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Timing is everything (WKCD and Hong Kong Galleries) 時機定英雄
at 11:25am on 10th July 2013


1. Hong Kong skyline at dusk and Jeremy Diller's Sacrilege and Jiakun Architect's With the Wind

2. Hong Kong skyline at night and Tomás Saraceno's 'Poetic Cosmos of the Breath'

Photograph: John Batten


(中文翻譯請往下看 Please scroll down to read the Chinese translation.)

A simple consideration for any outdoor event is weather. In May, the West Kowloon Cultural District’s M+ Museum staged 'Inflation!' – an ambitious exhibition of inflatable art pieces. Paul McCarthy’s huge Complex Pile of inflated excrement became notorious, but placed in the context of a lifetime’s artwork it is much less controversial. M+ should be congratulated for exhibiting art regularly featured around the world. If we wish to build a contemporary museum then the city must develop a tolerance for challenging art – good and bad. Besides, what is wrong with being aroused from complacency by other ideas and ways of seeing our world?

Tomás Saraceno’s shimmering installation Poetic Cosmos of the Breath relied on subtle shifting outdoor temperature conditions to spontaneously rise into the air. However, the heavy rain and wind during the exhibition cancelled most scheduled showings of this work. Likewise, Jiakun Architects’ With the Wind – a mesh canopy of suspended Chinese lantern-shaped balloons – was ironically highjacked by the wind and blown away.

The week of the Art Basel Hong Kong art fair in late May saw a proliferation of other art events held at the same time. This piggybacking with Art Basel by art galleries and art events appeared however to merely match event against event. There was little considered thought to timing. The saturation of art activities made it physically impossible for visitors to participate in many events.

An art fair lasts for only five days, while there is a whole year of opportunity for Hong Kong art organisations, particularly galleries with their high overheads, to present themselves. The luxury branding of Art Basel allows ample opportunities for galleries, other art events and organisations, including other fairs housed in peripheral locations, to offer different levels of art, pricing and marketing opportunities throughout the year. But – get the timing right!

對任何戶外活動來說,天氣就是最基本的考慮。西九文化區的M+博物館胸懷大志,在五月推出充氣雕塑作品展覽《充氣!》。Paul McCarthy的《複雜物堆》充氣作品是堆巨型排泄物,負評鬧得全城熱烘烘,但相對藝術家一貫的作品風格而論,這次的所謂爭議算是小巫見大巫。M+能夠為香港帶來經常在世界各地展出的藝術品,我們應當為其鼓掌。倘若我們真心想建立一間當代博物館,香港人一定要培養出更高的容忍能力,不論好壞,都要更能接受挑釁意味強烈的藝術品。更何況,若因與他人的想法短兵相接,而逼令你離開自己的安全範圍,何樂而不為?

 Tomás Saraceno的《一呼一吸一 穹蒼》明光燦亮,靠著戶外環境的微妙溫度轉變,在特定的天氣條件下瞬間離地升高。不過,作品的演出總因為大風和大雨的關係而取消。同樣地,家琨建築設計事務所的作品《隨風》(由中國燈籠狀的氣球吊著的遮陰網),亦諷刺地被大風「騎劫」吹走。




This article was first published in Perspective architectural magazine, July 2013


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