Tsang Kin-Wah always works with text in his artworks, using stong statements and foul language to make a direct comment about various aspects of modern life. The text is initially concealed, either in a pattern or in the space, requiring the viewer to look closer as the installations are never what they initially seem.
In the gallery space at Chinese Arts Centre, Tsang presents a minimal text installation inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror movieThe Shining. Through the work Tsang aims to raise our awareness of the violence and danger that lies hidden in our surroundings: “People are reluctant to see the darker side of the world and focus on the happy, image of a place. I want to show people that despite appearances, a harsh, brutal side exists, which is something we may not want to recognise”
The dark, seemingly blank space demands close inspection for the work to become known. As the viewer traces the glossy transparent text running around the walls, edited sound clips from the movie create an increasing tension. The extremely offensive phrases combine with the dark environment and menacing sound to create a sensory experience that challenges our preference of turning a blind eye to the violence and danger in the world around us.
The second work, I Love U, is a pattern installation in the bathrooms at Chinese Arts Centre. At first glance the work seems like a beautiful pattern wallpaper. On closer inspection, you realise it is a delicate combination of English and Chinese text arranged in a floral pattern swirling around the space. In this private interior space where people loosen themselves, the work exposes a reality about many private, personal relationships. Phrases such as “I love your visa card” and “I love your handsome face” are hidden in the pretty pattern. Appearing in pink, an iconic colour for romance, I Love U playfully challenges us to ask whether ‘I love you’ is really valid if some or all of that love depends on wealth, possessions, looks or physique.
Tsang Kin-Wah was born in China in 1976 and graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2000 and completed his MA at the Camberwell College of Arts, London in 2003. He has exhibited extensively in group exhibitions worldwide and had solo shows at the Yvon Lambert in Paris (2008) and New York (2007), Art-U room, Tokyo (2006) and John Batten Gallery, Hong Kong (2005). Tsang has been awarded the Tokyo TDC Prize 2007, Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2005 and the Prize of Excellence, Hong Kong Biennial 2001.
For email interviews, images and further information on Chinese Arts Centre, please contact Felicity Clarke at Chinese Arts Centre on:
+44 (0) 161 832 7271
Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1EU
+44 (0)161 832 7271
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