LEO LI CHEN AND WU MO

HK Magazine - - CULTURE -

This ti­tle comes from a novel called

“Sink­ing” by Yu Dafu. This novel was writ­ten in the 1920s and presents a Chi­nese stu­dent liv­ing in Ja­pan. He feels de­pressed and anx­ious about his coun­try be­cause there’s a war be­tween Ja­pan and China. There’s a sim­i­lar­ity be­tween that time, and the 1990s. The Chi­nese name is , which trans­lates to “so­cial change.” HK: What’s the premise be­hind the ex­hibit?

LLC: We have 15 artists: 14 come from Main­land China, and one from Hong Kong. Half of the artists’ works were cre­ated in the 90s, and the other half are by young artists in China now. We wanted to com­bine the two dif­fer­ent decades, and the old works and the new works, to re­think the 90s. “That Has Been and May Be

Again” is a new ex­hibit at Para

Site, dis­play­ing art cre­ated by mostly main­land Chi­nese artists re­flect­ing on the con­tro­ver­sial 1989 China Avant-Garde Ex­hi­bi­tion and the Tianan­men Square Mas­sacre. Jes­sica Wei spoke with the Para Site cu­ra­tors and

(L-R) about the ex­hi­bi­tion and con­tem­po­rary Chi­nese art.

In our ex­hi­bi­tion, the his­tor­i­cal view is quite im­por­tant, [but] we didn’t want to just talk about what the most im­por­tant thing was in 1990. We wanted to keep a dis­tance of 20 or 30 years [be­tween] the old work and new work. I think this is a good dis­tance for us, and our gen­er­a­tion, to re­think how so­cial change im­pacted con­tem­po­rary China. HK: What do you think Hongkongers can take away from the show?

Wu Mo: We hope that the au­di­ence will feel the at­mos­phere of 1990s China. I think it is quite sim­i­lar to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of Hong Kong so­ci­ety, and its dis­cus­sions about pol­i­tics and cul­ture. I think maybe we make some kind of com­par­i­son be­tween the two sit­u­a­tions.

HK Mag­a­zine: Why call your ex­hibit “That Has Been and May Be Again”?

Leo Li Chen: HK: Why is the study of con­tem­po­rary art im­por­tant to talk about events in the past?

LLC:

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