地址：Over The Influence（香港中環荷里活道159號1樓）
After visiting the up-and-coming Chinese artist Huang Xiaoliang’s “Nightfall” exhibition, I found myself deep in thought about my favorite time of day. But alas, my ruminations ended inconclusively. To the artist, it seems that dusk–the moment before twilight fades into night–was his most beloved time of day. Why couldn’t I decide what time of day was my favorite? I felt embarrassed that I had no answer. The feeling is similar to that awkward moment when your mind goes blank after someone asks you about your interests. After taking the long staircase in the exhibition, my gaze was immediately drawn to the giant silhouette of a fan projected onto the wall and the air conditioner in the middle of the gallery. I had a few seconds to associate them. But then, my attention was averted to the bird cries that played in the background. Moreover, the accompanying video recordings had somehow transported me into someone’s house in China’s Hunan Province. Nay, it was a house from the artist’s own memories. As my steps traced the fan’s silhouette, I saw many more nostalgic scenes playing back at me. Then I saw these black and white pieces from Huang’s earlier days, neatly arranged under a row of spotlights on the side. The semidarkness that presided over these pieces were an expression of Huang’s beloved hour of twilight.
Huang’s more recent series “Nightfall” also implements these lighting effects. All the interactions and exchanges between the visitors and his works and the gathering of people, everything was accentuated under this lighting, yet a haze of ambiguity was somehow still present. The political language on the walls seemed to be hazy and enigmatic as well. It’s similar to that feeling when you don’t know what the people around you are doing, saying, or thinking. Everything is shrouded in dream-like mystery and your imagination has free rein. But why didn’t the venue dim the lights? I thought to myself. Wouldn’t that have been more consistent with the theme of the exhibition? My thoughts were interrupted by the bird calls from the fan silhouette display. Then, I noticed that there were plants sitting quietly in the black and white exhibit. They were plants from the artist’s hometown Xiangxi in Hunan Province, and he had brought them there. The bird calls were the same. He had brought them to this exhibition in Hong Kong from his hometown. Then it dawned on me that all of this was a showcase of the artist’s life. His personal experiences and childhood were integrated into his works. The subtle sense of pride that emanated from it all spoke to me the most. I trust that many will come to know Huang Xiaoliang’s hometown Xiangxi through his creations.
Huang Xiaoliang “Nightfall”
Date: Now until June 16th
Location: Over the Influence (1/F, 159 Hollywood Road Central, Hong Kong)
Time: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am – 7pm (Open to the public)