GB Agency

Pak Sheung Chuen

07 Jun - 19 Jul 2014

© Pak Sheung Chuen
Exhibition view
'Space-time parallel 2012.5.27-2012.6.9 / 2014.5.27-2014.6.9', gb agency, Paris, 2014
Photo credit Marc Domage
Space-time parallel 2012.5.27-2012.6.9 / 2014.5.27-2014.6.9
7 June - 19 July 2014

The works of Pak Sheung Chuen are transient in, or barely passing through the institutions of the art world: they are conceived, developed and carried out at its edges. Their raw materials--everyday affairs and situations, no matter how unremarkable—redefine nonetheless the role of the audience. Everything is in motion: ideas are translated into text which becomes the basis of a dialogue, which then takes form in space. The works are of the here and now. Pak Sheung Chuen manufactures the very space of his work, and instigates an encounter that triggers reflection. Though it doesn’t leave a trace, the work is in situ, thus creating its own context.

From 2003-2007 Pak Sheung Chuen worked for the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao. His reports led him to focus on the mundane and to expose the potential of ordinary situations. The artist’s turn toward media and the public arena extended his focus, and the practice of daily reporting informed his approach: the collection and organization of his ideas in notebooks became the veritable databases for projects that could be made at a later time.

The work often has to do with movement. A trip is at once a spiritual experience (covering his eyes during a trip to Malaysia and being led around by strangers), the redefinition of space using the artist’s own body as a measuring stick, and a meeting place where chance is welcomed. Pak Sheung Chuen creates situations which expose the potential relationships between people, whose connections are made through his work. Walking is another reference point between place and its representation, as was the case when Pak Sheung Chuen took himself in real time to the locales hidden from view in the folds of maps in guidebooks.

The artist juxtaposes various thought systems (Western and Asian conceptual traditions) and purviews (public and private) for exhibition space and real life (as when the artist returns home with visitors to museum biennials).
In response to our invitation, Pak Sheung Chuen suggested prolonging these human links. He returns to his notebooks written in 2012, which are exhibited like a maze in Level One. The installation highlights both the importance of writing for the artist and the role of interpreter played by the audience. The public embraces the text and the White Cube becomes a meditative enclosure. The columns of journals transform into a physical and mental experience.
During the same period, Pak Sheung Chuen will meet one person each day who will be asked to relive their memories. That exchange produces a performance, a work, a new idea. Those results will also be recorded and shown during the exhibition.

"May 27 to June 9, 2014 are the dates of my trip to Paris. I selected the contents from Notes L written during the same period two years ago and this time I am using them as creative material. The focal point of my work, Notes L is a collection of ideas that come to me in quiet moments during everyday life. The ideas could be transformed into actions to change the world, although the fact that they exist in me has already changed me.
For this exhibition, I’m making Notes L from May 27 to June 9, 2012 public. At the same time, I’ll pick one idea every day and invite a random Parisian to work with me and share their memories with me of that day. 
The core of he work is a textual installation. In parallel there will be works that I’ve made myself or with the public’s participation during my time in Paris, including Notes L, which I’ll write during my fourteen day stay."

Via travel and while appearing in Paris, the project links two cultures, and the present revitalizes ideas from the past. If the process of creating is individual, the aspiration of the work is collective. From a miniscule starting point, the artist recreates relationships with the larger world, and reanimates human interactions. The work inhabits a porous and indeterminate zone found somewhere between the intimate and the communal.

Pak Sheung Chuen was born in Fujian, China, and has lived since childhood in Hong Kong.

Tags: Pak Sheung Chuen, Li Ming