Household Gods
September 30, 2020

Household Gods
30 September to 21 November, 2020
HART Hall, G/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central


 Caption: (L-R) Wu Jiaru, HART Director Jeannie Wu, Nadim Abbas, Shane Aspegren, Tap Chan and Curator Ying Kwok. Image courtesy HART


Curated by Ying Kwok Household Gods presents specially commissioned works by four Hong Kong based artists; Nadim Abbas, Shane Aspegren, Tap Chan, and Wu Jiaru, each grant-based artists participating in the ongoing sixth session of the HART Social Studio. Originating from an exploration of the human instinct of curiosity, the exhibition is anchored in a desire to offer new insights into our complicated and currently uncertain world. From their studio spaces at HART Haus the artists have been working in dialogue with each other, and Kwok, to create a fresh and experimental visual language that harnesses their interpretations of the unknown, if not rationally then spiritually. 

Created and presented during a time of change, Household Gods rethinks how art and creativity empower each of us. Through the exhibition itself, an accompanying printed thematic journal and an interactive digital journal, visitors are proactively encouraged to embrace and extend the artist’s own imaginations on the emotional impact of the environment around us. It is through these varying platforms, as well as videoed behind the scenes interviews available online, that the participating artists articulate their creative interpretations of key curatorial topics raised in the development of the exhibition; what is the texture of dreams, the smell of fear, the colour of Scared, the shape of eeriness? There are of course no absolute answers to these abstract and intangible subject matters, rather the exhibition seeks to capture very personal emotional expressions, generating connectivity and dialogue within the community. 

Abbas’s installation piece Homeless Forms for Formless Homes places a new logic on modular domestic furniture to expose the unpredictable nature of image, body and space. Drawn from his ongoing interest and studies into scientific illustrations, Abbas’s latest work forges a visual - and large scale - interpretation of formations in nature that cannot be perceived by the naked eye. 

Chan presents a series of work expressed in eerily white textures, that summon the uncanniness present in dreams and phantom objects found in a virtual world, probing the obscurity found between the realities of a corporeal and virtual existence. Threshold Field depicts an obsession, or perversion, of cleanliness. Consisting of a white carpet and a finger-pinched skeleton shelf with mouthwash topping the installation, the work creates a fictitious household altar to purification. Manipulating two headboards into a mirror flip formation of each other, Twofold Consciousness, forms an urban monument to sleepless nights that summons an uncanny feeling for viewers, while referencing mirror universe ideology. 

Utilising a sound installation in conjunction with a series of small sculptures created from found organic objects, Aspegren expands his long term investigation into the healing qualities of sonic frequencies on the body and mind.  Immersing viewers in an intimate environment Aspegren’s work Ratios for brief spells inspires an awareness of the body and mind under different sound sequences, while exploring a visual interpretation of the rhythms and frequencies that dictate our life.

Building from memories and the concept of future archaeology, Wu’s sculptural construct beige_object, made from preserved materials and waste from her daily household, forms an archaeological excavation of modern living. Wu’s painting door_god I & ii at the center of the space is a metaphor of a quote by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard,” creating a unique visual interpretation of household gods under Chinese traditions. 

To watch making of videos please see here


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