Having recently been appointed as Senior Curator for Heritage & Digital at Tai Kwun, can you tell us about any stand-out moments or projects from last year? Or is there anything you’re looking forward to this year?
I am working on a new thematic exhibition about trees, and it will launch on the 23 June. This summer exhibition “Breathing with Trees” acknowledges the vital role that trees play in our daily lives. Apart from providing us with food, shelter, and clean air, they also act as the silent witnesses to our transient existence, as they remain rooted in one place throughout their lives.
However, trees are as mortal as human beings. They constantly face existential threats arising from the damages inflicted on the environment by mankind’s insatiable appetite for consumption and thoughtless expansion. Pollution, deforestation, illegal logging, urban expansion, and climate change pose clear dangers for the future of trees, as super typhoon Mangkut unforgettably demonstrated in 2018, leaving 55,000 trees devastated in its wake.
Apart from illustrating the intimate connection between trees and us, this exhibition also explores some of the most advanced ways of protecting, preserving, and nurturing them to ensure future generations can continue to enjoy the benefits that trees bring to us.
Having previously participated in The Prize as a nominator, what has the experience been like joining as a judge this year?
I am overwhelmed by the large amount of high quality works which made judging very difficult. I had gone through all the works more than once and make a “long list”, then I went through the longlist several times to review and reconsider. Sometime I also check out the artist’s website to get a better understanding of his/ her practice.
This long process introduces me to many interesting artists.