Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to bring together the work of Alan Kwan (b. 1990) and Kenny Wong (b. 1987), two young artists from Hong Kong, for a joint exhibition entitled The Interstitial. Taking place 22 July–15 September, the exhibition will feature a series of installations, prints, and video games by the artists, who will present a dialogue about the interstitial space between the physical and the virtual to narrate emotion and memory.
The exhibition will showcase works from various stages of the artists’ careers and will use computational technologies to compose motion, memories, and ideas from the imagination in dynamic and fluid forms. The use of computer software accurately simulates physical phenomenas, but the two artists will attempt to excavate beyond the material nature of reality to assess our psychological and emotional conditions. By creating a displacement from the objects of our lived environment, the works on display will explore the mental state of “stuckness”, as well as the space in the artists’ minds, presenting unsettled feelings and recollections that allow for further exploration. The works of these artists naturally intersect, placing us in an in-between state and making us ponder the inherent bodily and psychological qualities that structure our perception in real time.
Exhibition highlights will include Alan Kwan’s The List (2008), a video work that served as a suicide note created by the artist when he was 18. The video lists the names of the women Kwan loved at the time and is a piece about love, confession, and honesty.
Also on display by Kwan will be The Hallway (2016), a single-player video game inspired by Kwan’s childhood experiences, in which the player assumes the perspective of a five-year-old child who has wandered into the hallway outside his home, having been kicked out by his father. The player encounters evocative spaces that give concrete shape to childhood experiences of rejection and insecurity, and is forced to confront spatial paradoxes that allow them to share the anxiety felt by the child.
Kwan has also drawn on his own speech impediment to create other works in the exhibition. In The Words After (2016), footage of the artist stuttering is pieced together from a previous documentary work that involved the artist attaching a video camera to his glasses. The artist has edited the footage, causing it to visually stutter, while also amplifying and exaggerating his own speech in order to express the anger and anxiety caused by difficulties in verbal communication.
Kenny Wong explores the delicate relationship between daily experiences and perceptual stimulations, merging kinetic and digital representation to create computational kinetic installations. Presented at this exhibition will be Last Walk on Thirteen Streets (2016). Shot in the Thirteen Streets area in To Kwa Wan in Hong Kong, four customised kinetic LCD panels that incline randomly will be placed on stairs, and will show a continuous loop of a man endlessly walking down some stairs. The random movement of the screens gives the illusion of the man’s descent down the stairs. The work explores the interchange and relationship between the real and virtual space, or reality and dreams. Another highlight will be Wong’s Dist (2016), an ongoing project that includes dist.solo, dist.intervene, and dist.duo (a future project). Dist.solo involves an LCD panel, featuring close-up video of a pair of eyes, suspended from a pendulum. The work is inspired from the moment of intimacy that occurs when two people make eye contact and the indefinite variables in relationships. Dist combines rational and irrational rules, expressing the artist’s personal feelings towards human relationships. Dist.intervene produces an unbalanced metronome with the interaction of audiences; the work not only explores a context but also alters its kinetic status.
“It is a pleasure to welcome two young artists from Hong Kong to SOHO 189 for their first joint exhibition, as Pearl Lam Galleries is dedicated to discovering fresh, new talent. Both of these artists harness new digital mediums to explore human nature and emotion in a powerful manner, and I believe that the works on display will resonate with a wide-ranging audience.”