Jun 7 – Oct 20, 2019
Lara Almarcegui, May Fung, Lee Bul, Ana Mendieta, Charlotte Posenenske
M+ Pavilion, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Tracking notions of site across multiple historical moments and artistic languages, the exhibited works include poetic expressions of the body, intense investigations into the built environment, and in one case, a direct response to the M+ site. Together, these multifaceted works display powerful connections between art and its surroundings—be they the natural environment, architectural space, urban contexts, or discursive frameworks—prompting us to rethink our relationships to place and sense of belonging in the world.
A specially commissioned project by Lara Almarcegui presents a rigorous breakdown of the materials involved in the construction of the M+ building, offering a systematic expression of the transformations currently taking place at the museum’s site. With over twenty years of experience in investigating land and urban space, the artist fuses art-making with her research strategies, reflecting on unseen connections between what lies in the earth and the buildings that surround us.
Ana Mendieta, a pioneering performance artist celebrated around the globe, used her own body as a tool to communicate with the natural landscape. The selected films from her influential Silueta series (Silhouette series) (1974–1981) documents the artist’s performative actions in which she impressed her body into dirt, sand, and mud and transformed the materials with water, smoke, and fire. In view of her life as a Cuban exile in the United States, these actions can be seen as part of a process of recovering her lost identity, and the trauma of separation from family and homeland.
Also addressing site through the display of bodily encounters, the films of May Fung—one of the most important moving image artists working in Hong Kong today—echo themes of loss and self-discovery. Featuring a blindfolded woman feeling her way through the bustling streets of Hong Kong, Fung’s She Said Why Me (1989) depicts a journey in search for identity. The filmed footage is interspersed with black-and-white archival clips of women in Hong Kong from different historical moments, evoking the city’s collective memories and its layered past.
Elsewhere in the gallery is a group of over thirty maquettes by Lee Bul, a leading Korean artist and prominent voice of her generation. These small glittering models of real and fictional buildings respond to ideas of architectural utopias, as does her hanging sculpture, intricately crafted from steel, metal sheets, and mirrors. Born to dissident parents, Lee grew up during a period of military dictatorship in Korea. She witnessed first-hand the struggle to build a utopian state and its resulting breakdown, making ideas of human ambition and perfection a recurring theme in her works.
Notably different in form and appearance, the sculptural units created by German Minimalist artist Charlotte Posenenske, known as the Vierkantrohre series (Square Tubes series) (1967), are the artist’s final and most lasting contributions to art. Resembling ventilation shafts, these modular parts in galvanised steel and cardboard can be assembled in various shapes according to the space and desires of the owner. Fond of placing her sculptures in public spaces, such as train stations and factories, Posenenske encouraged interactions between artwork and our everyday surroundings.
Complementary programmes, including reconfigurations of Charlotte Posenenske’s sculptures, conversations with exhibiting artists, a teachers’ private viewing, and special guided tours, will accompany the exhibition. For more information, please visit www.mplus.org.hk/sitesencountered.
Five Artists: Sites Encountered is curated by Pauline J. Yao, Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+; assisted by Ethan Cheng, Assistant Curator, Visual Art, M+; Vera Lam, Curatorial Assistant, M+; and Jenny Wang, Intern, M+.
Dates: Jun 7 – Oct 20, 2019
Opening hours: 11am–6pm, Wednesdays to Sundays and on public holidays
Location: M+ Pavilion, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
For media enquiries
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
Assistant Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
T +852 2200 0223
Communications and Public Affairs Officer
T +852 2200 0719
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s 21st century.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on 40 hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, providing 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.