Tai Kwun Contemporary opens new exhibition 'My Body Holds Its Shape'

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Tai Kwun Contemporary opens new exhibition 'My Body Holds Its Shape'
Eisa Jocson, Zoo, 2020. Durational performance. Commissioned by Tai Kwun Contemporary.

HONG KONG.- Tai Kwun Contemporary announces the new exhibition My Body Holds Its Shape, with newly commissioned works from five artists: Tap Chan, Thea Djordjadze, Jason Dodge, Eisa Jocson and Pratchaya Phinthong. The exhibition looks at how existing limits and constraints can emerge as artistic materials and clues for associations, with processes that embrace poetics and improvisations. Curated by Xue Tan, the exhibition is on view from 25 May through September 2020.

Set in the historic F Hall — a former printing facility and women’s prison — the exhibition takes the metaphorical shape of a body as it becomes live from the first hour with Eisa Jocson’s work-in-progress performance Zoo. Sculptures, photographs and narratives cohabit the space with songs, moving bodies and an escape route. The exhibition is carefully conceived as an experience akin to a walk through lines of limits, divisions and connections — unveiling ways to tie our worlds together.

Xue Tan, curator of the exhibition, says, “This exhibition experiments with concepts of ‘sculpture’; the artworks are ways of exploring our multifaceted facts and ecologies, spanning lived-through stories and realised imaginations. At this very unusual time, we are struck by this sudden shift in our lives, and the global experience of self-isolation and loneliness. I hope this exhibition on limitation and distance would bring some reflection on sustainability, our connection to nature, and empathy for those who are distant and confined.”

Tobias Berger, Head of Art at Tai Kwun, says, “From the beginning, we at Tai Kwun Contemporary have produced conceptually oriented exhibitions with some of the most formidable contemporary artists of today. This exhibition, curated by Xue Tan, also takes as its starting point the site and history of Tai Kwun, using the notion of confinement and limits to reflect on the relation between the former space of imprisonment and the contemporary ‘white cube’ as a catalyst for imagination. Producing 9 new works especially for this exhibition, this is another example of how the very best of contemporary art can intelligently and inventively reflect on the rich history of Victoria Prison.”

Artists on show include:

• Hong Kong artist Tap Chan (陳沁�), whose work explores the idea of liminality embedded in daily life, where the boundaries between fiction and reality are often blurred. Chan creates a site-specific kinetic installation that presents the duality of dreams and reality.

• Berlin-based Georgian artist Thea Djordjadze, known for her sculptures and installations developed in situ as responses to the space or context of an institution. Thea’s new works .pullherawaypull., and Needle modify the “white cube” of the exhibition space and opens it up to a new view.

• Berlin-based American conceptual artist Jason Dodge, whose works embrace narratives with twists. His works in the exhibition Above the weather measures the distance from Earth to the weather through weavers’ palms, and When darkness falls… literally disables a family villa in a forest in Hong Kong from being visible at night.

• Eisa Jocson, a choreographer, dancer and visual artist from the Philippines, whose body of work investigates the labour conditions of migrant workers. The new work Zoo is a durational and work-in-progress performance, exploring the emotional influx that comes with the displacement of the living, and furthermore on the quarantine life today.

• Thai artist Pratchaya Phinthong, whose works often rise from the confrontation between different social, economic and geographical systems — an alchemist, as some describe. Phinthong brings new sculptures, transformed from war-time bombshell materials in polluted farmlands in Laos, to enter in dialogue with some of his past works.

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