Upcoming Exhibition

Your Warmth is the Cut of My Flesh

Mindy Lui & Shawn Pakhin Tang
Duo Exhibition

20 Nov to 11 Dec 2022

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Your Warmth is the Cut of My Flesh

Mindy Lui & Shawn Pakhin Tang

Duo Exhibition

Opening Sat 19 Nov, 4-8pm

20 Nov to 11 Dec 2022

Fri to Sun, 1-6pm

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Hidden Space is delighted to present Your Warmth is the Cut of My Flesh, a duo exhibition by Mindy Lui & Shawn Pakhin Tang. They join forces here to respond to each other’s practice, and whilst there are distinct artworks, together they present a single entwined installation.

 

Both artists find common ground in taking everyday objects and rendering them into strange, allusive devices, multiplied here to the point of both absurdity and potential threat. The floor is alive with the constant flicker and faint noise of hundreds of compass needles on repurposed clock mechanisms, proliferating in a mass of electrical cables. Instead of the self-contained simple battery-operated clock, these are re-engineered to run off the electricity supply, to take up more rather than less space, to announce their energy use, using every socket and multiple extensions. Brightly coloured soap casts emerge as nodes from this cable network, their moulds taken variously from organic material, manufactured medical instruments and engine parts. Are they endpoints, are they active, or primed to be activated? If so, to what purpose? These are Tang’s, along with heat lamps designed to support vital reptilian body regulation, but clustered and caged here, giving off life-affirming warmth but also signalling danger.

 

At the centre, Lui’s parallel videos show a woman from her bare shoulders up, her head covered in electrical devices and electrodes. On opposing screens, we see her face-on and facing away. In her almost motionless subjugation to the machines, it is impossible to know whether she feels pleasure or pain, whether her experience is eagerly anticipated or endured, or both. For all her unknowability, we are confronted with the intimacy of her vulnerable bare flesh in the midst of a matrix of electrical equipment, of which she has become a part. Is she in charge or merely another node, a cyborg part of the system, subsumed into a larger organism? 

 

The devices here are not individually particularly complex, the parts and functions are traceable, things made to quantify, measure, direct, pulse, warm. Clocks, compasses, heat lamps, massagers – an array of things made to harness and regulate invisible phenomena, but here they are realigned to become parts of a new system. A hybrid machine, a sensate network. As we become ever more connected with and via machines, will they serve us or obliterate us? How far along are we in controlling or being controlled? In Your Warmth is the Cut of My Flesh there is still space for some dark retrofuture romance, but where is the tipping point?

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Mindy LUI (HK) obtained her BA in Fine Arts from the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University in 2020. She works primarily with drawing and painting, and increasingly experiments with adjacent video installation. Focusing on the material cultures of various everyday objects, her practice examines the value ascribed to manmade objects and opens up the possibilities of intimacy and the bond between humans and objects.

 

She has exhibited in Hong Kong, including at Ben Brown Fine Arts, Contemporary by Angela Li, De Sarthe Gallery, Wure Area, and AVA Baptist University. Lui has also exhibited internationally, at Kino Roland, Zurich, Switzerland and Providence University Art Centre Taichung, Taiwan.

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Shawn Pakhin TANG (HK) received his bachelor's degree from the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University and is currently undertaking his MA at the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany. His practice encompasses diverse forms and mediums, with sculptures and installations often presenting combinations and manipulations of found objects, industrial materials, and analogue electronic-related components. Based on the physical properties of the materials, his visual and conceptual expressions consider the context of the materials, which may present one or more observable systems and transformation of the material nature, examining and encountering everyday topics with themes of danger, shifts in power, boundaries, tensions and mobility.


Tang's artworks have been exhibited in Germany, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has recently participated in exhibitions and projects including “Sojourners of the World” (AVA, 2022), “Landescape 0.3” (2021), “Residual Heat” (Axel Vervoordt Gallery 2021), “BED THROW” (Wure Area, 2021).