FANTASTICAL VISIONS OF A LOST CITY
A man bathing—perhaps boiling—in a large vat. A butcher’s daily routine. A young man enthralled by a radiating television. These are just a few of the many scenes contained within Vancouver artist Howie Tsui’s reimagining of the infamous, ungoverned and now destroyed Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. “I want to raise the question of whether social harmony can exist in lawless places. And, paradoxically, if legislated governed states could be ripe for corruption,” says Tsui. “Historically, the Kowloon Walled City, as an avatar for me, fits perfectly as a socially harmonious community that exists in a liminal state.” As the site of his monumental 25-metre-long, five-channel video Retainers of Anarchy (2017), the city became a surrogate for the chivalry and dissidence of its inhabitants.
Epson ultrachrome pigmented ink on Epson coldpress rag paper, 36 x 48 in., AP 1/3, courtesy the artist and Art Labor, framed by Superframe,