Terrifying Hong Kong interactive art exhibition will have you in stitches, even if you’re laughing out of fear

A new interactive exhibition at the Oi! Oil Street Art Space in North Point asked young artists to look at the concept of fun, and some decided that giving people a good fright is very funny indeed

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2018, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 June, 2018, 6:56pm

You need nerves of steel to fully experience “Sparkle! A Good Waste of Time”, an interactive exhibition at the Oi! Oil Street Art Space in North Point.

Curator Solomon Yu asked young local artists to look at the concept of fun and some decided that giving people a good fright is very funny indeed.

It works. Few exhibitions could have you in stitches in the same way, even if you are laughing out of fear.

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Cheuk Wing-nam’s installation Annabelle’s Room sits in one corner of the 110-year-old red brick venue. When visitors flick the light switches on, creepy-looking motorised dolls with blond hair and pink, frilly dresses start to move in the semi-darkness. One does an Exorcist-like head-turning trick. Another falls flat on her face repeatedly. You get the sense that the artist wasn’t very happy about being made to dress up and play with girlie toys as a child.

Even more terrifying is Rogerger Ng’s Physical Limit. Rubber gloves are clamped on top of air nozzles and visitors are invited to test how much air can be pumped into them before they explode.

One totally fearless gallery assistant – a local artist called Jessie Tam Cheuk-lam – kept a steady hand on the pump for three whole minutes before the then very inflated glove blew up. Here’s the video.

Ng’s installation also features rubber gloves stretched taut by the weight of office binders full of paperwork – a graphic symbol of what a large portion of Hong Kong workers must feel like.

A fair amount of angst is also found in Thomas Yuen’s Gonna Salvage You Each Time!, a video game about parents constantly telling their children not to spend time playing video games.

Other exhibits are more lighthearted. Moss Ho’s The Secret of Six-Pack (2018) is a miniature funfair cushioned with soft fabric that includes a ring toss and a video demonstrating silly workouts using apparatus such as fish balls and durian.

Koko Ko, meanwhile, uses products from her family’s hardware store to make furniture and old-fashioned toys that will have some visitors laughing out of sheer nostalgia.

Sparkle! A Good Waste of Time, Oi! Oil Street Art Space, Gallery 1, 12 Oil Street, North Point. Tue-Sun 10am-8pm, Mon 2pm-8pm. Until Sept 9.