By Di Liu
One doesn’t just happen upon Spring Workshop in Wong Chuk Hang, the up-and-coming arts district in the southern part of Hong Kong Island, on a Saturday afternoon. The adventure requires a deliberate plan to navigate high bridges, heavy traffic, local residents and fellow art lovers to find the destination in a dim, vacant industrial building.
At the entrance of the exhibition, visitors repeat the same ritual. They don black or white masks before stepping into the dark, mysterious site. As they enter, they are greeted by a mixture of the sounds from a cello, flute and clarinet, and a wall of text as part of An exposition, not an exhibition, which runs until April 1. This is it – a live music performance conceived by the Berlin-based American composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers performed together with the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, who wear the same masks as the visitors.
This 30-minute performance is only a fraction of his multidisciplinary work. The project aims to bring together music and contemporary art, as well as six Hong Kong composers and seven local non-profit arts organisations, including M+, Asia Art Archive and Para Site.
Unlike many gallery shows, a single visit is not enough to take in this work since it takes place in multiple locations at different times. By using different media, locations and content during each performance, the project aims to transcend a typical white-cube gallery. Nomadic and ephemeral in nature, it will surely amaze visitors yet to come.
Photo: The performance by three local musicians from the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble at Spring Workshop on March 17, 2017.