Elephant West, April 2019
Presented by Edouard Malingue Gallery
Supported by Courtauld Institute, King’s College London, School of Oriental and African Studies, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and Art AV.
‘Dreams, illusions, phantom flowers’ was a collaborative moving image project at Elephant West exploring ‘duality’ and how it manifests itself in our daily lives. Focusing on moving image works from Asia and its diaspora, it brought together Wong Ping (b. 1984, Hong Kong), Ho Tzu Nyen (b. 1976. Singapore), Samson Young (b. 1979, Hong Kong), João Vasco Paiva (b. 1979, Portugal), Tao Hui (1987, China), Kwan Sheung Chi (b. 1980, Hong Kong), Su-Mei Tse (b. 1973, Luxembourg) and Hu Xiangqian (b. 1983, China).
The multi-screen project took as a point of departure verse 45 from Hsin Hsin Ming (Faith in Mind), a succinct statement of Mahayana or personal enlightenment by Seng Ts’An (529-606 A.D.), the third Chinese patriarch of Zen Buddhism, translated in 1982 by George Brecht:
Dreams, illusions, phantom flowers / Why trouble to reach for (them)?
Ultimately, ‘Dreams, illusions, phantom flowers’ explores representations of one’s life, notions of ‘otherness’, as well as the disparity between what one means, says and does. Considerations that through the medium of moving image are heightened and familiar, especially in an age of social media and technology, which is at the heart of cultivated manifestations of the self.
Public programme participants: Shen Xin (Artist), Ying Tan (Curator, CFCCA), Dr. Leon Rocha (Professor, Chinese Studies, Liverpool University), Suki Chan (Artist), John Hyatt (Artist and Musician; Professor, Contemporary Art, LJMU; Director, ART LABS), Thomas Dukes (Curator, Open Eye Gallery), Charwei Tsai (Artist), Mike Pinnington (Co-Founder, The Double Negative; Content Editor, Tate Liverpool) and Stephanie Bailey (Writer/Critic).
Installation view, ‘Dreams, illusions, phantom flowers’, Elephant West, London, U.K., 2019. Image courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery.