Hong Kong Residency at AVA

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

1st November - 22nd November 2020

I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to do this residency in Hong Kong. Walking through the city with its sparkling towers leaning up into the night sky seems like a magic dream in this Covid era. Hong Kong was particularly unpredictable at this time as much of the city was in a state of protest and disruption.

Arriving at the AVA Kai Tak campus I was struck by its beauty and its transcultural atmosphere. Its history felt embedded in the building, formerly the British RAF headquarters built in the colonial era with a Victorian sensibility but with spectacular views of the city. Shuttered windows overlooking the roads way below, the place was a maze of studios and workshops milling with dedicated and friendly brilliant students immersed in their work or in discussion. All the incredibly helpful staff and students formed an amazing sense of community along with the other artists in residence.

The local shopping area by the MTR station Choi Hung was perfect for my work – the shops were unique, and the area had many people sitting around, it had a real local community feeling. Lots of fascinating abandoned materials immediately dictated the kind of sculpture I would make alongside my paintings during this residency. I wandered around the estate and carefully collected materials to make a largish sculptural construction in the corridor outside my studio. I always recall an anthropologist explaining how rubbish is very important source for investigating a society. I was interested in combining the ecological with a strong sculptural presence.

Focussing in my beautiful studio on the strangeness of travel and how my body was lifted and transferred to this magic city, I created a small sculpture and four paintings, one with an image of a finger and one a leg, both adorned with a flow of thoughts fragments, imaginations, glimpses of things seen, reflecting my feelings in this futuristic megacity.

The work is being shown at Hanart TZ show in its new location in Hong Kong in a group show called ‘Moving’.

Andrew Stahl