Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) and its affiliated HKDI Gallery, are honoured to present a landmark exhibition of media art, “Hylozoism: An Arts & Technology Exhibition”, featuring an international artists lineup.
HKDI is committed to promoting design education and facilitating dialogue among industry experts, students and design enthusiasts through partnerships with international museums, design institutions and designers. Held from 3 December 2022 until 2 April 2023 at HKDI Gallery and virtually, “Hylozoism: An Arts & Technology Exhibition” explores the symbiotic co-existence between arts and technology and how humans and nature interact.
“We are delighted to present ‘Hylozoism: An Arts & Technology Exhibition’” says Dr Lay Lian ONG, Principal of HKDI. “Arts and Technology are both key areas in which HKDI has committed. We are offering a new Arts Technology programme starting September 2022. The institution organises extended learning programmes for students to acquire new and emerging knowledge and skills outside the standard curriculum. This exhibition would be one of the extended learning opportunities and we hope it will stimulate curiosity and generate discussions on the interwoven relationship of art and technology, human and nature, virtual and the physical.”
Speaking about the exhibition curatorial direction, Joel Kwong and Keith Lam, the curators of the exhibition say, “The merging of innovative technology with artistic concept displays a response to the contemporary and the near future. Like the five elements, the five works in this exhibition present a neo-nature to propose the concept of symbiosis.”
The collection poses a vision of hylozoism for the future, drawing on the co-existence of different organisms in nature and the symbiotic concept of lichen, formed by a complex partnership of fungi and algae. “Hylozoism: An Arts & Technology Exhibition” is representative of the new ecology created jointly by humans and machines.
The exhibition features five international artists who deal with media art, including two from Hong Kong – Ellen Pau and Keith Lam. They were commissioned to produce two new works to explore the possibilities of intervening nature by integrating the arts with technology. The international lineup also includes Japanese music legend Ryuichi Sakamoto with media artist Daito Manabe, Italian artist group Fuse* and by Living Architecture Systems Group / Canadian artist Philip Beesley.
“F10ra 0” by Ellen Pau features in-depth research on the Bauhinia x Blakeana Dunn, tracing the story of the first Bauhinia tree discovered in Hong Kong. The musical adaptation the DNA of Bauhinia Blakeana is the key in this installation, which aims to provide an immersive experience of an artificially created nature bit by bit. “F10ra 0” imagines how artificial intelligence interprets the interplay of existence and essence. Posing the question of, if DNA were the language of God, could DNA be decoded for a deeper message from every creature? In the exhibition, as the DNA file is translated into sound, Pau hopes to take audience a step closer to the genome study on Bauhinia Blakeana.
Keith Lam’s “TTTV Garden” is a pop-up garden inspired by the father of video art, Nam June Paik’s “TV Garden”. Lam’s work mimics the agricultural technique widely adopted by indoor vertical farming, in which a spectrum of LED lights is used to optimise plant growth. Through learning and analysing the motions and the colour spectrum of the 24-hour news, the computer stimulation transmits and televises such data on the overhead screen in “TTTV Garden”, making it the “sky” that not only feeds information to the public, but also provides lights for the plants in the environment. The interaction between virtuality and reality provides a two-way stimulation to lives, resulting in a mutually inclusive loop.
“TTTV Garden” also streams real-time on social media, inviting viewers to witness every moment of its growth while pondering the conflicts and possibilities derived from the indivisibility of nature and technologies.
Electromagnetic waves imperceivable to humans are made visible and audible in “Sensing Streams 2022 -invisible, inaudible”. Created by renowned Japanese music legend Ryuichi Sakamoto and media artist Daito Manabe, an antenna on site collects electromagnetic waves, and in real time, translates the data through a self-luminous, high-definition screen and speakers. The viewer may change the wavelength frequency with a controller, and manipulate the experience of various simultaneously existing, perpetually changing electromagnetic waves. As electromagnetic waves are an essential part of modern infrastructure, this work presents a phenomenon that usually goes unnoticed – the flow of a multitude of electromagnetic waves – while also reflecting the active involvement through mobile phones.
“Artificial Botany” by fuse* Italy is an ongoing project that explores the expressive capacity of botanical illustrations through the use of machine learning algorithms. Before the invention of photography, botanical illustration was the only way to visually record the many species of plants. Such images were used by physicists, pharmacists, and botanical scientists for identification, analysis, and classification. “Artificial Botany” collects from public domain archive, botanical illustrations by the greatest artists of the genre, including Maria Sibylla Merian, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, Anne Pratt, Marianne North, and Ernst Haeckel. The digital archives are run by a machine learning system GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) and creates new morphed images extremely similar to the originals. The machine re-elaborates the content by creating a new language, capturing the information and artistic qualities of man and nature. The interpretation of the learned data aims to create a new system of relationships between colors, shapes, details, and textures totally new and independent from the previous ones, letting emerge the possibility of new species, classes, and morphologies.
“Grove”, by Living Architecture Systems Group / Canadian architect Philip Beesley, was exhibited in Venice Biennale in 2021. It offers a vision of the world transformed into a gathering place for plants, animals, and inert matter alike. The visual projection and audio environment produce an intense experience of innumerable worlds falling into chaos and rising again in new life. Instead of the rigid, bounded, and closed territories that divide us, Beesley and his collaborators present open and constantly exchanging, shared worlds. In a world battered by the pandemic, Beesley explores the possibility of living in a world of continuous growth, endless transformation and expresses his vision of interdependence and symbiosis.
In line with social distancing measures, the exhibition will adopt a session-based policy with limitations to the number of visitors within the gallery. Visitors will be required to book their preferred timeslots in advance at https://hkdigallery_exhibition2223_admission.eventbrite.com for timed visits. For the latest arrangements of the exhibition and its hygienic preventive measures, please refer to HKDI Gallery’s website.
Media Enquiries: 2566 8988 / 2807 0087
About Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI)
Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) is a member of VTC Group. HKDI was established in 2007 with the mission to be a leading provider of design education and lifelong learning, including architecture, interior and product design, communication design, digital media, and fashion and image design. With a view to providing professional designers for the creative industries, it promotes the “think and do” approach and encourages interdisciplinary synergy in its broad range of design programmes that cultivates students’ cultural sensitivities and sense of sustainability. HKDI maintains a strong network with industry and provides its students with essential practical experience. Overseas exchanges are actively arranged for students to broaden their international perspective. Website: www.hkdi.edu.hk
About HKDI Gallery
HKDI Gallery is a dynamic exhibition arm of HKDI, which is dedicated to present the exposition of cutting edge, top-notch international exhibitions and contemporary issues on design. In addition, HKDI Gallery also aims to support HKDI as one of the centres of design education in the region and promote design culture in Hong Kong.
HKDI Gallery engages with parties at home and abroad, including internationally acclaimed museums, designers and curators. With contemporary design as the cornerstone, it presents a series of top-notch exhibitions every year ranging from; graphic design, architecture, fashion, product design, multimedia and so on. This has included the following; exhibition for Zaha Hadid Architects, the retrospective for the Pritzker Prize-winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, the solo exhibition for the renowned Japanese designer Dai Fujiwara, the solo exhibition for the Oscar-winning artist Tim Yip, the retrospective for Hong Kong design legacy Kan Tai-Keung, the Asian debut largest solo exhibition for one of the most influential German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic and the exhibition of Japanese posters in 20th century, etc.
Through international exhibitions, HKDI Gallery turns itself into an education venue where design students, design community and general public can learn from the masters’ works. It also actively engages with institute’s students and external students with tailor-made tours, talk and panel discussions.
Joel Kwong is an international media art curator, writer, producer, and educator based in Hong Kong. She is currently the Programme Director for Microwave International New Media Arts Festival and the founder of SIBYLS – a creative consultation and production agency. She is an experienced media art practitioner with over 15 years of experience, her most recent involved projects include Microwave Festival edition 2022, Future Media Arts Festival, Connecting the Dots – webzine & online exhibition 2021, Glowing Dots – online exhibition 2021, and Transmedia storytelling projects in 2022 & 2020 in the theme of HALF HALF & All about Life and Death. She has given talks & lectures in different festivals and institutions, including Shenzhen Media Arts Festival, Transmediale in Berlin, Ars Electronica in Linz, ACT Festival in Gwangju/ Korea, AND Taiwan, The University of Electro-communications in Tokyo, Entertainment EXPO in Hong Kong etc. She is currently teaching part-time in various tertiary institutions, includes Hong Kong Design Institute, the City University of Hong Kong and also the Chinese University of Hong Kong etc.
Keith Lam, media artist, the co-founder and the artistic director of “Dimension Plus”, a Hong Kong-Taiwanese new media art team, and founder of the composite space openground. Being awarded in many outstanding international art festivals, including Prix Ars Electronica and Japan Media Arts Festival, Lam’s works have toured around the globe at top-tier museums and art festivals such as the Hong Kong Museum of Arts, the National Art Centre at Tokyo, OK Center for Contemporary Art, the New Technological Art Award Biennial in Belgium, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and more.
Lam is also an enthusiastic educator of media art; he has been teaching at various tertiary institutions as a visiting scholar, associate professor and consultant, aiming to promote the application of digital media in art.
Living Architecture Systems Group/Philip Beesley
Philip Beesley is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist and architect. Beesley’s research is recognised for its pioneering contributions to the rapidly emerging field of responsive interactive architecture. He directs Living Architecture Systems Group (LASG), an international group of researchers and creators. He is a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo and the European Graduate School. He has been featured twice at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (“Hylozoic Ground”- 2010, Grove - 2021). The work of the LASG evolves through collaborative exchanges with an international network of scientists, engineers, and artists including engineering leads Rob Gorbet and Dana Kuli, Atelier van Herpen, Salvador Breed and 4DSOUND in Amsterdam, among many others. Collaborations with LASG artists, scientists, and engineers has led to a diverse array of projects, from haute couture collections to complex electronic systems that can sense, react and learn. This experimental architecture explores the subtle phenomena and constantly-changing boundaries at the outer edges of current technology.
Website: www.lasg.ca / https://www.philipbeesleystudioinc.com/
A video and media artist and professional radiographer, Ellen Pau co-founded Videotage, one of the earliest video artist collectives in Asia in 1986. She is the co-founder and curator of the Microwave International New Media Arts Festival since 1997; and has curated various exhibitions locally and internationally, including Digit@logue for Hong Kong Museum of Art, ZERO1 Biennial in San Jose and Transmediale in Berlin. In the 90s she also took part in film productions with directors Evans Chan, Ann Hui and Barbara Wong.
Major solo exhibitions in recent years include“What about home affairs”(2019) curated by Freya Chou at Para-Site, and M+ & Art Basel Hong Kong co-commissioned video work The Shape of Light (2022) on the video facade of M+. Her video works have been extensively exhibited in worldwide film festivals and art biennials (including the Hong Kong Pavilion in the 49th Venice Biennial) and are archived and collected by VMAC (Videotage Media Art Collection), Video Bureau, Griffith University, Pompidou Centre, M+ and private collectors.
Born in 1952 in Tokyo. He made his debut with Thousand Knives in 1978 and in the same year he formed YMO. Since the band's breakup he has been active in many other fields. He won an Academy Award for the soundtrack for “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence”, and a Grammy Award for “The Last Emperor”. He often works with environmental and peace issues, establishing the forest conservation organisation "more trees", among other activities. He was Artistic Director of the 10th Anniversary Program of Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in 2013, while in 2014 he took on a more active role in the art world as guest director of Sapporo International Art Festival 2014.
Artist, programmer, and DJ. He creates work by combining familiar phenomena and materials perceived anew from different perspectives. His focus is on the essential attraction that phenomena, the body, programming, and computers possess, discovered through their careful observation.
Website: http://www.daito.ws / https://rhizomatiks.com
Founded in 2007, fuse* is a multidisciplinary art studio that investigates the expressive possibilities of digital technologies, aiming to interpret the complexity of human, social and natural phenomena.
Since its origins, the studio's research has had as its primary objective the creation of multimedia installations and performances, produced with the goal of exploring the boundaries between different disciplines in pursuit of new connections between light, space, sound and movement.
Directed by founders Luca Camellini and Mattia Carretti, the studio has evolved over the years and now approaches the creation of new projects with an increasingly holistic approach, relying on a modus operandi that values pure experimentation and collective creativity. The intent is to create works that can inspire, suspend the ordinary and stimulate thought, sensitivity and imagination.
fuse* has always bound its development to that of the community in which it operates by supporting, promoting and conceiving projects that aim to spread culture and knowledge. With this intent, it has been co-producing the electronic music and digital arts festival NODE since 2016.
Over the years, fuse* has presented its works and productions internationally in art institutions and festivals including Mutek, TodaysArt, Sónart, Artechouse, STRP Biennial, RomaEuropa, Kikk, Scopitone and the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China.