SYDNEY. 21 JANUARY – 19 MARCH 2017.
Luke Ching, Liu Ding, Yuan Goang-Ming, James Kong, Tang Kwok Hin, Sarah Lai, Swing Lam, Ellen Pau and Sampson Wong.
Before the onset of a downpour there is a moment of heavy humidity that hangs low in the air. Building over time it signals the inevitability of a deluge that will interrupt and intercept patterns of normality. For Hong Kong, a city defined by humidity, the deluge that began on September 28 2014 was the result of a long and steady buildup of uncertainty, anxiety and the long held need to articulate a cohesive identity for the city. Before the Rain addresses the tensions that precipitated the recent political and civil urgency in Hong Kong and the city’s pressing need to reimagine its future.
The exhibiting artists frame the conversation from a multiplicity of perspectives presenting the complexity and concerns of a city facing a future planned by others. They approach the city with an intent to protect it; their works may appear as warnings but they are underpinned by a need to safeguard. Commissioned for the exhibition is a new work by Sampson Wong that transforms the entrance gallery into a narration of the Umbrella Movement. Ephemera taken from the streets, continuous loops of CCTV and news footage, blogs, tweets and newspapers will populate the gallery inviting the viewer to sift through the materials and navigate their own opinion of a city in flux. Before the Rain responds to a continuously evolving discourse, proving to be one of the most critical events in South East Asia’s recent history.