Christopher K. Ho 何恩懷 - Embassy S ites

Exhibition dates 展覽日期:13.7-18.8.2019

Christopher K. Ho’s solo exhibition Embassy S ites, the multi-component show includes new sculptural, sonic, architectural, and two-dimensional work. It continues Ho’s investigation into the perils and potentials of transnationalism. The topic resonates with the artist, who since 2016 has with greater frequency returned to Hong Kong after living and working in the States for several decades. 

An outsized SIM card propped up on two yoga mats greets the viewer and announces mobility as a theme. SIM Card is rendered in three sheets of plate glass which are gold-leafed on five sides. Acknowledging the exhibition’s location inside Eaton HK Hotel, the gallery has been resized to an average for hotel rooms. Occupying much of it is a bed with an elongated duvet cover that has been dyed using a batik technique. 3720 324038 71000’s dimensions and color matches that of an American Express Platinum card. The numbers are John Podesta’s, a central figure in the Russian hacking of the US election. The letters “MER” are also highlighted, and recall a miniature bottle of Crème de la Mer on a shelf outside. 

The roars of 747 Jumbo jets occasionally punctuate the space. Jumbo, a sound piece, nods to Jordan, once directly on the flight path to Kai Tak, where planes arrived and departed every 1 minute 36 seconds. Airplanes, along with hotels, form an at times invisible infrastructure that eases and encourages the global circulation of bio-capital and ideas. Indeed, Hilton hotels once functioned as de facto US consulates. One of its sub-brands, Embassy Suites, informs the exhibition’s title: “Embassy S ites”, in WhatsApp’s typeset and distinct green, dominates one wall. 

Two final works, Triangle and Diplomacy, address key events for Hong Kong. Through a slit in one wall is Eaton HK’s own Christmas tree. It is accompanied by reproductions of two still lives in the White House’s collection that inspired Patricia Nixon’s Christmas decoration from 1972, the year of President Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to China—an event that arguably heralded today’s world order. Elsewhere are thirty glass balls with ornaments laser etched inside, and stacked as if they were cannonballs. 

Diplomacy is a vertically stacked set of the 1984 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica cut at a 30 degree angle. Slipped inside the “Year in Review” volume, on the entry about the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, is a copy of Emperor Qianlong’s 1793 letter to King George III printed on vellum. At a moment of renewed nationalisms, Ho examines subjects, to use Aihwa Ong’s elegant phrase, who are “caught between two empires”—a phrase especially germane for Hong Kong, and for many of its residents.

 【About Christopher K. Ho】

Christopher K. Ho  (b. Hong Kong, 1974)  is a speculative artist based in New York, Hong Kong, and Telluride, Colorado. He is known for a practice that includes object making, institution building, writing, and teaching. His multi-component projects address privilege, community, and capital, and draw equally from learned material about, and lived encounters with, power and otherness in an unevenly de-colonialized, increasingly networked world. Recent solo exhibitions include “Aloha to the World at the Don Ho Terrace” (2018) at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, “Dear John” (2018) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and “CX 888” (2018) at de Sarthe Gallery in Hong Kong. He has additionally exhibited at the Queens Museum, the Cranbrook Art Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, MASSMoCA, Para Site, Storm King, and in the Incheon Biennial and the Busan Biennale, among other venues. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Artforum, YISHU, Art in America, Modern Painters, LEAP, Hyperallergic, and ArtReview. He is currently at work on projects for the Times Museum and the Yeh Art Gallery at St. John’s University. He received his BFA and BS from Cornell University and his MPhil from Columbia University.

何恩懷個展《Embassy S ites》由多種不同元素所構成,從雕塑、聲音、到具建築性及平面性的作品。何氏持續研究著跨國主義的各種潛力與危機。在何恩懷到美國定居及工作的數十年後,當他於2016年起不斷地重返其出身地香港,跨國主義這個議題一直深深圍繞著藝術家自身的思考。

在兩張瑜伽墊上迎面著觀眾的,是一塊超大型的SIM卡,以此宣告著「流動」作為是次的主題。《SIM Card》是由三塊五面鍍金的平板玻璃所製成。同時為了呼應著是次展覽場地其實是藏身於Eaton HK酒店內,藝廊被重新改造成一個325平方呎,相等於一般酒店房面積的空間。其中佔據著大部份的空間是一張鋪上了羽絨被的大號床,羽絨被是經由蠟染技術所染色的。

《3720 324038 71000》的尺寸和顏色也是根據美國運通白金信用卡而設計的。這些數字是源自於希拉蕊競選總幹事波德斯塔(John Podesta),波德斯塔是上次美國大選被俄羅斯駭入的關鍵人物。同時,作品上也標示了字母「MER」,呼應著另一作品《Le Mer》上的一小瓶Crème de la Mer。

與此同時,波音747的轟鳴聲偶爾會劃破整個空間。《Jumbo》是一段聲頻作品,越過佐敦,直接飛往舊啟德機場的飛行路線,根據記錄,每隔1分36秒便會有一架飛機抵達並離開。飛機與酒店之間形成了一個無形但具有時間性的基建設施,以促進「生命資本」(bio-capital)和形形式式的想法在全球化下的流動。而事實上,希爾頓酒店亦曾經扮演過作為美國領事館般的存在。希爾頓集團旗下的一個子品牌「尊盛酒店」(Embassy Suites),成為了是次展覽的標題:《Embassy S ites》,以WhatsApp的排字方式及其標誌性的綠色,懸掛在展覽空間中的一幅牆上。

來到最後的兩件作品,《Triangle》 和《Diplomacy》,這些作品分別敘述了發生在香港的一些重要時刻。透過牆壁中間的裂縫所窺視到的是Eaton HK的聖誕樹。與此伴隨著的裝飾是兩件來自白宮藏品的複製品,這兩個藏品是源自於1972年時任第一夫人帕特尼克遜所擁有的聖誕裝飾,1972年同時也是尼克遜總統破天荒訪華的年份 - 這個事件彷佛是預示了當今世界局面的境象。在展覽的空間中,還有三十個經過激光雕刻的玻璃球,像砲彈般堆疊起來。

《Diplomacy》是由一疊經30度角所切割的1984年版大英百科全書所組成的。揭起書冊的「年度回顧」篇章,你會翻到1984年關於《中英聯合聲明》的條目,在此之上的羊皮紙,是當年由乾隆皇帝於1973年寫給英皇佐治三世的信件副本。在這個對民族主義產生疑惑的世代,何氏探索著這個議題,並引述了人類學者王愛華一句精闢的話語 - 他們「夾在兩個帝國之間」,一語道出了對於香港及許多香港人心中的焦慮。  


何恩懷(b. 1974,香港)是一位以紐約、香港及科羅拉多州特柳賴德為根據地的思辯型藝術家。他的創作模式涉及到物件製作、機構性方案、寫作和教學。他多面向的藝術項目包括了詮釋特權、社群和資本相關的話題 。靈感取材於權力和「他者」文化,在不平等的去殖化並日漸追求人脈的世界進行探索,何恩懷最近的個展包括了於紐約布朗克斯藝術博物館的《你好世界,来自何大來露台》(2018) 、布魯克林音樂學院的《Dear John》(2018) 以及香港德薩畫廊的《CX 888》(2018)。他的作品曾在皇后區博物館,克蘭布魯克藝術博物館、MASSMoCA、Para Site、Storm King以及仁川雙年展(2009)和釜山雙年展(2008)等場地展出。有關他作品的評論並曾於Artforum、Art in America、ArtReview、Hyperallergic、LEAP、Modern Painters、The New York Times、Ran Dian等出版物刊登。何恩懷目前準備於時代美術館及St John's University的Yeh Art Gallery展出的項目。何恩懷於康乃爾大學取得藝術學士及理學士學位,其後於哥倫比亞大學取得哲學碩士學位。