Ko Sin Tung | underground construction: failed

[08.10.15 - 26.11.15]

Beams of artificial fluorescent light, pixelated images of gray-scale sunrises, assembled screens of ad hoc roadside footage – these are but some of the elements in Ko Sin Tung’s visual dialogue with underground zones of construction; those hidden major developments that are hinted at above earth yet not revealed till upon completion. Edouard Malingue Gallery is pleased to present the first major solo exhibition of Ko Sin Tung (b. 1987), an emerging Hong Kong artist and graduate from the Department of Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, who is concerned with the private states of living and investigates, through a myriad of mediums and materials, the psychological influences objects as well as environments project, and the idiosyncratic functions they are channeled to fulfill from the domestic to the urban.

For ‘underground construction: failed’ Ko Sin Tung develops from her consideration of domestic spaces to seemingly more public quarters – the future high-speed railway connecting Hong Kong to Mainland China near West Kowloon – and investigates, on a personal level, the reverberations of this concrete issue, dissecting its consequent yet currently secretive impact on social relations. At the entrance to the gallery the visitor encounters an archway; as if entering a domestic lair, the outline of an ordinary plastic carpet lies on the floor in front of the entrance – the remnant of the semi-circular shape of commonplace doormats. On the side wall hangs a small image of the Austin construction zone, covered in undulated shards of blue plastic – at once a hint of the exhibition beyond the gateway and a welcome sign, the curved shape echoing that of a rainbow and alluding to the hopes as well as aspirations of the infrastructural development.

Through the portal, one enters the exhibition space, lit solely by a series of fluorescent beams and the light emanating from a collection of stacked TV screens. As if entering the construction site itself, Ko Sin Tung creates an immersive environment for the examination of the very setting she is herself investigating. The visitor first encounters a sculptural installation displaying moving image sequences; a development on her previous piece ‘Steady ground’ (2014), presenting a set of screens that individually capture roadside footage, shot using an unstable handheld camera. Beyond these, one is lured to a series of gray scale images showing cropped photographs of indistinct sunrises. Aggrandised and pixelated, the counterintuitive scenes appear increasingly blurred upon approach and simulate zones of light at the end of a lengthy tunnel, finely computerised lines emanating from each corner narrowing on the circular spot.

Atypically stripped of colour, each anomalous sunrise is lit by various artificial fluorescent beams, the lighting of the underground coming into conflict with the specifically over-ground and supposedly dreamy settings. Passed this panoramic display, the visitor is faced with a film and setting that ties the lighting and context together. Projected onto the leftmost wall, two hands are shown holding a fluorescent beam – identical to the ones lighting the exhibition space – then letting them go, the immediate release solely being captured allowing your mind to compute the imminent fall; those that survived, now lighting the room.

It is thus revealed that these lights – their properties, continuance and use – are the defining elements of the exhibition and follow from Sin Tung’s previous investigation of light. Here, Sin Tung continues to consider its physical and psychological implications in an industrial setting. More crucially though, she uses light to build a parallel with the characteristics of construction: how a site, non-visible to passersby, provides promises and illusions, whilst at the same time being a very fragile concept, one that can shatter when reality becomes clear. This state of friability is echoed throughout the exhibition via Sin Tung’s systematic methods of destruction and examination, processes that aim to reveal how vulnerable an image/an object, and so an individual, is. Senses of personal dissatisfaction and frustration are ultimately echoed by the term “failed” in the exhibition title, a term that equally refers to the expectations that have failed to be fulfilled for a better society and living environment.

Ko Sin Tung is a highly promising, emerging Hong Kong artist. She has previously been exhibited at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Art Museum, Beijing, 8th Vladivostok Biennale of Visual Arts, Vladivostok, Para Site, Hong Kong, and the Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, amongst other locations. In 2012 she completed a residency at the Kunstnerhuset Messen, Ålvik, Norway and has been awarded multiple awards: Chu’s Creative Award (2009), Cheung’s Fine Arts Award (2009) and Professor Mayching Kao Fine Arts Fund (2012). Most recently she received two prestigious grants, one Project Grant (Emerging Artists Scheme) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (2014) and the Pure Art Foundation Grant 2013-2014 from the Pure Art Foundation, Hong Kong.


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New Hall Art, University of Cambridge, UK, [07.03.19 - 12.04.19]

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(025)  Ko Sin Tung

'Dust and trivial matters', Solo Exhibition

The Bunker, Dong Cheng District, Beijing, China, [26.01.19 - 29.03.19]

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(024)  Condo London 2019

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Kate MacGarry, 27 Old Nichol Street London, E2 7HR, [12.01.19 - 09.02.19]

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(023)  Artissima 2018 | Booth: Green 3

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OVAL Lingotto Fiere, via Giacomo Mattè Trucco, 70, Turin, Italy, [02.11.18 - 04.11.18]

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(022)  Ho Tzu Nyen, Ko Sin Tung

'Offline Browser', Group Exhibition

Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, [19.10.18 - 20.01.19]

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(021)  Beijing Contemporary

'Beijing Contemporary | Booth V11', Art Fair

National Agricultural Exhibition Centre, No. 16 North Road, East 3rd Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, [31.08.18 - 02.09.18]

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(020)  Ko Sin Tung

'Post-Industrial Landscapes 5.0: Urban Scan', Group Exhibition

Osage, Hong Kong, [22.07.18 - 12.08.18]

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(019)  Ko Sin Tung

'Beckoning the Mutation', Group Exhibition

Club Pro Los Angeles, LA, California, [29.06.18 - 29.07.18]

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(018)  Ko Sin Tung

'Rehearsal', Group Exhibition

Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong, [25.03.18 - 15.04.18]

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(017)  Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

'Art Basel Hong Kong 2018', Group Exhibition

Convention & Exhibition Centre 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, [29.03.18 - 31.03.18]

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(016)  Condo London 2018

'Condo London 2018', Group Exhibition

mother's tankstation, 4th Floor, Morley House, 26 Holborn Viaduct, London, U.K., [13.01.18 - 17.02.18]

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(015)  Edouard Malingue Gallery at Art Düsseldorf 2017

Art Fair

Areal Böhler, Hansaallee 321 40549 Duesseldorf, Germany, [17.11.17 - 19.11.17]

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(014)  Edouard Malingue Gallery at ART021 2017

'ART021 2017', Art Fair

Shanghai Exhibition Center, Shanghai, China, [08.11.17 - 12.11.17]

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(013)  Ko Sin Tung

'Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival 2017', Festival

Jimei Citizen Center, Xiamen, China, [25.11.17 - 03.01.18]

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(012)  Ko Sin Tung

'From Ocean to Horizon', Group Exhibition

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, UK, [07.07.17 - 29.10.17]

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(011)  Samson Young, Ko Sin Tung

'‘The Unappropriated Recipes’ Book Launch', News

Constant studio space, 12 Yip Fat Street, Hong Kong, [20.04.17]

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(010)  Ko Sin Tung

''Breathing Space' Artist Talk', Artist Talk

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, [08.05.17]

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(009)  Ko Sin Tung

'Breathing Space: Contemporary Art from Hong Kong', Group Exhibition

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive Admiralty, Hong Kong, [12.03.17 - 09.07.17]

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(008)  Ko Sin Tung

'The Genius of the Crowd', Group Exhibition

Jendela (Visual Arts Space), Level 2, Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore, [13.01.17 - 17.03.17]

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(007)  Ko Sin Tung

'Art Sanya 'Jury’s Special Award' & Group Exhibition', Art Prize

Art Sanya, Hainan Province, China, [12.12.16 - 16.03.17]

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(006)  Ko Sin Tung

'FORM SIMULTANEITY', Group Exhibition

100ft. PARK 1/F ,220 Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong, [29.09.16 - 09.10.16]

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(005)  Ko Sin Tung

'Absent Store', Solo Exhibition

Holy Motors, No.195 G/F, Lai Chi Kok Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, [10.06.16 - 30.06.16]

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(004)  Art Basel Hong Kong 2016

Art Fair

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gallery Section: Booth 3C09, [22.03.16 - 26.03.16]

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(003)  Ko Sin Tung

'The 2nd "CAFAM FUTURE" Exhibtion OBSERVER-CREATOR', Group Exhibition

K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, [23.05.15 - 05.07.15]

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(002)  Ko Sin Tung

'After/Image', Group Exhibition

Studio 52, 509-510, Phase 1, Chai Wan Industrial City, 60 Wing Tai Road, Chai Wan, [18.04.15 - 28.04.15]

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(001)  Ko Sin Tung

'Eros', Group Exhibition

University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, [18.10.14 - 23.11.14]

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