Rediscovering Landscape - Exploring our mountain, water and our city
June 3, 2020

A public artwork trilogy for the reopening of Hong Kong Museum of Art

AaaM Architects were invited by Hong Kong Museum of Art (HKMOA) and lead artist & architect Billy Tam to create a trilogy urban artwork for the reopening of the museum after four years of renovation. “Rediscovering Landscape” trilogy is located in Salisbury Garden at the end of Nathan Road, a major business street in the heart of Kowloon Peninsula and marks the entrance art square for HKMOA. With a series of spatial experiences and journey of exploration, the installation trilogy including "Immersion", "To engage, to compose" and "Transcendence", opens up the dialogue between the Victoria Harbour, the world famous skyline and the mountainscape behind. The artworks will be exhibited outside the museum all through the year. 


Chapter 1 - “Immersion”

“Immersion” lies at the end of the main axis of the Kowloon Peninsula, marking the beginning of the trilogy. The undulating installations lead people from the concrete jungle to imaginary mountains, and raise the curtains for a hanging scroll, which one can step into and explore. The line-drawn curved frames outline tiers of peaks from a distance and hollow waves close up, which are in dialogue with the skyscrapers across the harbour.
With precise overlay of curvilinear geometrical frames and application of radiating paint finish, the peaks change colour as you walk close to them. Expressing how the full-colour cityscape and ink landscape converge and overlap, they inspire thoughts that transcend past and present. Double images and changing hues are dynamic, transforming the seasonal changes into repeated interactions within the urban environment. Immersion invites the audience to step in, hold their breath, and look back, where they will find another cityscape amidst the intricate urban veins.


Chapter 2 - “To engage, to compose"

“To engage, to compose" continues the three-chapter journey as the mid chapter. Affinity is created by gradually shrinking the hills and transforming the outdoor space into a rockery urban furniture commonly seen in classical landscaping.
The naturally curved framework echoes that of the first chapter. The audience can lean against them to rest and quietly experience the current moment. Shifting the focus back to the external environment, we can observe the city and its people as they become part of the surrounding landscape scene. The peaks on the two turntables in the centre invite audience to immerse themselves in and take ownership of art. They can recompose the mountains to establish different relationships with the surrounding urban environment. On one hand, the mountains are for leisure and appreciation; on the other, they can change to create dialogue with people. They can start myriad life stories, enabling the integration of landscape art and the vicissitudes of life. To engage, to compose allows the landscape to change constantly.


Chapter 3 - "Transcendence"

"Transcendence" although being the finale of the installation trilogy, it raises the curtain for a series of art appreciation experiences at the HKMoA with abstract spatial elements – searching for mountains in the city and connect the people. The mountains and waterways share a common origin. There are peaks in the water and water on the peaks. Transcendence explores the inseparable relationship between mountains and waterways. Peaks that rear up from their base are suddenly floating in mid-air, and they come together to form rivers with shadows and waves. 
The floating framework returns to a subtle and solemn ink tone, forming a painting with overlapping shadows, and changing with the orbit of the sun and moon, transforming the art installation into a dynamic cityscape. Natural light and shadows serve as ink; the four seasons serve as brushstrokes; and day and night form the subject, adding a final brushstroke of nature to the hanging scroll in front of the HKMoA and opening a doorway to art.

Rediscovering Landscape shares a common pulse with the preceding line-drawn mountainous terrain, and shares a common nature with the cityscape. With consistent material of metal tubes and 3-dimension bending and twisting technique, the trilogy progresses with a process of abstract transformation from a symbolic formal representation of mountainscape to a functional miniature of playful landscape and finally an abstraction highlight to the public space. A radiating color, immersed from the ink tone, gives a subtle link with the neon color of the city. With synchronized lighting programmed in the evening, the artworks redefine the urban space as an engaging iconic art venue throughout day and night. 


The Making of “Rediscovering Landscape”






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