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Polluta Catalogue

2018

Following the popular exhibition “Polluta, Floating Artist Colony in the Sky” in summer 2018, the artist was proud to publish this catalogue that not only documents the exhibition but expands the narrative and launched it at Pro Arts, Oakland, CA, USA.

The catalogue features over one hundred pages of photographic reproduction and backstories of the Polluta,an in-depth artist interview and three scholarly essays to shed new light on her works, all specifically written for the book. The book also features many new images the artist created especially for the book, including a pull-out imaginary map, presenting all five imaginary countries in her grand narrative of the year 2084.

The catalogue was funded by generous Kickstarter donors and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. 

Contributing scholars include:

Natalia Ivanova

Executive Director. Pro Arts & Commons, Oakland, CA, USA.

Dr. Steven Lee 

Associate Professor. Department of English. University of California, Berkeley. USA. 

Dr. Inessa Gelfenboym

PhD from University of Southern California. USA. 

Dr. Joon Nak Choi

Adjunct Assstant Professor. Department of Management. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Hong Kong.
Former Stanford University Koret Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University. USA. 

Dr. Angie Chau

Assistant Professor. Pacific and Asian Studies, The University of Victoria, Canada.

The catalogue is in the following public library collections:

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Oakland Public Library, CA, USA
UC Berkeley, USA

The University of British Columbia, Canada

The University of Victoria, Canada


 

and the following private library collections:

 

Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Kala Art Institute, USA
Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA, USA

Recology Residency, San Francisco, USA

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read 

"While the opposite of truth may appear to be falsehood, it is actually untruth. Just as undeath has the appearance of life, untruth has the appearance of truth. How are we to distinguish truth from untruth? According to lore and legend, the undead leave no reflection on a mirror, enabling humans to distinguish them from the living. Fung’s paintings function in a similar way, using the whimsical and ridiculous to filter out untruths so that they reflect only truth."

excerpt from "Polluta as The Mirror of Truth"

Joon Nak Choi, Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

"Michelle Kuen Suet Fung’s Polluta blurs the boundary between whimsy and dystopia, as familiar symbols of the interconnected global network we live in and its abundant resources are punctuated by surreal images of environmental degradation, and suggestive slogans hint at an uncertain future.

 

Fung’s medium of choice—woodblock print in the form of propaganda poster—highlights the uneasy bond between seemingly disparate elements. Are cheerful mottoes used to uplift the masses, or do they serve a more sinister purpose, as the enigmatic visual elements of [1] [2] Polluta intimate?

[...] Polluta reflects a universal, growing concern with the role of humans in the shaping of their environment, and heightened consciousness about the Anthropocene and planetary conditions. In its exploration of these themes, Polluta is reminiscent of modern and contemporary literature about lands real and unreal.
 

excerpt from “Imagining a New World in Michelle Kuen Suet Fung’s Polluta”

Angie Chau, Assistant Professor,

Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Victoria