TAI KWUN CONTEMPORARY UNVEILS TRUST & CONFUSION30 Apr 2021, Friday
Tai Kwun Contemporary is pleased to announce a new group exhibition trust & confusion, running from 5 May to 5 December 2021. Curated by Xue Tan, Senior Curator at Tai Kwun, and renowned international curator Raimundas Malašauskas, trust & confusion is an evolving, accumulative exhibition that unfolds over several episodes on site and online.
trust & confusion is about the conversation of certainty and chance; the transformative power of bodies, intangibles, and ephemeral encounters; music and magic; and the luck of being alive, with all the concerns that come with it. This exhibition is an invitation to observe how things emerge in relation to each other—sounds, gestures, smells, identities—and to be a part of it, being surprised and giving attention to your inner landscape while a spectacle is taking place around you.
Transforming the white cube space into a fluctuating environment that hosts activities and sensations, the exhibition transforms this space in favour of movements, interactions, and deep listening for ears and bodies. There are several visible performances taking place as you arrive, and several invisible ones.
As you move along, there is a chance that you might be caught by the sounds of birds and humans conversing, two or three life retrospectives of previously unpublished photographic works, a short splash of dance, a posture reminiscent of a public sculpture in Hong Kong, melodies sung by a chorus of tone-deaf singers, a sound sculpture morphing into a theatre prop, a molecule striking a new olfactory possibility, an open rehearsal in public, foam mattresses transmitting the sound of one’s favourite radio, a tree so obsessively protected that it is nowhere to be seen, a visual letter speaking of virtual existence and climate change, among others.
Observing nature's cycles and the importance of rituals, which anchor our beings and ancestries, the exhibition space is devised in the alignment of day and night, with a brief sunset room in between. Whereas artworks would grow and evolve in the day room, a solo or duo presentation would debut in the night room for each episode. Changes would take place after each full moon, when the tides are the deepest and the forest the nosiest. Some artists’ contributions will remain for months but in fresh configurations; others will appear in changing roles with the unfolding of time.
As a tribute to the bare human voice as a most vibrant and direct form of communication, a weekly release of voices by artists, writers, poets, and choreographers is made available on www.trusting.hk, where you also find the calendar of the moon to guide you through the coming episodes.
Xue Tan, co-curator of trust & confusion, said, “We first sketched out the contours of the exhibition in 2019 as we imagined creating a ground for our community—polarised and exhausted by the incident of that year—to come together and rest. A constellation of live works of art exploring the individual and collective body through conversations, games, gatherings, and imagination was conceived.”
Raimundas Malašauskas, co-curator of trust & confusion, noted, “The exhibition may trigger a sense of being in a music video, or a backstage of a theatre set, inside a pinball machine, or in the midst of a meditation session—all of it and more, while practising attentiveness, respect, and playfulness in the company of artworks and fellow visitors.”
Tobias Berger, Head of Art at Tai Kwun, said, “This 8-month-long project is conceived to present exciting forms of art that involve performance, memory, sounds, smells, and more. Such new forms also demand new formats—challenging the notion of the exhibition itself. trust & confusion encompasses evolving and accumulating parts: artworks that remain are reconfigured, while new episodes bring in new works. Visitors will find trust & confusion growing and changing throughout the year.”
Artists on show include:
- Tarek Atoui (b. 1980, Lebanon; lives in Paris)
- Celeste Burlina (b. 1988, Italy; lives in Berlin)
- Alice Chauchat (b. 1977, France; lives in Berlin)
- Mette Edvardsen (b. 1970, Norway; lives in Oslo)
- Claudia Fernández (b. 1965 Mexico; lives in Mérida)
- Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996, United States)
- Serene Hui Sze Lok (b. 1992, Hong Kong; lives in The Hague)
- Ricky Jay (1946–2018, United States)
- Kazuo Kitai (b. 1944, China; lives in Tokyo)
- Nile Koetting (b. 1989, Japan; lives in Berlin and Tokyo)
- Lina Lapelytė ((b. 1984, Lithuania; lives in Vilnius and London)
- Nicholas Mangan (b. 1979, Australia; lives in Melbourne)
- Yuko Mohri (b. 1980, Japan; lives in Tokyo)
- Pan Daijing (b. 1991, China; lives in Berlin)
- Liliana Porter (b. 1941, Argentina; lives in New York)
- Sean Raspet (b. 1981, United States; lives in Detroit)
- Algirdas Šeškus (b. 1945, Lithuania; lives in Vilnius)
- Sriwhana Spong (b. 1979, New Zealand; lives in London)
- Trevor Yeung (b. 1988, China; lives in Hong Kong)
- Scarlet Yu (b. 1978, Hong Kong; lives in Berlin) and Xavier Le Roy (b. 1963, France; lives in Berlin)
Joining from July
- Maria Hassabi (b. 1973, Cyprus; lives in New York)
- Jamila Johnson-Small (United Kingdom; lives in London)
- Nishimura Tamiko (b. 1948, Japan; lives in Tokyo)
- Moe Satt (b. 1983, Myanmar; lives in Yangon)
- Tino Sehgal (b. 1976, United Kingdom; lives in Berlin)
Still in Hong Kong (2021) by Scarlet Yu and Xavier Le Roy (New commission by Tai Kwun Contemporary)
A performer addresses the visitor to engage in an encounter, sharing a personal collection of “stills” made of actions, postures, stories, and extending into conversations. Embodying individual and collective memories, experiences, and relations of and with Hong Kong, these “stills” are created in dialogue with the Berlin-based choreographers Scarlet Yu (b. 1978, Hong Kong; lives in Berlin) and Xavier Le Roy (b. 1963, France; lives in Berlin), who examine the notion of stillness in this performative proposition, after more than a year of global slowdown and restricted mobility. In collaboration with 22 performers who currently reside in Hong Kong, Le Roy and Yu set out an alluring choreographic situation which questions the traditional divides between object and subject, the organic and the synthetic, movement and stillness, and performer and spectator or visitor.
Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine (2010– ongoing) by Mette Edvardsen
For more than a decade now, Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine, a project initiated by the choreographer Mette Edvardsen (b. 1970, Norway; lives in Oslo), continues to gather a group of people who have decided to learn a book of their choice by heart. Together, they form a collection of “living books”, to be consulted by visitors—or “readers”, if you like. Upon request, the “living book” guides the reader to a comfortable place within Tai Kwun and recites the book to the reader from memory. Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine currently hosts more than 100 “living books” in 20 different languages. As the project travels to museums, libraries, theatres, and other spaces across the globe, its collection proceeds to grow over time. On the occasion of trust & confusion, four new books are added to the collection, including: The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde, If This Is a Man by Primo Levi, Dubliners by James Joyce and A Woman Like Me by Xi Xi.
Remain Calm (Mobile +) (2021) by Nile Koetting (New commission by Tai Kwun Contemporary)
For the artist Nile Koetting (b. 1989, Japan; lives in Berlin and Tokyo), installation and scenography only live by means of their inhabitation by performers and visitors. Through hybrid environments that host audio, video, performance, and sculpture, Koetting's work reflects the mutual responsiveness between the human body and technology in the digital age. With Remain Calm (Mobile +), Koetting proposes a threefold choreographic installation that poses questions about today's increasing presence of security technologies and their accompanying choreographies. The work puts safety and evacuation procedures centre-stage: a video screen introduces the visitor to preferable modes of conduct and evacuation routes, a performer demonstrates on a weekly basis a choreography inspired by the evacuation protocol of the museum, and a dome-like sculpture suggests associations with sanctuary and protection. The objects, their placement, and arrangement enter into dialogue with the museum-goer’s mindset and embodiment, concocting a space for observation, reflection, and possibly action.
Unison, as a Matter of Fact (trust & confusion) (2021) by Alice Chauchat (New commission by Tai Kwun Contemporary)
With Unison, as a Matter of Fact (trust & confusion), the choreographer Alice Chauchat (b. 1977, France; lives in Berlin) presents a score that draws attention to an activity shared by all living things: breathing. Working with movement, perception, attention, and their interwoven choreographic potential, Chauchat invites the visitor to tune into one's breath and collective breathing in space. The task, written down on a card and passed to the visitor by a docent, contains a formula that, when activated, reveals an incessant choir of breaths. The work evolves and becomes tangible as a conscious doing and activity, as it renews the awareness of what is individual and what is shared; in so doing one explores the fluctuating relationship between one's movements and those of others. In a moment of shared attention and embodiment, breathing is revealed as a wondrous multiplicity of movement, event, and action that, in their differences, falls in and out of unison, towards a common breath.
Rehearsal for Disaster—The Explosion, Rehearsal for Disaster—The Siren (2021) by Serene Hui (New commission by Tai Kwun Contemporary)
Interested in undoing the binaries that structure life, the artist Serene Hui (b. 1992, Hong Kong; lives in The Hague) proposes two works that are rooted in her long-standing research on individual and collective mourning. In Rehearsal for Disaster—The Explosion, the visitor receives, upon request, a balloon with a question printed on top and is asked to carry it with them throughout the duration of their visit. On returning the balloon, a shared moment of poking takes place and a surprise reveals itself. Rehearsal for Disaster—The Siren, inspired by the monthly tests of a siren that purportedly warns the Dutch populace in the event of imminent peril, stages a vocalist who embodies the sound of a siren. By mimicking this wailing sound, Hui seeks to undo the boundaries drawn between human and machine, and raises questions about the embodiment and internalisation of instruments of control and danger. (The two works are activated on the first Saturday of every month.)
trust and confusion runs from 5 May to 5 December 2021, Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 7pm at the art galleries in Tai Kwun. Free admission, with guided tours and related public programmes available. Along with trust and confusion, visitors can visit INK CITY, a group exhibition pushing the expressive boundaries of ink art, and Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys, a group exhibition that stems from the research of Ha Bik Chuen’s archive with five new commissioned works. The exhibition invites visitors to develop a nuanced understanding of Hong Kong’s cultural and artistic world.
The entire Tai Kwun site is open to the public daily from 10am to 11pm, while JC Contemporary is open from 11am to 7pm daily.
Tai Kwun’s social distancing measures comply with the latest safety regulations. Visitors are required to wear surgical masks, undergo temperature screening, and either scan the “LeaveHomeSafe” QR code or register personal particulars. Eating and drinking in public areas is temporarily prohibited. The frequency of cleaning is being stepped up for high contact surfaces throughout the day, and hand sanitiser stations are available throughout Tai Kwun.
Visit the Tai Kwun website for more details:
Programme details are subject to change, please refer to the Tai Kwun websites for news and updates.