HKUST Arts Festival 2019—Art and Crisis
Plastic, plastic, every where!
An Exhibition of Works by Fung Kuen Suet, Michelle
Curated by Hilda Chan and Iven Cheung
11-24 March 2019
Tsang Shiu Tim Art Hall
11 March - 30 June 2019
Chevalier Learning Commons, Lee Shau Kei Library
Jointly presented by the HKUST Center for the Arts and Lee Shau Kee Library
Plastic plastic, every where! portrays a dystopian future where a frenzy of human plastic consumption (e.g., life saver donuts, telephone hotdogs) leads us past the point of no return. This global craze originates from the 2084 annual meeting of the Great Five Industrial Nations. At this meeting, the delegate from the imaginary country of Contradictoria (in the form of a pig) proposes that if animals can learn to eat plastic, why can’t children?
This joint exhibition between the HKUST Library and Center for the Arts features new and never-been-shown works from Fung's award-winning series Plastic, plastic, every where!, including a site-specific forty-foot mural, large hanging scrolls, the complete short film, and over thirty original paintings.
Exhibition Artist Statement
"Little did I know that a graduation project would turn into lifelong work.
Plastic, plastic, every where! was a murmur from a dream. In 2014, cradled by the whispering waves, I was drowsing off in a Tai O coffee shop. After twenty minutes, I leapt up, feverish and in a stupor, and wrote a story in one sitting. That was the beginning that began everything.
In 2015, I picked up a book inside the HKUST library. The back cover read “Young Writer's Debut Competition”. I made a mental note. Two years later, Tin Hong Gaau Jyu was published under the same competition. Life sometimes does come full circle.
Fast forward to 2019, this story is again greeting the world in a fresh form. Cutout pieces are collaged into framed artworks; first attempt at a large mural; hanging scrolls set the sombre tone of that critical imaginary meeting in 2084.
I am deeply indebted to the HKUST Library and the Center for the Arts for this invitation to instil a breath of fresh air into old works and to exhibit never-before-shown original artworks. I also extend my gratitude to my curators for their indispensable contribution to the exhibition.
This story is still shifting and growing, expanding in unexpected ways. Maybe it is a story I don't want to end."
Fung Kuen Suet, Michelle
Exhibition Curators' Statement
"Fung Kuen Suet Michelle’s Plastic, plastic, every where! began with the award-winning drawing installation at Hong Kong Baptist University’s Master of Visual Arts Masters Graduation Exhibition a few years ago. The art form and content of the series have been expanding ever since, from painting, short film to illustrated book , which has been selected as one of the 50 best books for secondary school students, crossing the boundaries between visual arts and literature. The series combines ink paintings seamlessly with a fable-styled sci-fi worldview. With the spot on Hong Kong-style expressions, the works present a unique visual style and aesthetics. Plastic, plastic, every where! reflects the artist’s continuous concerns over ecological and environmental issues. It is hoped that the large-scale display of works at HKUST Arts Festival will evoke the audience’s imagination of an energy-saving and plastic-free life style."
Hilda Chan Iven Cheung