at Para Site

18 MAR – 29 SEP 2023

Curated by Billy Tang and Celia Ho, Signals marked the first chapter of the new direction for Para Site, Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art centre. Supported by the M Art Foundation, it featured a series of commissions and existing works in dialogue with an experimental display structure that transformed throughout the exhibition.

In the context of the exhibition, Signals represented modes of kinetic art, communication, actions, and interventions that created a chain of reactions. Participating artists made use of cues, including sound, smell, movement, and smoke, to interrogate complex issues related to dispersed communities, migratory flows, and the intersection of technology, science, and architecture.

The exhibition unfolded over three phases over six months: signals…storms and patterns (18 March–28 May), which focused on self-organization and the politics of space in contemporary artmaking; signals…folds and splits (10 June–30 July), reflecting on the temporality of artworks and alternative economies of time; and finally, signals…here and there (12 August–29 September), exploring dispersal as a strategy to think about contemporary global issues through the lens of Hong Kong. Taking inspiration from the seminal gallery and art salon Signals London (1964– 1966), a cross-disciplinary meeting point for a group of postwar European, Latin American, and Asian artists who joined around an expanded concept of kinetic art, the exhibition represented strategies to reconnect with the global community from the pivot point of Hong Kong in a post-pandemic world. It was conceived to evolve and remain dynamic beyond its opening, with the reconfigurable display system serving as an ongoing spatial investigation as artworks/happenings rotated, unfolded, fragmented, or dissolved throughout the exhibition period.

Over three chapters spanning six months of onsite experiments, curators initiated ‘atmospheric interventions’ parallel to the exhibition. Culminating in a publishing project edited by Wing Chan, it connects local writers in Hong Kong to diverse places like Borneo, Istanbul, Kinshasa, London, Manila, Sheffield, and Sumatra. The writings explore the meaning of pausing and accessing power in terms of electricity, energy, land lights, and workers’ rights. The result is an 88-page publication with texts by artists, art historians, and cultural workers, including C&G Artpartment (Clara Cheung & Gum Cheng Yet Man), Lesley Anne Can, Wing Chan, Lyra Garcellano, A. X. Ledesma, Eileen Legaspi Ramirez, Di Liu, Lani Maestro, Arianna Mercado, Cedrick Nzolo & Dominique Malaquais, and Michelle W T Wong. Also featured is a quote from Luke Ching Chin Was and photography by South Ho Siu Nam.


Participating Artists
signals…storms and patterns
Christine Sun Kim, Linda Chiu-han Lai, Candice Lin & P. Staff, Pratchaya Phinthong, Printhow, James Richards, Wing Po So, Mika Tajima, Tang Kwok Hin, Truong Cong Tung, with atmospheric interventions including a publishing project by Wing Chan featuring photography by South Ho, and a broadcasting project by Wan Ing Que, Elaine W. Ho, and Kunci Study Forum & Collective with the School of Improper Education in collaboration with Hong Kong Community Radio

signals…folds and splits
Doreen Chan, Sara Flores, HASS Lab, Linda Chiu-han Lai, Jaffa Lam, Carolyn Lazard, Ghislaine Leung, Li Yueyang, Candice Lin & P. Staff, Pratchaya Phinthong, Wing Po So, Mika Tajima, Tang Kwok Hin, with atmospheric interventions including a publishing project by Wing Chan featuring photography by South Ho

signals…here and there
Doreen Chan, Merv Espina, HASS Lab, Kulagu Tu Buvongan, Billy HC Kwok, Linda Chiu-han Lai, Jaffa Lam, Leung Chi Wo, Ghislaine Leung, Berenice Olmedo, Nibha Sikander, Wing Po So, Takis, Tang Kwok Hin, with atmospheric interventions including a publishing project by Wing Chan featuring photography by South Ho

About Para Site

Para Site is Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications, discursive, and educational projects aimed at forging a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society. Founded in early 1996 as an artist run space, Para Site was Hong Kong’s first exhibition-making institution of contemporary art and a crucial self-organised structure within the city’s civil society, during the uncertain period preceding the handover. Throughout the years, Para Site has grown into a contemporary art centre, engaged in a wide array of activities and collaborations with other art institutions, museums, and academic structures in Hong Kong and the international landscape.