About this exhibition


Photo of Liu Yujia's artwork Waves at CFCCA

Lui Yujia Waves at AQUATOPIA, CFCCA 2018 Photo Credit Michael Pollard

Through a range of media – including moving image, film, photography, sculpture and installation – six artists from China, Hong Kong and the UK explore ways contemporary art can provide an alternative platform for addressing pressing realities and imminent disasters. At the intersection between fantasy and critical observation, different artistic positions examine matters of scarcity, pollution, uncontrolled development and effects of climate change; ultimately imagination and reality are tightly intertwined with one another.

The exhibition, which runs until 7 October 2018 is curated by Marianna Tsionki (Research Curator, CFCCA & University of Salford). It marks the start of CFCCA’s ‘A Season for Change’ – six months of events and exhibitions which use contemporary art as a platform to raise awareness of environmental issues.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, with additional support from HKBU Visual Arts Academy and Eduoard Malingue Gallery.

As part of ‘Aquatopia’ CFCCA presents Horizon by Kingsley Ng, who works with ephemeral materials – such as light, sound, space and time – to create site-specific participatory experiences. Horizon is a playful installation, which invites visitors to share water and collectively create a symbolic horizon. This work was originally commissioned by MaD (Make a Difference) in 2014 and 1,500 participants took part at the organisation’s annual forum.

Water fountain by Lucy+Jorge Orta is a sculptural installation that evokes the cycle of gathering, purifying and distributing water, this is part of the OrtaWater series exploring solutions for access to clean water.

In Green Island, bags and water containers cast in cement lie amid a swathe of sand; in this installation João Vasco Paiva focuses on the impact that rapid urban development has had on the natural environment and resources in Hong Kong. The title Green Island refers to a cement brand from an island of the same name and plays with the irony of a company taking this title with so few green credentials.

Chen Qiulin highlights tensions between the individual and society in context of China’s accelerated emergence as an international superpower in her photography. As part of ‘Aquatopia’ Chen presents a selection of photographs from her series Empty City, documenting her return to her home town Wenzhou, on the Yangtze River. The entire population of Wenzhou was relocated following the controversial Three Gorges Dam Project, the resulting images are both personal and socially relevant.

The Edge of Vision, or the Edge of the Earth by Liu Shiyuan, is a film of synthetic futuristic representations depicting a watery earth and an uncanny procession of people mourning for humanity’s uncertain future. This work is purposively misleading in both audio and visual content, questioning the credibility of images and narratives.

Liu Yujia’s Wave poetically depicts the ebb and flow of tides, triggering a contemplative oceanic feeling but also warning for climate change oceanic anomalies, as it lets the sublime power of the water speak for itself. Liu Yujia works primarily in video, creating a visual language wherein content, time and space flow endlessly.