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Hong Kong participated in the Salone d’Onore at La Triennale di Milano. The exhibition is called Constant Change – a theme that is very Hong Kong-esque given its historical and demographics background.

 

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I was genuinely, pleasantly surprised. The red lamp shades were used in the street market by butchers to make the meat looks redder and fresher. Have not seen them for years  – I really did not expect to see them in a museum in Italy.

 

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The exhibition has a decent web site, go here and explore. Try the app too.

 

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The curator said this about the show:

Hong Kong is a disjointed city. The parts of the city are not coherent, … Hong Kong appears disjointed but when you look at it street by street, it is actually harmonious in its own way. It is just totally different from any city in Europe. Hong Kong is always changing and it changes so fast. That’s why you get inspired. It looks to the future rather than the past, …

 

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… When you walk the streets of Hong Kong, you can see what happened twenty years ago and what may happen in the next twenty years. It appears a very modern city, but at same time it’s full of contradictions: it’s crafty and digital, traditional and breaking tradition – all at the same time.

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The center piece is an immersive multimedia show playback-ed on six giant screens.

 

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Six synchronized sequences of images ran concurrently in a loop, accompanied by a soundtrack whose propulsive, almost droning rhythm and melody really matched the images and held the piece together. I do not know who made the soundtrack. It was good. I am a Philip Glass fan and generally liked this style of music. I was really glad that the soundtrack sounded new and fresh.

 

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From time to time, a QR code appears and the viewers are encouraged to scan it with a smartphone which opens an app and provides more content and interactions. I did not try it but it sounded like a good idea (very 21st century !).

 

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They served visitors instant coffee in little cups. They had a reason for doing it but I forgot …  White letters and words on the floor reproduce those signages found on Hong Kong’s streets.

 

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The multimedia show is bookended by poster art by local artists and examples of work created by local design craftsman – zinc metal boxes for letters, mahjong tiles, etc.

 

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It says “Not, Perfect”.

 

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The audiovisual sequences featured the famous Star Ferry which shuttles between Hong Kong Island and the tip of the Kowloon peninsula. The ships are bi-directional – they do not have to make a U-turn after docking.

 

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Growing up in Hong Kong, I travelled on those ships thousands of times and remember those chairs really well. The wooden back support, hinged in the middle between the front and back legs, can be tilted to a different position. Depending on the direction of the sailing, the seated passengers can all face forward and do not have to travel backwards.

 

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“Change is the only constant. That is perhaps the most forthright statement – trite as it may seem – to describe Hong Kong.”
 

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2 Comments

  1. You traveled and adventured all over the world and look where you ended up. Virtually in Hong Kong.


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