Artist: Shirley Tse
Curators: Christina Li, Curator; Doryun Chong, Consulting Curator (Deputy Director and Chief Curator of M+, WKCD)
Organised by: M+, at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and Hong Kong Arts Development Council
Over the past two decades, Shirley Tse has addressed various meanings and possible interpretations of materials and objects. Her sculptural practice has evolved from considering ‘plastics’ as the prime signifier of globalisation through the mechanisms of circulation, standardisation, and industrialisation to exploring ‘plastic’ as an adjective, and looking at the resonance of plasticity, movement, and multiplicity in contemporary society. For her presentation at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Shirley Tse furthers her investigation of plasticity as a means to understand the world. The new body of work in “Stakeholders” explores sculpture as a physical visualisation of multidimensional thinking used in order to examine and mediate diverse materials and processes, and to shed light on the inter-connections of individual subjectivities in a pluralistic society. Highlighting the peculiar spacial features of the venue of Tse’s exhibition in Venice, “Negotiated Differences” is a sprawling, rhizome-like installation of 3D-printed joints and hand-turned wooden forms that stretches across all the rooms of the indoor exhibition space. Balusters, handrails, bowling pins, and abstract forms are connected by wooden, metal, and plastic elements, bringing together craft, mechanical, and digital technologies into an integrated whole. The fluidity of form and function finds a different expression in the courtyard presentation. Entitled “Playcourt”, this installation comprises of sculptural mixture of equipment and anthropomorphic forms presented on tripods that draw the visitor’s gaze towards the sky. This installation transforms the cloister into an improvised badminton court and emphasises the negotiation between people and space that is a fundamental component of play. This negotiation is at the heart of Tse’s “Stakeholders”—foregrounding the ideas of affect, empathy, and ethics, the exhibition proposes a space to reflect on how we can co-exist amidst our differences and come to terms with the unforeseen actions that define our relationships with one another in our contemporary times and societies.
Campo della Tana, Campo della Tana, Castello 2126