Held at PMQ from 27 November to 6 December 2015, deTour 2015 was an event filled with ideas, design and interactive art installations that stimulate the mind visually. Christie Lee reports.
Top Image: The changing lights in Keith Lam’s Landscape of Cloud create a whimsical ambience
A guitar conceived of industrial waste; illuminating clouds or a gigantic hamster wheel – these are examples of installations showcased at deTour 2015. While the term, ‘design’ often calls to mind gleaming skyscrapers or sleek furniture, deTour takes exclusivity down a notch and enables the subject to become more accessible to the masses. This year’s edition saw various entities taking up units at the PMQ.
Transformed into a ‘musical-kinetic’ playground for adults and children alike, the atrium of PMQ came alive with two interactive installations. Conceived from a maze of pipes, Alen Ng’s Urban Symphony emit sounds that are said to emulate traffic, nature and human voices. Cotton Run, LAAB’s life-size hamster wheel invites visitors to run a quarter of a mile on the wheel to create their own cotton candy.
At the main exhibition in the Qube, curators carved out a tunnel-like space that sheds light on issues that are dear to Hong Kong people. Conceived by photographer Stefan Chow and economist Hui-Yi Lin, in collaboration with local charity Food Angel, The Poverty Line is a visual documentation of the ways that poverty is being defined in different countries. They are expressed through images – six rows of char siu baos or five pieces of vegetables lying desolately atop old newspapers.
Hong Kong’s tight living quarters has long been the subject of many research and art projects. Michael Wolf’s The Architecture of Density might have elicited reactions that range from wonder to stupor. MUJI proposes a practical solution with the idea of a ‘compact life’, essentially one that strips possessions to a bare necessity, minimising the wastage of limited resources, while carving out a ‘neat as a pin’ home environment.
The exhibition ends on a hopeful note. In a dark room, hues from personal objects, be it a keychain, purse or stuffed toy, are translated into sublimely-lit clouds that are visual wonders in Hong Kong new media artist and designer Keith Lam’s Landscape of Cloud.
Less vibrant but no less thought provoking, Gaybird Leung’s The Scope of Your Universe reminds of an often forgotten truth – change only comes about with ambition. Stimulated by heartbeats, star-like diagrams are conjured and projected onto the ceiling, enveloping the space in a cosmic void.
Elsewhere, a planter-making workshop investigates the potential of urban farming, while The Taste Library’s cooking sessions emphasises that design isn’t limited to objects that you enter or lounge on.