monograph, Yung Ho Chang/Atelier Feichang Jianzhu - A Chinese practice (2003). Their current research on “Lean planning” explores the impact of production and distribution mapped onto a re-convertible environment, and the specific conditions of the “Made in China “ in the Pearl River Delta region.

Sara Chi Hang Wong 
Born in Hong Kong in 1968, Sara Wong is a founding member of Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong. She produces sculpture, installation and video works and practices as a landscape architect. She received her BA (Fine Arts) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and her Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Hong Kong. She has exhibited in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, New York, Honolulu, Tokyo, Melbourne, Venice, Seoul, Gwangju, Oslo, Munich, Kassel and Berlin. In 2003, as part of Para/Site Collective, she represented Hong Kong in Venice Biennale. Awards received include Artist Grant of the Centre de Réflexion sur l’Image et ses Contextes, Switzerland (2000); Most Promising Artist of the Philippe Charriol Foundation, Hong Kong (1994); Ramon Woon Art Creative Prize, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (1992). She was also in the Artist-in-residence programme held in PS1 Contemporary Art Center (1999), the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2000), New York; Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais (ECAV); Sierre, Switzerland (2000) and the Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dalsåsen, Norway (2002).

Ellen Pau
Born in Hong Kong, Ellen Pau made her first super-8 in 1984. Being a self-taught artist, she works as a MTV director, cinematographer, video artist, curator, educator and arts administrator. Ellen is the founder and artistic director for the media artist collective, Videotage, and a member of the curatorial /organizing committee for the Microwave International Media Art Festival and many media art events in Hong Kong. Her works have been exhibited internationally including the Asia Pacific Triennial (1996), Cities on the Move in Vienna Session (1998), Hot Pot: Chinese Contemporary Art in Oslo (2001), Hong Kong Pavilion in Venice Biennale (2001), O.K. Centre of Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria (2002). 

Lee Kit
Born in Hong Kong in 1978, Lee Kit graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong at 2003. His works were among selected entries in the Contemporary Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition in 2001 and 2003. Other exhibitions include Intimate Re-collection at Hanart TZ Gallery (2004), Painting、Un-painting, 1a Space (2003), Fotanian - Open Day of Fotan Studios, Fotan Industrial District (2003 & 2004), Sh… - Paintings by Au Hoi Lam and Lee Kit, Fringe Club (1999), etc, and solo exhibition Painting Furniture, Yiliu Painting Factory, Fo Tan (2001).

About the curator

Leung Chi Wo
Born in Hong Kong in 1968, Leung Chi Wo graduated with a MFA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and has exhibited in Hong Kong, New York, Melbourne, Tokyo, Oslo, Vienna, Hamburg and Toronto as an artist. Awards received include the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (1997), Urban Council Award of the Contemporary Hong Kong Art Biennial (1996) and the First Prize in Sculpture from the Philippe Charriol Foundation (1995). He held a solo exhibition in the Queens Museum of Art, New York in 2000 and participated in the Venice Biennale in 2001. As a founding member of Para/Site Leung has also curated and co-ordinated projects including Materia Prima (1999), Yoshiaki Kaihatsu (2000), Space Traffic (2001) & Social Club (2002), etc.

This project is funded by the 'Bilateral Cultural Exchange Project'* and the National Arts Council, Singapore.

* The "Bilateral Cultural Exchange Project" is co-presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.