Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Chinese Junk

Hong Kong artist Pak Sheung Chuen makes no apologies for his collection of useless information and bric-a-brac at the Hong Kong Pavilion in the Venice Biennale. And nor does he need to. I was handed a folded sheet of yellow recycled - an artwork list with all the details (www.venicebiennale.hk) titled Making (Perfect) World.

The artist is nothing if not supremely dedicated. He spends whole days and nights photographing, collating, travelling, standing, walking, observing and collecting the world's trivia. One time he went around blindfolded for a week. For the Biennale he produces 29 works. I only wonder when and where he gets his sleep.

The Hong Kong exhibition is spread over a courtyard and 6 rooms.

Exhibit 15 (b) in Room 3 is a charcoal drawing which is reminiscent of a poem by the Chinese poet Gu Cheng:

Darkness of the night gave me black eyes
I used it to search for light


Exhibit 11 in Room 2 is Waiting for Everyone to Fall Asleep. He reports:

I stood in front of a 13-storey building in Sham Shui Po and waited for all the residents to fall asleep. The 5 images were taken at 22:38/01:40/02:36/04:09/05:04. A person in the building remained awake throughout the night, we ended up wasting a night together while being on opposite sides of the street.

In the courtyard are 45 plastic bottles filled with seawater collected at 100 meter intervals from Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong. This is titled: The Horizon Placed at Home (N22°17'400" Version).

And last but not least back in Room 2 there is to be seen a curious Love Letter to LC. The artist visited the Hong Kong Commercial Press Book Store and bought 4 books. The first word/s from the title of each book spelled out the message: I am thinking of you

Other exhibits such as Two People Blowing into One Balloon, A Lake is a Huge Floating Cloud, Travelling Venice in the Dark, and Square Light were also great fun. I came away smiling. Great work. Art for art's sake! Stimulating and mind-bending rubbish. Full marks to Pak Sheung Chen and curator Tobias Berger.

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