Tai Kwun Conversations

No Stone Unturned – A Material Journey from Hong Kong to Mex

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The next Tai Kwun Conversations, No Stone Unturned – A Material Journey from Hong Kong to Mexico, explores narratives of rocks and stones, with the artist Leelee Chan and the curator Tam Hok-nang Alex. The audience will be taken on a historical journey through the urban materiality of Hong Kong, followed by the artist Leelee Chan’s retelling of her own journey into the cultures of material across the world.

Materiality is very much a key theme in Tai Kwun Contemporary’s current exhibition, Poetic Heritage, which explores an expanded notion of heritage. In particular, the exhibition addresses the individual agency of artists in how materials are produced, used, disposed and sensed. This notion of materiality—one undercurrent running through the exhibition—views materials not as merely objects of artifacts but rather as part of a dialogical relationship between subjects and objects.

Drawing from the artist Leelee Chan’s work, this talk will begin with a new—or from another angle, immensely old—lens with which to look at how rocks and stones have been imbued with historical, cultural and emotional dimensions, with disparate narratives of Hong Kong history depicted within a framework of urban materiality. Every city is composed of myriad materials from diverse sources that are unique to that locale's historical narrative. 

This will be followed by a focused discussion with Leelee Chan on her artistic approach to experimenting with materials, in particular through her BMW Art Journey Tokens from Time, which traces material culture from the past, present, and future. As part of the journey, she travelled to Mexico in the summer of 2021 to explore the evolving meaning and value of silver and obsidian. During this talk, she will touch on the following topics: How her exploration of the materiality of these materials has led to a deeper understanding of the historical context, communities, human behaviour, and social relationships surrounding these ‘tokens’ of human existence; how materials are bound to the ecological system, the impact of material extraction for communities, and the subsequent changes in the social-economical relationships of the cities and regions that she visited.

Tai Kwun Conversations is a monthly event that brings together brilliant minds from the fields of contemporary art, architecture, heritage, among many others. Join us to discover new artistic exchange and outstanding practices in heritage conservation. 

This event will be conducted in Cantonese, with Cantonese to English simultaneous interpretation.

The event will adhere to the latest health and safety regulations and enforce social distancing measures.