⟨ Art ⟩

Six-Part Practice

So Wing Po and Dung Kai Cheung

Words / Vennes Cheng
Translation / Ian Tsang





能量的流動延續事物,像人體的血管,也像人與人之間的感覺。蘇詠寶以千層紙種子造成散發著光芒的巨大管道,這部份是「流動」。千層紙的形狀像蝴蝶,遠看像群蝶伏在管道上。能量從不同接觸在流動,也有內在的流動像血管也如河流,會感到光明、強弱、高低。人們常說:go with the flow,那既是觀察內在流動,也感應個體與外在的能量,於是內、外這兩種概念也在其中流動。


At Tai Kwun Contemporary, a young artist uses Chinese medicine and its physical properties to present an interweaving of the universe and selfhood.

The exhibition is titled Six-Part Practice, and So Wing Po, who was born into a family of traditional Chinese medication, uses Chinese herbs as materials to create six sets of installations named after various states of things: “Connection”, “Appearance”, “Emission”, “Suspension”, “Flow” and “Interior”. Apart from the visual component, the exhibition is also accompanied by Dung Kai Cheung’s words. The conversion of visual symbols into words appears to be a mutual exchange on such concepts as the universe, interior and appearance. Words set the tone for the whole exhibition, and also echo imaginations ranging from the macroscopic to the microscopic.

“Connection” is the first set of creations in the exhibition. Sappan wood is a kind of ornamental foliage plant which can also be used as an ingredient in medicine. Its warm and humble brick red branches can also be used as a coloring agent in food and fabrics. The artist first cuts the sappan wood into match-stick like pieces, which are then connected together to form a structure resembling a steel frame found in children’s playground. Links are found between humans, as well as between humans and objects. Dung Kai Cheung wrote, “Connections are natural and unavoidable. There is a pulling force between objects, and there is physical convergence, chemical harmony, mutual need, mutual reliance, and there is love.” Certainly, connection also includes a fragile side. However, after connections are broken, there will always be a renewed desire for mutual love, mutual reliance as well as convergence, and hence, all things return again to their starting point. This installation is a prelude to the whole exhibition, and the other concepts that follow, including “Emission”, “Appearance”, “Interior” and “Suspension”, cannot be separated from the concept of connection.

The piece “Emission” reminds one of acupuncture in Chinese medicine. The oval surface is dotted with dim lights, and its back resembles a rocket. The twinkling lights are actually the flower bud of Chinese honey-suckle. The artist removes the seeds inside the dried flower, and then replaces them with tiny light bulbs. Like stars in the sky after nightfall, they shine, and connect together to become a starry sky. Emission also includes observation. Stars emit light, and thus, people can see the starlight transmitted from many light years ago. “When everyone is emitting, who is the receiver? Under a sky full of starlight, if there are no observers, starlight cannot even form an image.” The creations, between them, appear to ponder upon different relationships. It seems in the universe, various objects are pulled by different energies. Some things end, while some others are just beginning.

The flow of energy extends objects, like blood vessels in the human body and also like the feelings between humans. So Wing Po uses the seeds of the tree of Damocles to create tubes glowing with light. This part corresponds to “Flow”. The shape of the tree of Damocles resemble butterflies, and from afar, it looks like a flutter of butterflies are resting on the tubes. Energy flows, through various contacts. There are also inner flows, like blood vessels and river, and one can sense the light, strengths, as well as highs and lows. People often say: go with the flow. This does not point only to an observation of inner flow,, but also to sensing of selfhood and external energy. Therefore, the concepts of interior and exterior are also flowing within.

The whole exhibition seems to be about the workings of the universe but the six parts at the same time correspond to the interior and exterior states facing human beings. The Six-Part Practice is in fact an integral whole.