Chan Ka Kiu 陳嘉翹 x RNH Space: 

Shivering Torso, Mellow Marrow


on hold

Curatorial Statement

The English title of Chan Ka Kiu’s solo presentation at RNH Space, Shivering Torso, Mellow Marrow, reflects the artist’s similar realisation. The programme is presenting Chan’s latest artworks and probing the layered diversity and depth of her praxis, in terms of not only her artistic practice but also her ways of handling life.

One should notice that in Chan Ka Kiu’s idiosyncratic video works, she always prefers to create juicy narratives to lightheartedly disguise words that hold heavy weights at heart, with self-consciousness in small doses. In Shivering Torso, Mellow Marrow, Chan unprecedentedly attempts to take off this sheer sugar coating she hides underneath and mentally eases up the tension of her pride, whilst humbly opens up and lets thoughts and emotions flow naturally.

To make Chan’s novel approach this time more distinct, the programme starts by presenting online her old work Unreadable Books (2020) comprising a series of five books, unreadable for they have only book covers but no inside pages. In comparison, at the physical exhibition of the programme, however, Chan’s new works similarly use artist books as the container, embodying materials that have received totally different treatments. The compilation of deconstructed then reassembled materials surpasses the level of a simple collection of images, objects or texts, and fosters unique narratives concerning anthropology, memories, love and enlightenment.

There are two highlights of the installation, leading to the essentially open-ended interpretation of the whole viewing experience which is parallel to the Chinese title of the programme, literally translated as “The Navel of Eve”, a concept that points directly to an unanswerable question.

On one hand, the books are placed carefully in lucid reading devices which are transformed from disinfectant tanks, each with two open holes built in a pair of rubber gloves. These tanks originally have appeared in scenes of conducting laboratory experiments, providing highly controlled condition for handling toxins or contagious viruses, or taking care of a vulnerable infant. Now only in the gloves’ protection can the viewers touch and read the books, maintaining the rules of “NO TOUCHING” in art viewing etiquette thanks to that layer of rubber, whilst being granted the permission to get the closest they can to the art.

On the other, Chan also transforms the whole space into an extravagant installation. The installation works as a silent mysterious invitation, as it instantly absorbs the viewers and triggers their viewing process the moment they enter the space, to transcend the reading of two-dimensional pages and provide an immersive experience of art viewing. Nevertheless, the viewers are not really reading the books until they determine to put their hands into the gloves and flip the pages, by which means their motivation to see the art is neither reinforced nor reduced by the artist's laissez-faire attitude.

The exhibition demonstrates a philosophical thinking process without really telling any hard facts or giving any instructions. At the end of the day, we are all in our solitude as individual thinkers but opening up for other people’s presence.

陳嘉翹於RNH Space的小展「夏娃的肚臍」,將藝術家內心與莫梭類同的感悟,盡顯於英文展題「Shivering Torso, Mellow Marrow」之上,指向一種坦白的行徑與坦誠的態度。是次計劃將展出陳嘉翹新作,並以此作為探針,引導觀者一頭扎進其藝術創作與人生態度的深海中一窺究竟。







About Chan Ka Kiu 陳嘉翹

Chan Ka Kiu (b.1995 Canada, Toronto) is a Hong Kong based artist. Graduated in year 2017 from Chinese University of Hong Kong Fine Arts Department. Focusing on intangible mundane bizarreries in mortal secular lives, Chan romanticizes daily scenarios in playful but honest puns. In a physically eco-unfriendly industry, Art, Chan attempts to be a ditally eco-friendly artist making good use of this generation’s over-flooding still and moving images produced everyday.  Chan’s previous exhibitions includes solo exhibition “Don’t come so fast, darling” (Hong Kong Art Basel 2019, Parasite) “A Tree fall in the woods and no one’s there” (Shanghai PSA 2018).

陳嘉翹 (1995年生於加拿大多倫多, 現居於香港) 2017畢業於中文大學藝術系。陳氏用浪漫的玩味誠實地探討關於生活情節的輕重,並以影像和裝置作為主要媒介,描述她生於的世代/地方的態度,以藝術為方式去練習敏感。陳氏曾參與的展覽包括個展「慢慢嚟啦,打令」(香港巴塞爾藝術節, Para Site展位, 2019),聯展「林中的樹倒下而没有人在」(上海當代藝術博物館,2018) 。

Happy Birthday, 2020, scented wax, candle wick
what do you know outside, 2020, mirror, plastic ornate frame, plastic bag

it’s hard I’m soft, 2020, silicon, light clay
Things I want to tell you, but you won’t want to know, 2020, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, acrylic

How to be real, 2020, felt, cat hair, (blood)

© 2021 RNH Space. All Rights Reserved.