The Interstitial 間隙 @ Pearl Lam Galleries SOHO2016
The Interstitial: Alan Kwan and Kenny Wong two-person exhibition
Hong Kong—Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to bring together the work of Alan Kwan (b. 1990) and Kenny Wong (b. 1987), two young artists from Hong Kong, for a joint exhibition entitled The Interstitial. Taking place 22 July–15 September, the exhibition will feature a series of installations, prints, and video games by the artists, who will present a dialogue about the interstitial space between the physical and the virtual to narrate emotion and memory.
The exhibition will showcase works from various stages of the artists’ careers and will use computational technologies to compose motion, memories, and ideas from the imagination in dynamic and fluid forms. The use of computer software accurately simulates physical phenomenas, but the two artists will attempt to excavate beyond the material nature of reality to assess our psychological and emotional conditions. By creating a displacement from the objects of our lived environment, the works on display will explore the mental state of “stuckness”, as well as the space in the artists’ minds, presenting unsettled feelings and recollections that allow for further exploration. The works of these artists naturally intersect, placing us in an in-between state and making us ponder the inherent bodily and psychological qualities that structure our perception in real time.
Exhibition highlights will include Alan Kwan’s The List (2008), a video work that served as a suicide note created by the artist when he was 18. The video lists the names of the women Kwan loved at the time and is a piece about love, confession, and honesty.
Also on display by Kwan will be The Hallway (2016), a single-player video game inspired by Kwan’s childhood experiences, in which the player assumes the perspective of a five-year-old child who has wandered into the hallway outside his home, having been kicked out by his father. The player encounters evocative spaces that give concrete shape to childhood experiences of rejection and insecurity, and is forced to confront spatial paradoxes that allow them to share the anxiety felt by the child.
Kwan has also drawn on his own speech impediment to create other works in the exhibition. In The Words After (2016), footage of the artist stuttering is pieced together from a previous documentary work that involved the artist attaching a video camera to his glasses. The artist has edited the footage, causing it to visually stutter, while also amplifying and exaggerating his own speech in order to express the anger and anxiety caused by difficulties in verbal communication.
Kenny Wong explores the delicate relationship between daily experiences and perceptual stimulations, merging kinetic and digital representation to create computational kinetic installations. Presented at this exhibition will be Last Walk on Thirteen Streets (2016). Shot in the Thirteen Streets area in To Kwa Wan in Hong Kong, four customised kinetic LCD panels that incline randomly will be placed on stairs, and will show a continuous loop of a man endlessly walking down some stairs. The random movement of the screens gives the illusion of the man’s descent down the stairs. The work explores the interchange and relationship between the real and virtual space, or reality and dreams. Another highlight will be Wong’s Dist (2016), an ongoing project that includes dist.solo, dist.intervene, and dist.duo (a future project). Dist.solo involves an LCD panel, featuring close-up video of a pair of eyes, suspended from a pendulum. The work is inspired from the moment of intimacy that occurs when two people make eye contact and the indefinite variables in relationships. Dist combines rational and irrational rules, expressing the artist’s personal feelings towards human relationships. Dist.intervene produces an unbalanced metronome with the interaction of audiences; the work not only explores a context but also alters its kinetic status.
“It is a pleasure to welcome two young artists from Hong Kong to SOHO 189 for their first joint exhibition, as Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to discovering fresh, new talent. Both of these artists harness new digital mediums to explore human nature and emotion in a powerful manner, and I believe that the works on display will resonate with a wide-ranging audience.”
dist.solo 相距．獨 (2016)
Metal, Micro-Computer, Custom Software, LCD Panel, Microcontrollers, Custom Electronics, Motor.
The work is inspired from the moment of intimacy in eye contact and the indefinite variables in relationships.
“dist.” – the short form of distance or district. It is also a term widely used for mathematical and programming terminology for distance calculation. In this work, it represents as both relational and mathematical distance.
We encounter momentary connections with people in our everyday lives. We synchronize and repel with one another from time to time. Attachment and detachment; the rhythmic dance as well as chaotic crash between the two create a metaphor for the momentary, temporary relationship that exists between them.
The work involves kinetic intervention of the pendulum movement as well as the combination of digital sensors. The custom software generate random position of the unbalanced weight, hence the rhythms of swings are always indefinite. The work and the digital screen intentionally combine the rational and irrational rules, dynamic time, expressing the artist’s personal feeling towards human relationship in his current time.
dist.visualcapture_1 相距．視感捕捉_1 (2016)
Inkjet print on light box
dist.visualcapture_2 相距．視感捕捉_2 (2016)
Inkjet print on light box
dist.intervene 相距 ．干預 (2016)
Steel, Microcomputer, Custom Software, Microcontroller, disassembled LCD Panel, Custom Electronics
The work is set by the experience of the artist feeling being involved in an unbalanced connection.
The work has situated the audience to be an initiator of a rested kinetic installation. A visually unbalanced metronome requires audience to push the backlight towards a transparent display to reveal the context. At the same time, the kinetic state of the metronome is altered, the rest become potential, which triggers the unbalanced metronome to swing. The swing, position and speed would trigger different videos and glitches, letting the audience to reveal the narration by interfering and revealing the kinetic and computational system.
dist.duo [concept sketch] 相距 ．倆［概念草圖］
A future project – the idea is presented as a sketch of animation with exposed electronics.
We synchronize and repel with one another from time to time. Attachment and detachment; the rhythmic dance as well as chaotic crash between the two create a metaphor for the momentary, temporary relationship that exists between them.
While “dist.solo” focuses on the relationship between the viewer and a singular pendulum, “dist.duo” (work in progress) has two pendulums which focus on the relationship between the two identical machines. The complexity of the two would create different sense of rhythm, risks and dangerousness, which the machines may swing in synchronized rhythm, but also could be out of sync, and eventually create tension and poetic moment within themselves.
Last Walk On Thirteen Streets 最後那十三街 (2016)
The work combines the fragments of thoughts of the artist about his identity, collective memories and the a recursion beyond real and virtual space within the staircase.
Shot in the Thirteen Streets area in To Kwa Wan in Hong Kong, the old buildings that without elevator, the stairs was the common area to connect all the residence on Thirteen Streets, like many residential buildings in Hong Kong. Four customised kinetic LCD panels randomly inclined and placed on the stairs of the gallery. It shows an endless loop of a man walking down a flight of stairs but never reaching the bottom. The random inclination of the screens interpreted from the “the drop” of walking downstairs while we were dreaming.
Kenny Wong – Human Body (2009)
It is an early work that I was experimenting with flickering effects, human body, forms, sounds, lights and shadows, which I found very strong inter-relationship with my current practice and interest.
As our exhibition combine as an in between dialog, Alan Kwan’s work are shown as below.
Alan Kwan – The Hallway—Virtual Photograph Series (a, b, c, d)(2016)
injet print on paper
Alan Kwan – The Hallway (2106)
Alan Kwan – The Stutterer (2009)
Alan Kwan – The List (2008)
Alan Kwan – The Words After (2016)
Selected Press / Interview / Review
South China Morning Post – 12 August 2016
The Standard – 19 August 2016
Art Radar Journal – 9 Aug 2016
Stuck in time and place: emerging artists Alan Kwan and Kenny Wong at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong by Grace Ko
Standnews – 1 August 2016
‘處於間隙的觀者自觀’ By William Tsang
Artron Art express –14 Aug 2016
【雅昌观察】香港青年艺术家创作中的“港味”元素 by 何妍婷
HK01 – 12 Aug 2016
天馬行空的想像 跨媒體藝術家黃智銓 (PDF)
Wen Wei Po – 27 July 2016
《間隙》與科技打交道 探討關係與記憶’ By Tsui Chuen 徐全
21 July, 2016, 6-8pm
22 July–15 September, 2016
Monday–Saturday, noon-7pm; Sunday, noon-5pm
- Kinchoi Lam
- Cecilian Szeto