Territories: Para Site’s Grand Opening and Inauguration of Our New Gallery

Laurent Gutierrez, Valerie Portefaix

Sep 09 – Oct 03, 2004

Multi-media installations and Para/Site Grand Opening and Inaguration of New Gallery Space

A collaborative studio involved in cross disciplinary projects that incorporate architecture and the visual arts. MAP OFFICE projects have been exhibited in several local and international exhibitions, including the VIIth Architecture Venice Biennale. MAP OFFICE will present an urban development project in response to Hong Kong.

Para Site Art Space celebrates the inauguration of our new gallery at no 4 Po Yan St (right next door) with the first solo-exhibition in Hong Kong by artists Gutierrez + Portefaix. They will present a series of videos, photographs and 'documentation' in a full-scale installation at the new Para Site Art Space in Sheung Wan.

"Territories" presents a large scale, dense, fast, panorama of urban development and architectural structures in China. The expression of this new spatial condition related to the notion of development, is clearly embedded in specific cycles of production and distribution. "Territories" explores these dynamic and multi-dimensional forces that quickly spread across the surface of the territory. These characteristics, visible traces marking the land, appear as paradigms of contemporary civilization, and are evident in the simple inventory of a commodified society labeled "Made in China".

For "Territories", the Pearl River Delta region functions as an important focal point for the display of current processes of spatial production. This territory is made of unrelated fragments of urbanism, each ignoring the conditions of its surrounding. Each fragment forms an island; determined and transformed autonomously. These islands are programmatically independent; they may receive a concentration of a particular building type or a mix of various functions depending on their particular conditions.

Laurent Gutierrez + Valerie Portefaix are French architects, based and teaching in Hong Kong. Laurent Gutierrez is an Assistant Professor at the School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Valerie Portefaix is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, Hong Kong University.

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 Biennale and the 1st International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, where they won an award for the best 'Inspiration'. They have published a number of articles on urban phenomena in 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 advanced laboratory for innovative solutions; 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.

 Photos courtesy of Kacey Wong. 

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