1a space is hosting the exhibition Pseudo Collection – What Do Artists Collect.
Everyone has a habit of collecting, be it a fetish, a memory or other reasons. Collecting is not merely about storing things up for daily life use, but an act when individuals gather, conserve and categorize objects for a piece of memory or appreciation. Not limited to collectors who buy valuable art works, the common people is able to afford collections to various extents, from fast food restaurants’ memorabilia to limited editions toys and sports shoes. These collectibles are not priceless in monetary value but important in another sense. They crystallize the lifestyle and culture of some individuals and specific communities.
With popularization of art fairs and collecting culture in this day and age, shall we have more imaginations and boundary-pushing practices towards “collection”? Possibilities and imaginations to “collection” are demonstrated in this exhibition via the showcase of artists’ collections.
Art, Collecting Art: Collections in the Eye of Artists
Followed by the prosperity of art fairs, art collection exhibitions are also in vogue. Curators re-organize private art collectibles to reveal the cultural features under various artists, places and eras. In these exhibitions, the individual and collective meaning of the art collectibles, the personal meaning to collectors and the cultural meaning to the society overlaps and are being exposed to the public.
Artists like to collect, with different reasons. Some artists collect objects and turn them into creating materials, bringing new meanings to non-functional objects; while some artists collect art-related objects intuitionally, without any prerequisite. Obviously, the vision and attitude of collection are like an inspiration warehouse to be discovered. Then, how should we show artists’ collections?
Pseudo, Collecting Art – The Display of Collection
Enoch Cheung, the initiator of this exhibition, was involved in a multi-media project “I Think It Rains” (2013) by a private collection Burger Collection and 1a space. He was impressed by the discussion of by the curator Daniel Kurjakovic and 1a space curating team, on the topic of the selection and exhibition of art collectibles, the interaction among the artists, etc. Over the course of three years, Enoch hopes to further discuss different aspects of “collection”. He initiates this exhibition and invited multi-disciplinary artists to talk to and interact with in a series of activities, to explore the motivation and stories behind collecting, and to show their special collectibles or artworks inspired by the collectibles. The thoughts and logic of artists, presented by reasons and means of collecting are demonstrated in this exhibition. The name “Pseudo”, was interpreted as “man-made” on purpose (by disassembling the Chinese character), it emphasizes art lines in the process of collecting instead of the collectibles. Enoch is also a multi-disciplinary artist; he will engage in in-depth dialogues with artists, to explore the imaginations towards collecting together with viewers.
About the Collecting Culture
Museums and libraries are modern descendants of the “Cabinet of Curiosities”, a separate space set up by ancient emperors and the rich to store rare and priceless treasures. Apart from showing their social status, collectors select and display their collectibles to reveal their worldviews. Treasures from adventurers introduce the world to the collectors. Collecting is both private and public, it is a hobby and it conserves, reflects and interprets our culture, history and knowledge.
Nowadays, collecting becomes easy with convenient consuming, excess materials and weighted property rights. Everyone owns his collection. Each collectible embodies an individual’s stories and collective memory, thus turns into evidence of the episode and history. When we display commonplace items in lifestyle and cultural studies’ perspectives, under different contexts of displaying, these evidences unfold the history and its meaning.
Artists collect objects not only for conserving the past, but also for examining and creating. Collectibles are entitled to additional meanings after art processing, like displaying in a special way and adding decorations, as if they are linking the past, present and future. For instance, Leung Mee Ping knitted nearly ten thousand children-sized shoes by real hair accumulated since 1998 in the artwork “Memorize the Future” (2004); Song Dong displayed over ten thousands domestic items of daily life that had been used and amassed by his mother in the exhibition “Waste Not” (2005).
Participating Art Professionals:
Jeff Leung Curator, Art Administrator
Edwin K. Lai Art Historian, Art Educator, Curator
Lau Ching Ping Artist, Photographer, Designer
Lam Tung Pang Artist
Tse Ming Chong Artist, Photographer, Art Educator
Amy Chan Light Artist, Theatre Lighting Designer
Paul Yeung Artist, Documentary Photographer
Frank Chan Spatial Artist
Enoch Cheung Multi-disciplinary Artist