LEO LI CHEN AND WU MO
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?