⟨ Art ⟩

Liquefied Sunshine

Luke Ching

Words / Vennes Cheng
Translation / Iris Heung

官式場合總會以天氣打開話匣子。「今天天氣少有的放晴,我們的對話應該會有良好進展。」、「今日忽然下大雨,但我相信憑籍雙方努力,一定會改善目前的狀況。」……天氣變化,對應人間的政治社會氣候。香港藝術家程展緯的作品中都充滿隱喻及寓言。《天氣報告:液化陽光》是程氏2014年的作品,最近重新展出。作品中將香港及台灣兩地的天氣視覺化,以天氣隱喻兩地的狀況。

程展緯的創作構想是在香港及台北兩地的美術館前製造一場人造雨,作品的靈感是來自2014年台灣的太陽花學運期間,台北當局出動水炮車驅趕學生。程展緯覺得此舉「沒新意但卻荒唐,就像電影中情侶鬧翻時失理志拿起檯上水杯向對方潑水一樣,終止對話。」只製造破壞,沒有為僵局打開缺口。巧合的是同年夏天,颱風為香港帶來大雨並打破了大型商場的天花板,一場「水舞間」在商場的美食廣場中上演。程氏於是聯想到大雨可以令雙方多點以對方角度去思考,於是借來水炮車在台北美街館前及晴天之下造了一場人造雨。他也在香港藝術館前造了一場假雨,雨水將城市的面貌模糊掉。程氏更收集印有不同城市景觀的明信片,然後在其上塗滿如雨水的斜槓,直至城市景觀被完全遮蓋。

Weather is always one of the best conversation starters in most formal occasions. “The sky seems to have cleared up today. Our conversation should be going well.” “The rain started pouring down suddenly, but I believe our concerted efforts will definitely improve our current situation.” What would we see if we juxtapose weather conditions and the socio-political climate in our society? Hong Kong artist Luke Ching Chin Wai is known for the metaphor and euphemism used in his works. The Liquefied Sunshine series was done in 2014 and recently got exhibited again. The artist borrowed the weather conditions in Hong Kong and Taiwan as a metaphor to explore the socio-political situations and relationship between the two places.

Inspired by how the police used high-pressure water cannon to disperse the protesters during the Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan, Ching’s original idea was to create artificial rain in front of the gallery in both Hong Kong and Taipei. Ching’s artistic intention was to parody the absurd act of using water cannon to disrupt a conversation that he found just like a fighting couple irrationally throwing a glass of water at each other. Such action is only doing damage without helping the conversation. During the summer in the same year, a powerful typhoon lashed Hong Kong, water started pouring into a shopping mall after its roof got struck by the heavy rain. The heavy rain inspired Ching to employ water cannons to create artificial rain in front of the Taipei Fine Art Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art. A new perspective of looking at the city is created when its landscape is blurred by the rain. Ching also collected postcards of city landmarks and fully obscured the image by applying white ink to mimic the effect of rain.

明信片上的斜槓既如雨水,也像是把一切刪掉重啟的象徵符號。在明信片上的城市沒有清晰面貌,斜槓既刪除也重塑城市。關於大雨,程氏引聖經中挪亞方舟的故事作為寓言「上帝為了懲罰人類,下了四十天四十夜的雨,洗涮大地,香港是一個充滿罪惡的城巿。」

藝術中的隱喻對應了歷史,在2014年的五年後水炮車駛進香港。

The blurring marks on the postcards not only resemble traces of rain but also symbolizes the destructive power of water. The city landscapes on the postcards have been erased by these marks. Ching quoted Noah’s chapter from the Bible where “God made it rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth”, trying to associate heavy rain and Hong Kong as a city full of sins.

Art sometimes hides a secret narrative to respond to history. Five years after 2014, a water cannon truck was deployed in Hong Kong.