Following the success of last year’s Spinning East Asia Series I: A Compass in Hand exhibition, CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) presents the second chapter of the series Spinning East Asia Series II: A Net (Dis)entangled on 19 March 2022. The exhibition will invite the public to experience the diverse spectrum of history and culture of East Asia through collections of contemporary art produced by 16 prominent artists and artist groups from the East Asia region.
More than 90% of artworks are newly commissioned for this exhibition. Participating artists and artist groups include Cha Seungean (Seoul), Chen Yiyun (Shanghai), Chu Chun-Teng (Taipei), Ho Rui An (Singapore), Kamata Yusuke (Fukuoka) , Suki Seokyeong Kang (Seoul), Kato Tsubasa (Tokyo), Lee Kai Chung (Hong Kong) and Isaji Yugo (Tokyo), Li Qingyue (Shanghai), Man Mei To (Hong Kong), Park Jeehee (Seoul), Wang Bo (Amsterdam), Wang Ya-Hui (Taipei), Wang Yiquan (Shanghai) , Yamauchi Terue (Fukuoka) and Jeon Gisun/ Matsuda Motoyoshi (Fukuoka and Tsushima) and Luka Yuanyuan Yang (Beijing).
Textile as Metaphor in Examining East Asian History
A Net (Dis)entangled uses textile as a unifying thread that runs through every work, highlighting its cultural significance that informed artists’ ways of thinking and forms of presentation. Curator Wang Weiwei adopts the simultaneous actions of entangling and disentangling yarns as a metaphor to explore and reimagine the notion of East Asia.
At its core, East Asia is a fluid structure influenced by and dependent on a multiplicity of unique individual existences. The exhibition casts a creatively critical eye on East Asian history, with works like Lee Kai Chung and Isaji Yugo’s research-based work The Shadow Lands Yonder on ‘Manchuria’ at the start of the twentieth century; and the video installation Eel by Chu Chun-Teng, which examines Shezi Island in Taipei.
Collectively, the artists scrutinise the geographical spaces, industries and social phenomena that have shaped the political, economic and cultural outlooks of the region. Acting as ‘weavers’ of a complex and intricate web, the participating artists engage in varying levels of individual or collective practice-led research, creative collaborations, or dialogue through the display of their works to consider the region’s shared influences and struggles.
Individual vs Collective Forces: The Transformation of the Self and Integration
For many artists, the dynamics of individual and collective forces has long been a topic of interest. This season, CHAT will be a platform for cross-disciplinary collaborations to take place.
Performance artist Kato Tsubasa will collaborate with the local band The Interzone Collective to deliver The Day to Break the Silence, a special musical presentation to interpret the relationships between self-identity, power and collective action. Inspired by traditional Korean musical notation system jeongganbo, Suki Seokyeong Kang codesigned 13 textiles pieces titled Mat Black Mat — Acts — cccktps with students from C. C. C. Kei Tsun Primary School through a series of workshops. Ho Rui An, CHAT’s 2021 Artist-in-Residence, interweaves interviews with former factory workers for his video work Lining. In the process, he delves into the history of Hong Kong’s textile industry and records the interplay between individuals and a ‘collective’ history.
To expand on the various themes of this ambitious exhibition, an online Discussion Forum will be held in mid-May 2022, inviting academics from various fields to add to the conversations surrounding the exhibited works. CHAT invites Dr Pan Lu from Hong Kong Polytechnic University to host a series of keynote seminars and panel discussions on the history, geographical boundaries and research of, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations across, East Asia. The forum will be conduct via Zoom and more details will be released in March.
Throughout the season, a range of programmes, from performances, artist talks and workshops responding to the exhibition’s thematic concerns will be conducted on-site and online. Arrangements are subject to social distancing regulations and will be updated via CHAT’s various channels.