Imagine you’re taking a slow train where the scenery is a mixed jumble of images from someone else’s mind. Unable to change the speed or your area of view, you watch the city pass by your eyes. Ng Tsz-Kwan’s work, End of the Road, takes audience on a personal journey through the artist’s mind through cinematic images.
《末境之路》是承接 2019 年由東京藝術空間（TOKAS）、香港藝術中心和媒體藝術家葉旭耀共同策展的藝術計劃《虛･空》的延伸展覽。作為以探索空間為題材的文化交流和展覽計畫，《虛･空》總共有六個不同的創作單位參與，包括來自香港的吳子昆、蘇敏怡和 WARE 以及日本的伊藤隆介、永田康祐和津田道子。
End of the Road, an extended exhibition of FALSE SPACES, a project co-curated by Tokyo Arts and Space (TOKAS), Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) and media art artist Ip Yuk-Yiu in 2019. FALSE SPACES is a cross-cultural exchange and an exhibition aiming to explore the multi-faceted nature of space, with the participation of six artists/artist unit, including Ng Tsz-Kwan, Stella So, WARE from Hong Kong, and Ito Ryusuke, Nagata Kosuke, Tsuda Michiko from Japan.
《末境之路》亦是香港藝術家吳子昆《Solitary Cinema》的最新變奏。《Solitary Cinema》是一組關於電影觀賞經驗以及探索空間電影的實驗裝置作品系列。透過不同機動裝置和聲畫設計，觀眾將置身於特殊的觀影軸上，重新感受和思考電影觀賞的限制和可能。在系列裡出現過三次，能載觀眾自動穿梭於展場中影像裝置之間的活動椅子，可謂作品最為突出及重要的元素。與其說是一張椅，它更像一個無人駕駛的交通工具；又或許，更像是柏拉圖《理想國》中，洞穴寓言的一種當代比喻——被禁錮在洞穴裡的囚犯，只能將眼前牆上所映出的影子當作真實。
End of the Road is the latest variation of Ng Tsz-Kwan’s Solitary Cinema, an installation series experimenting with cinema viewing experience and investigating spatial cinema. The artist creates an alternative narrative of viewing experience with the designed mechanical and audio-visual settings, invites the audience to rethink and reimagine the boundaries and possibilities of cinema. The moving chair is the most prominent and important element in this piece of work, it has been shown three times in the previous versions of this series, automatically taking the audience into the journey of various video installations in the exhibition space. Rather than a chair, it is more like self-driving transportation, or even a figure of speech nowadays for ‘the allegory of the cave’—the people who lived chained to the wall of a cave, and can only take the shadows projected on the wall as reality—in Plato’s Republic.
The first two versions of Solitary Cinema can be interpreted as a series of abstract experiments with the aesthetics and formats of film languages and spatial interactions. In the third version featured in FALSE SPACES exhibition, it not only explored space as a means of creative intervention but also reified space into a detailed representation of a place (Hong Kong). Sitting on the self-driving device, the audience traveled through laps of black and white images of Hong Kong. The autonomous driving device and the imprisoned passenger conveyed a strong contrast and metaphor while the desolated monochromatic cityscapes on the screens quietly revealed and witnessed the deadly summer.
In the latest version, the artist continues his remake and disruption of traditional cinema experience, and at the same time composes intricate poetic documentation of a particular place. In the midst of form and documenting, End of the Road diffuses a mysterious atmosphere of magical realism. This version of End of the Road consists of stronger and more in-depth personal feelings and subjective imagery, actively depicting the artist’s psychological status. Taking a closer look, End of the Road is like a private road movie, the documented scenery outside is also the inner psychological journey of the artist. Buddha statues and various old objects abandoned in the wasteland form a ghostly scenery on the brink of ruin; behind the spectacles, it not only is a projection of the shade of mind, but also a reflecting mirror that exposes the vast and endless history.
吳子昆為yucolab的創辦人及執行創作總監；公司是由他早年創立的多媒體設計公司N.T. Lab 與荷李活創作設計公司yU+co. 合作而成。他於1997 年獲香港中文大學文學士，主修藝術；並於2000 年獲英國中央聖馬丁藝術設計學院碩士。吳子昆專注創作互動媒體裝置，作品多次於本港及海外展出。亦擅長互動媒體在不同層面的應用，曾於多間本地大專院校任教相關科目。2007 年獲《透視》雜誌選 為「四十驕子」之一，該獎項的主要頒授對象為大中華地區40 位40 歲以下的傑出設計師。
Ng Tsz-Kwan graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1997 with a Bachelor degree in Fine Art and earned his Masters at Central Saint Martins, UAL, in 2000. His practice is devoted to electronic and video art, and he has exhibited in London, Berlin, New York, Helsinki, Japan and Korea, in addition to numerous exhibitions in Hong Kong. He also maintains a design practice in which he applies interactive media design to the commercial and exhibition sectors, and explores the use of different media for integrated design solutions. He co-founded yucolab in 2006 when he partnered his interactive multi-media design company, N.T. Lab, with award-winning Hollywood-based creative design firm yU+co. In 2007, Perspective Magazine commended him as one of the 40 outstanding design professionals under the age of 40 in Greater China. He continues to lecture in multimedia, electronic arts and design-related departments of various universities and institutions in Hong Kong.
End of the Road — a Work by Ng Tsz-Kwan
Extended Exhibition of FALSE SPACES Hong Kong and Japan Media Art Exchange Project
Date: 2020.09.05 – 09.27
Time: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 20:00
Venue: 香港藝術中心五樓包氏畫廊 Pao Galleries, 5/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Photos courtesy to the artist and Hong Kong Arts Centre