Between Waiting And Resisting
Au Man Kit
Opening 9 March 2019, 5-8pm
9-30 March 2019
9-30 March 2019
Opening: Saturday 9 March, 5-8pm
Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 1-6pm
Hidden Space is delighted to present Between Waiting And Resisting, a solo exhibition by AU Man Kit (HK).
In this video installation, Au scrutinises the everyday ordinariness of home, of work, of day to day living, and shows the innate tensions between the comfort and contempt of the familiar. The very particular location is Au’s family restaurant and the local playground just steps away. In examining the detailed texture of his surroundings, Au renders the everyday visible. The specificity of this restaurant, where he has known the fittings, fixtures and people his entire life, the fabric of this place, touched with timeworn care and hard graft is examined and intertwined with the complex demands of an inner life, a yearning for some kind of elusive rite of passage that may never come.
Au focuses on the downtime, the dead periods between meal service, when food prep happens or there is nothing to do but wait. We feel the stifling monotony even as the very objects and acts that create it are rendered beautiful. While the life here is all too relentlessly real, is real life happening elsewhere?
In a Hong Kong that is almost defined by rapid turnover and novelty seeking, there is a nostalgic longing and desire for preservation of just this kind of place, even as trendy new coffee shops proliferate. When longed for progress contains alienation from the things we hold dear, how are we to reconcile our competing identities and needs?
This is the inaugural exhibition of the Hidden Space Award, given to an outstanding artist graduating from the RMIT University and Hong Kong Art School BAFA programme.
AU Man Kit (HK) received his BAFA from RMIT Australia in 2018. He works across photography, installation and video. With a background in a traditional family-run Chinese restaurant, Au’s recent work has been influenced by the restaurant environment, its internal ‘circadian’ rhythm, the intense service periods and the dead times between, the relentlessness of repetitive tasks and the complex relationship between comfort and contempt of the familiar. This intense scrutiny of the everyday and its inherent tensions informs his art practice.
In his graduating year, Au’s artwork was selected for three exhibitions showcasing the best of emerging artists in Hong Kong and the region: First Smash 5, Art Foundation Gallery, Hong Kong; Fresh Trend 2018, Hong Kong City Hall; and HKFOREWARD 18, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong. He has also exhibited in Croatia and Australia.