The 21st Century Undead Coterie of Contemporary Art

The 21st Century Undead Coterie of Contemporary Art

Happening, solo exhibition
6 – 12 September, 2014

Press release

Para Site is pleased to present the solo exhibition The 21st Century Undead Coterie of Contemporary Art by Hong Kong artist Kwan Sheung Chi, which opens at midnight on September 6 and continues through September 12. This marks the last Para Site exhibition at 4 Po Yan Street before the institution’s relocation to a larger new venue. Exciting plans will be announced soon.

During the week of the Undead Coterie, the ground floor façade of Para Site is removed to create an open space that will also serve as Kwan’s 24/7 residence. Changing his circadian rhythm to follow those of the living dead, the artist is hosting through the week intimate and informal nightly sessions of open studios, screenings and discussions ranging from Para Site’s history in Hong Kong to the city’s independent art scene and the condition of contemporary artists.

The 21st Century Undead Coterie of Contemporary Art draws inspiration from Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) and its lengthened temporality as opposed to the anxiety-ridden accounting of time in equal and productive units. Employing dark humor and incongruous means, the exhibition examines several enquiries central to Kwan’s practice such as the growing professionalization of artists in Hong Kong, the role of the artist under such capitalistic circumstances and the commercial value of immaterial labor. The only physical artwork within the space at the start of the project is a single vial of Kwan’s blood, which will be eventually auctioned off for Para Site’s benefit. While open to the process of creating an artwork within the space, Kwan is governed by a set of self-imposed rules pertaining to his living and eating habits. Including abstinence from solid food, alcohol and cigarettes, in addition to the change in his sleeping patterns, these bring to critical light the temporal, immaterial, and physiological labor of artists at a time when commodification of art production is keenly felt in Hong Kong. The exhibition is curated by Qinyi Lim.

Para Site Art Space is financially supported by the Springboard Grant under the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

+ exhibition history

2014. “The 21st Century Undead Coterie of Contemporary Art”, Para Site, Hong Kong

+ 中文 +




Para Site 隆重呈獻香港藝術家關尚智個展「21世紀不死當代藝術小團體」,9月6日午夜開幕,展期至9月12日。此個展將是Para Site在普仁街的最後一個展覽,之後Para Site會遷至另一個更大的場地,新計劃會在未來公佈。

「不死小團隊」一週裡,Para Site地面一層的外牆將會拆除,化身開放空間,並作為關氏24小時全天候的駐留場地。藝術家將會晝伏夜出,以「活死人」的方式過活,主理一連串非正式的夜間秘密活動,包括開放工作室、放映及討論環節,主題橫跨Para Site在香港的歷史、香港獨立藝圈,以至當代藝術家的處境。

是次展覽「21世紀不死當代藝術小團體」的策展靈感取自2013年占·渣木殊電影《永生情人》。電影用殭屍長生不死的時間觀,來抗衡現實中對時間分秒必爭、錙銖必較的焦慮之感。展覽處處滲透著黑色幽默,看似牛頭不搭馬嘴,實是認真檢視一系列跟關氏的藝術創作息息相關的疑問。例如,香港越來越多人將藝術創作視作一門可以量化的專業;在商業主義環境下,香港藝術家的角色;,探討不是具體物件(即所謂「非物質勞工」)工作成果的商業價值。展覽計劃起頭,整個展場只有一件看得見的作品,就是一小瓶藝術家的鮮血,之後亦會拍賣出去,並將所得款項捐予Para Site。藝術家並未為自己在展場創作的過程設限,卻自有一套嚴格的生活和飲食習慣,包括顛倒作息時間、完全戒吃固體食物、禁酒、禁煙。現今,商品化的香港藝術創作風氣正盛,這些藝術家的「規則」彷彿是一道強光,點明了藝術家付出的時間、體力和其他背後看不見的功夫。

Para Site Art Space獲香港特別行政區政府「藝能發展資助計劃」的躍進資助。


2014.「21世紀不死當代藝術小團體」,Para Site藝術空間,香港