SO I DON'T REALLY KNOW SOMETIMES IF IT'S BECAUSE OF CULTURE
The School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
Be it Australia, Austria, Singapore or Morocco, multimedia artist Warren Leung Chi-wo’s expeditions in different countries always teach him the same thing: better selfunderstanding.
“When I’m in another country I tend to have a lot of superficial perceptions about the culture.
However, that detachment is exactly what allows me to interpret what locals get very numb to from a fresh perspective,” he says.
This knowledge is also the connection that enables the 46-yearold artist, who is also an assistant professor at City University’s School of Creative Media and co-founder of Para/Site Art Space in Sheung Wan, to bind together four distinctive works he created for various overseas exhibitions into this show.
Sign (2008), a two-part video created during his residency at the Australian National University, explores Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as a communication tool. As an epilogue, Sign Read (2011) was a commissioned work for the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival. The installation features 29 desks engraved with notes jotted down by Hong Kong students as they watched videos of different images related to buzzwords taken from the Sign project.
During his residency in Austria’s MuseumsQuatier, he reconstructed the collective memory of an independent art organisation called Depot which was forced to move to make way for the museum’s development. Featuring a 40-minute video of the old premises in slow motion, Depot of Disappearance (2009) looks at the idea of memory, space and the relationship between institutions and art.
The fourth work, So I Don’t Really Know Sometimes If It’s Because Of Culture (2012), consists of four videos. Two are synchronised to construct a dialogue from separate interviews conducted with two Moroccan women living in Hong Kong, while the remaining two focus on Hong Kong-based French artists Laurent Gutierrez and Cédric Maridet.
The exhibition takes its title from a quote from one of the Moroccan ladies’ interviews. Leung says she was referring to Hongkongers she disapproves of.
“As a title, it links the four works. It’s open-ended: are you trying to understand and tolerate the difference or neglect it? For things that we don’t agree on, can we often excuse it by referring it to cultural difference?”
CMC Gallery, 3/F Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, City University of Hong Kong, 18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon Tong, April 25-May 17, Monday-Saturday, noon-7pm. Inquiries: 3442 7659