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2016.07.21 Thu, by
Casual encounters during the hot summer days in Hong Kong: public programs for that has been, and may be again

[Press release]

Para Site is pleased to present a series of summer public programmes comprising of gallery tours, a film screening, and an artist talk taking place alongside That Has Been, and May Be Again, our current exhibition curated by Leo Li Chen and Wu Mo.

The exhibition draws the attention to the collective anxiety and unease in China of the 1990s, following the failure of the student movement in 1989. This period in China appears on the surface to be “fractured”, with previous experiences, political, economic, and everyday, gradually losing their significance. Contemporary artists, who had rapidly accomplished their modernistic transformation in the 1980s, had to seek or create brand new experiences. In the process, the forces of globalization and the internal discussions around “modernism/post-modernism” shaped the tensions connected to the production, mobilization, and institutionalization of art.

The public tours, taking place over 3 Saturdays and hosted by the co-curators Leo Li Chen and Wu Mo, will provide insight behind the research of the exhibition and selection of artworks and artists.

A special screening of Summer Palace by acclaimed Chinese director Lou Ye will take place on Wednesday, July 27th. The film depicts the unsentimental embrace of youthful idealism in the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and the mundanity of postgraduate life. The film is known for being the first Mainland Chinese film to grapple with the memory of the June 4th incident. But rather than showing recollections of the movement, the film focuses on the intimate memories of a young woman seeking desire and satisfaction in endless melancholia. Due to the sensitive issue of the topic, Summer Palace was banned in China and Lou was forbidden to make any new films in China for five years.

On Wednesday, August 10th, the conversation between two Hong Kong artists, Chow Chun Fai and Trevor Yeung will focus on how the local and global social changes of the past decades, particularly the vast development of the art scene in the region, impact their artistic production.


Saturday, July 23, 3pm
Hosted by Wu Mo

Saturday, August 6, 3pm
Hosted by Leo Li Chen and Wu Mo

Saturday, August 20, 3pm
Hosted by Leo Li Chen

Wednesday, July 27, 7pm
Para Site Education Room

Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan)
Director: Lou Ye
Year: 2006
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
Colour | 2h 38min | Drama
Refreshments will be served

Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student movement of 1989 then ensues and takes a toll on their lives.

Wednesday, August 10, 7pm
Para Site Education Room

Shifting Locality: Chow Chun Fai and Trevor Yeung in conversation
Moderated by Leo Li Chen

About the artists:

Chow Chun Fai (b. 1980) is known for his conceptually fuelled paintings and photographic installations. Chow holds a BA and MFA from the Fine Arts Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He takes an activist role as an artist: Chow serves as Chairman of the Fotanian Artist Village and in 2012 he ran in the Hong Kong Legislative Council elections, for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication constituency. Although his election bid was unsuccessful, it drew wide attention to grassroots issues related to art and culture in Hong Kong. Most recently his work has been featured in the exhibitions Venice Meeting Point at the Arsenale, Venice Biennale 2015; The Past Continuing at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum (2015); Hong Kong Eye at the Saatchi Gallery, London and the Liverpool Biennial (both UK, 2012). Chow is a recipient of the Grand Prize of the Hong Kong Arts Centre 30th Anniversary Awards, and the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Chow lives and works in Hong Kong.

Trevor Yeung (b. 1988) graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts of Hong Kong Baptist University in 2010. Since 2010 Yeung has focused on developing personal projects. Yeung’s practice uses botanic ecology, horticulture, photography and installations as metaphors that reference the emancipation of everyday aspirations toward human relationships. Yeung recently participated in exhibitions including CHINA 8 at MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst in Germany (2015) and Shanghai Biennale 2014 in China. Yeung was one of the 3 shortlisted artists for the BMW Art Journey award with his solo exhibition Garden Cruising: It’s not easy being green from the DISCOVERIES section at Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. He lives and works in Hong Kong.

Para Site is Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications, discursive, and educational projects aimed at forging a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society. Founded in 1996, Para Site is celebrating its 20th year of supporting artists and reinventing Hong Kong’s art scene.

Para Site is financially supported by the Springboard Grant under the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The content of this program does not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.