Howard, Danny, Brother Kuen (2018)
at Listen Up?! Exhibition, 1a space, Hong Kong
1520mm (h) x 210mm x 140mm (d) (Set of 2)
Summer 1999, I first visited 1a space at Oil Street, a temporary premise for non-profit and independent art spaces in Hong Kong. I was there for SiXhibition. Howard Chang, my best mate’s brother, was part of the show. Six young architects built a model of 1a space at a scale of 1:1.2 within the physical premise itself. Twenty years passed by, memory fades away. I could only recall the material – wood, lots of wood, and a very narrow corridor. Wood was my first impression of 1a space.
Autumn 2003, as a recent university graduate and an unemployed, Kobe Ho and May Fung included me in Danny Yung’s Tree Man exhibition project. I worked on the publicity and I designed a book. 1a space was, and still is, part of the Cattle Depot family in 2003. I could not think of anything else, but wood and tree, to encapsulate my earliest encounters with 1a space.
October 2018, I went all the way to Dill’s Corner (Kwu Tung), looked for Chi Kee Sawmill & Timber and Brother Kuen, the owner. We went through mountains and mountains of raw tree trunks, and we found a piece of eucalyptus wood. I am told eucalyptus is difficult to work with – it cracks when sawn – as difficult as you and me, I thought. I sanded the wood, tempered the surface. Twenty years of experience in the art world, you and I are tempered, polished. We listen, and we learn from listening.