Postponed since March 2020 due to the pandemic, the second exhibition has transformed into the seventh chapter in the 'Homeland in Transit' curatorial series with the German title HEIMAT im WANDEL in which Martin Brauen, cultural anthropologist specialising in Tibet and the Himalayas and curator, and Hong Kong curator Angelika Li attempt to interweave respective perspectives and experiences of Swiss-Tibetan artist Sonam Dolma Brauen, and six Hong Kong artists Hung Fai, Lee Ka Sing, Leung Chi Wo, MAP Office, Lulu Ngie and Wai Pong Yu. Despite many differences, the two places share something in common: the sense of homeland of its inhabitants is constantly being questioned and reinterpreted. How do the artists perceive these transformations and how do they represent it in their art?
The new expansion of 'Through the Clouds' opens in Basel this month. Following exhibitions in Murrhardt and Berlin during June and July that featured works by Hong Kong artists Luke Ching, Lo Lai Lai Natalie and Yim Sui Fong, curator Angelika Li has invited German/Swiss duo Copa & Sordes, Swiss sculptor Dorothee Sauter as well as Hong Kong painters Hung Fai and Wai Pong Yu to join in this latest chapter. With diverse mediums including paintings, ink on paper, sculptures, videos and installations, this transit further explores the boundless idea of the cloud as part of the hydrological cycle along with the wind and rain.
How does this cycle impact on and reflect our current climate and situations? From different perspectives, how do the artists perceive the transformations, if not turbulences? Are we going through a test of our resilience in unpredictable environments? Are we bound within the new realities or breaking through? Are we like clouds, going where the wind blows, by chance?
The sense of change, unpredictability and floatingness echoes literary references echoes from English poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Chinese poet Xu Zhimo (1897-1831) and Hong Kong novelist Xi Xi (1937-) which offer much inspiration to this chapter. In ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ (1798), Wordsworth personifies himself as a melancholic cloud that aimlessly drifts ‘high o’er vales and hills’ and brings us to contemplate on the disappearance of things dear to us. In a very different context and in his tempestuous style, Xu opens his poem ‘By Chance’ (1926) with ‘I am a cloud in the sky…’, expressing the inevitable nature and qualities of change, unpredictability and impermanence between the cloud and water, ‘the sea in the darkness’ and ‘the glow that sparked between us as we crossed our paths’. Xi Xi opens her novel ‘The Floating City’ (1986) with René Magritte’s ‘The Castle of the Pyrenees’ (1959) on a big rock suspending in the air above a rough sea as the visual imagery: 'Rolling clouds swirled by above; waves crashed on the swelling sea below…There had been a violent collision of clouds lighting up the sky with flashes and roars of thunder…Suddenly the floating city had dropped from the clouds and hung in midair.’
The exhibition opens in the Old Town of Basel on Thursday, 16 September and will be on view from 17 September to 2 October by appointment only: firstname.lastname@example.org and +41 7678 1 7678.
Covid-19 safety: masks required inside the gallery.
Previous venues of this chapter:
Ein Fenster inmitten der Welt at Wolkenhof, Murrhardt, Germany
4 June - 22 July
Momentum, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin