High art embraces lowlife

Local | 9 Oct 2019

Cyberpunk is - to quote from Wikipedia - a genre of science fiction in a futuristic setting that tends to focus on a "combination of lowlife and high tech."

To many fans of movies, comics, video games and design, it is also about a particular sort of fantasy city.

This is an urban landscape crammed with gleaming skyscrapers, neon lights, ultra-modern transport systems and - at street level - seedy alleyways and a murky underworld.

If this sounds a bit like a place you know - you're right.

As I have written before, Hong Kong inspired the setting of the 1990s film Blade Runner, and local locations appear in the Japanese animated movie Ghost in the Shell.

Now Tai Kwun is hosting a whole exhibition dedicated to this form of aesthetic - Phantom Plane, Cyberpunk in the Year of the Future, which has just opened.

It features works by over 20 artists from around the world but especially Asia.

They include local photographer Chan Wai Kwong, Singaporean artist and writer Ho Rui An, Japanese illustrator Shinro Ohtake, Belgian internet artists JODI and Indonesian artist Nurrachmat Widyasena, who focuses on retro futurism.

Although all the works on display fall within the cyberpunk genre, the exhibition has an extremely wide variety of media.

Visitors can expect 3D animation, installations, video, large-format paintings and, from locally based collective Zhang Mahler, a machine learning prototype.

The show is at the JC Contemporary Gallery, is free of charge, and runs until January 4.

See www.taikwun.hk for details.

Bernard Charnwut Chan is chairman of The Jockey Club CPS Advisory Committee


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