Kapok teams up with JJ.Acuna aka theWanderlister+ to present an exhibition that aims to evoke conversations about a contemporary society, as instigated by the works of four architectural practices. Christie Lee reports.
When we think of architectural exhibitions, cool and chalky architectural models that seem to bear no relevance to our lives readily comes to mind. New Hong Kong: Adventures in Architecture, an exhibition jointly presented by Kapok and theWanderlister+ sets out to defy this perception by uniting the worlds of fashion, design and architecture.
Architectural exhibitions, regardless of how big or small, are few and far between in Hong Kong. As JJ. Acuna, or theWanderlister+ explains, “unlike fashion and design, where new collections are being rolled out every season, the way that architects work is very slow and meticulous, so there isn’t as much of a wow factor.”
“It’s also a very insular profession. Architects spent hours and days bent over their desks, brainstorming, sketching and whatnot, so we don’t really see much of them hanging around,” he adds. As such, New Hong Kong: Adventures in Architecture looks at four new to shore architectural practices in Hong Kong.
Gilles Vanderstocken and Charlotte Lafont-Hugo of Beau Architects bring their interest in typography to the fore with their exhibit, whereby a barrage of words, in various fonts and sizes, are half-hidden behind a ‘BA’ (for Beau Architects) neon sign.
Another architect who makes use of neon – a material which has become synonymous with the pulsating energy of Hong Kong – is Viviano Villareal-Bueron of Mass Operations. Rendered in neon, a sign bearing the word “illegal” is plopped up against faux bricks acquired from the construction sites of two lofts he had designed and built in the city. This is a tongue-in-cheek commentary based on his experience of the ‘illegal’ measures, in this case, the conversion of industrial venues into loft spaces, that city dwellers might take to ensure the presence of a roof over their heads.
Melding her interest in photography, design and architecture, LT Plus Architects’ Liz Lau stacks snapshots she’s taken of the city before converting them into various shapes, hues and sizes.
Comprising Erik Amir and Dora Chi, Spatial Practice set up an office in Beijing during the mid-2000s but later moved their headquarters here in 2014. Their exhibit features a mishmash of the firm’s past projects across a white canvas wall – a reflection perhaps, of their desire to create spaces rather than buildings. Sharpie markers entice viewers to add to the board their vision of ideal Hong Kong.
As Acuna concludes, “The aim of this exhibition is to connect the many dots that link fashion and architecture. After all, both are very much about form and structure.”
New Hong Kong: Adventures in Architecture runs at Kapok PMQ ‘Crafted in Hong Kong Space’ till April 30, 2015.