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藝術選秀奬項新模式

2021/4/22 — 12:59

【梁展峰撰寫,阿三編訂╱「時刻導賞員」藝評人】

推開Hidden Space展場大門,走廊昏暗,盡頭牆上有一方盒,盒內素描需透過小孔窺看。這是本屆Hidden Space Award獲獎者招凱晴個展「潛形質面」的現場。原本方正的展場分成窄長間隔,素描改以裝置展示,加強了生物變異的聯想。該獎項於2018年設立,頒予香港藝術學院優秀學士畢業生,並提供創作諮詢和個展機會,幫助發展創作路途。Hidden Space 展覽空間和奬項反映了近年「藝術家自營」(artist-run)的文化風向,即工作室暨藝廊的混合空間,和超越展覽為本的駐場計劃。

工作室藝廊混合空間(Studio Gallery)

廣告

藝術家將工作室和展覽空間合二為一,本是解決空間和資源限制問題,卻無心插柳促成各類實驗項目。八十年代的Quart Society、九十年Para/Site Art Space首個項目「西環新客」(1996)都是由「先原地創作後展出」。這種在地(in situ)創作雖有折衷的成份,但也催生出後來的藝術家自營的「藝術空間」。工作室藝廊「前鋪後居」式分配工作室和展覽空間,行之有效,世界通行。千禧後火炭工業區年度活動「伙炭藝術家工作室開放日」持續至今近廿年,每年一次「前鋪後居」式開放。個別藝術媒介對專業設備的需要,也讓媒介本位的工作室暨藝廊的藝術╱展覽空間持續出現,如光影作坊、香港版畫工作室和物器堂等。工作室和藝廊彷彿是兩碼子的事,但實際上像劇院的舞台和後台,是空間的一體兩面,並催生各種新項目。

廣告

Hidden Space Award比Hidden Space更吸引我,因為它拉闊了我們對藝術畢業展獎項的想像。除了由商業畫廊提供奬金和展覽機會外,不少學院校友均提出各種突破藝術獎項傳統的形式,例如香港浸會大學視覺藝術院應屆畢業生自發頒發的Tuna Prize和由多間藝術學院校友聯合舉辦的維他命D獎,既以創意打破評選的標準和公式化程序,亦回應了藝壇的獎項文化。針對畢業生缺乏創作和參展經驗,Hidden Space Award則為得奬者提供創作諮詢和工作室一個月的使用期,以個展為實踐目標,促使得奬者思考展出和創作的關係,突破既定創作。Hidden Space成員亦是藝術家,她們明白創作的需要和困難,所以於展覽前容許得奬者把該空間變成臨時工作室,方便各種實驗與可能發生,猶如一個場地特定的藝術駐場計劃。招凱晴在「潛形質面」以空間先行的裝置環境呈現素描,增強了生物變異的意象,實是該獎項對她的影響。

超越展覽的藝術駐場

駐場文化已悄悄地成為藝壇新近潮流,不同主辦單位各有側重。過去的咩事藝術空間(2015-2017)和Spring Workshop(2012-2017)著重推動活躍藝術家和策展人的實驗項目。現在的HART Haus 藝術家駐場凝聚不同類型的創作人,包括書畫家及設計師等;In-situ: Hong Kong Artist Residency則主力邀請海外藝術家來港;V54年青藝術家駐留計劃以歷史建築為基地,藉駐留突出在地社區文化。

這些駐場項目的工作室藝廊,讓藝術家有臨時創作空間,及後在原地總結及展示駐場成果。藝術家除了能短暫落戶專心創作,亦促進同期駐場的藝術家交流。個別項目更促成具場地特定的在地創作,令創作成果貼近公眾,並注入社區藝術成份。因此,駐場計劃模式比傳統展覽操作可能更能有效提供創作條件和誘因,這亦是它漸受歡迎之處。藝術家從來不只埋首個人創作,他們經常集結成「藝術家自營」力量,開闢有利創作的園地,建立嶄新的藝術版圖。

「潛形質面」招凱晴個展

地點:Hidden Space(葵涌華星街8-10號華達工業中心A座16樓06室)
展期:2021年3月13日至4月4日

New mode of art graduate award
Written by Jeff Leung, edited by Chan Sai-lok / art critic of “Free Walk In”

After they have passed through the entrance and dark corridor of Hidden Space, visitors are greeted with a square box on the wall, from which they can peep and see a drawing. This is the site of “Polymorphs”, solo exhibition by Natalie Chiu, this year’s winner of the Hidden Space Award. The concept of the biomorphic is strengthened by the layout of the exhibition that divides the originally square space into narrow strips, and the choice of displaying drawings in installation. The Hidden Space Award, founded in 2018, is awarded to one outstanding graduate from the Hong Art School every year. It provides the awardee with creative consultation and the opportunity of a solo show. Hidden Space, including both its capacity as an exhibition space and an art award, represents a growing trend of the artist-run space that serves as an exhibition gallery and artist studio, and residency programmes that go beyond the exhibition oriented convention.

Studio gallery

The concept of an all-in-one space combining exhibition gallery and studio was originally an act of contingency in the face of space and resource shortage; but to do so has accidentally kick-started various experimental projects. To produce exhibit artworks in situ has been put into practice since Quart Society in the 1980s, and the first project “Artist in Western” (1996) by Para/Site Art Space. Although it was a compromise at the start, this in situ mode has nonetheless sparked off artist-run spaces in days to come. The mode of the studio gallery, where artists work at the back and exhibit their work in the front, proves to be efficient and has become universal. Fotanian Open Studios, during which artists open their showrooms and studio space to the public, has been on for 20 years since the turn of the millennium. Moreover, studio galleries equipped for specific art forms has sprung up to meet professional demand, such as Lumenvisum, Hong Kong Open Printshop and Mutheytong Gallery etc. The studio and the gallery seem to be entirely different entities, but in fact they are related like a stage and backstage, like two sides of a coin, and together they generate new ideas and projects.

I’m impressed by the Hidden Space Award more than by Hidden Space itself, as it broadens the scope of our understanding of an art graduate award. Apart from those that offers a cash prize and an exhibition opportunity, many alumni groups of universities or academies have created a number of innovative awards. For instance, there are Tuna Prize established by art graduates of the Hong Kong Baptist University, and Vitamin D Award jointly conferred by alumni of various art academies. These challenges the formulaic standards and bureaucracies of existing awards, while at the same time respond to the award culture of the local art scene. Hidden Space Award provides the awardee with creative consultation and a month of studio space. With a solo show as the final goal, this package urges the awardee to go beyond his or her creative trajectory and think about the relationship between exhibition and artistic practice. As members of the Hidden Space team are also artists, they understand the needs and challenges that artists face, and they let the awardee turn the space into a temporary studio. This facilitates artistic experiments and possibilities, resulting in something like a site-specific artist residency. In “Polymorths”, the installation that houses Natalie Chiu’s drawings highlights the imagery of the biomorphic, as the use of space comes first in its design.   

Artist residency beyond exhibition

Artist residencies have become the new trend in the art scene, and different presenters have their own emphasises. Things That Can Happen (2015-2017) and Spring Workshop (2012-2017) focused on experimental projects for active artists and curators. In the present day, HART Haus put together creative talents across fields, including Chinese ink painters/calligraphers and designers; In-situ: Hong Kong Artist Residency mainly invites visiting artists from overseas; while V54 young artists residency highlights culture of local communities by placing resident artists in historical heritage sites.

These workshops and galleries give resident artists a temporary studio space, and then exhibit the fruits of the artist residencies in situ. Besides offering artists a temporary space for focused work, these residencies also facilitate communication among artists who take up residency at the same time. In certain projects, site-specific art works created by resident artists are accessible to the public and serve as community art. Compared to conventional modus operandi of exhibitions, artist residencies probably provide stronger incentives and better conditions to support creative work, and this explains their popularity. Artists do not always shut themselves up in their own studios; rather, they often gather “artist run” energy to open up new spaces to nurture creativity, and to create a bigger world for art. (translated by Chan Lai-kuen)

Polymorphs by Natalie Chiu

Venue: Hidden Space (Unit 6, 16/F, Block A, Wah Tat Industrial Centre, 8-10 Wah Sing Street, Kwai Hing)
Date: 13 March - 4 April, 2021

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