See, smell, hear, and feel North Point as never before at art exhibition

Group show at Oi! in Oil Street challenges perceptions of the district

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 August, 2015, 10:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 August, 2015, 10:48pm

The latest exhibition at Oi! features eight local artists' takes on North Point, where this government-run art space is located. Comprised of five art pieces, "Let's Art" may be small, but it aspires to alter the way an entire community is viewed. By appealing to the human senses, the selected artists have created pieces highlighting many aspects of the district that are often overlooked, says guest curator Vivian Ting Wing-yan.

"I'm trying to think of new possibilities of doing art and of thinking about art," says Ting. "I'dlike us to see ourselves as humble individuals looking at something ordinary and trying to ask questions."

Kicking off the exhibition is a fusion of sight and sound designed by Priscila Chu and Kwong Man-chun. Titled Thinking of You, vibrant green-blue cloths depicting a jungle scene dotted with pieces of furniture dominate a corner of the room that serves as a symbol of a domestic helper's life. Accompanying the visuals are original music compositions and a poem that describes their experience of leaving their homes for Hong Kong. The purpose of this display is to humanise the maids who are so commonplace in the city, says Ting.

"We would like to highlight their experiences to enable them to see themselves as worthy and also to enable audiences to see them as people, not just as domestic helpers."

In addition to the auditory and visual senses, Nose HK, created by Maggie Lin and Rachel Yan, is an exploration of North Point based on its various scents. The duo were inspired by Hong Kong's Cantonese name, which translates to "Fragrant Harbour", as inspiration. Attached to the artwork is a map detailing a scent trail through North Point, allowing visitors to explore the community with their noses.

Rounding out the sensory experience is Brandon Chan's Castle of the North Kingdom. The interactive display encourages people to look at the world through the eyes of a child, full of creativity and wonder. The centrepiece is an impressive blanket fort full of toys made from ordinary household items to illustrate the power of imagination.

The act of asking questions is the driving force behind this group show and the inspiration for the project's title. According to Ting, "Let's Art" is a call for people to start discovering hidden stories in their communities through art.

"We would like to invite audiences to come and explore the city with us and ask questions," says Ting. "We can't offer answers and we can't tell people what art means, but if you come and see all the imaginative ways to interact with the city and its people, you might find new ideas about howto relate to your own areas."

Through this approach, the artists hope they can improve community engagement. That is, after all, the mission of Oi!, says its art promotion curator Ivy Lin Mei-kiu. "It's a very good way to demonstrate the power of art in transforming creative ideas into daily life," she says.

Oi!,12 Oil Street, North Point. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-8pm; Monday: 2pm-8pm. Ends October 18. Inquiries: 2512 3000