Serpentine in Hong Kong: HACK SPACE

22 Mar 2016 to 24 Apr 2016

Serpentine in Hong Kong: HACK SPACE

Serpentine Galleries and the K11 Art Foundation are pleased to present the group exhibition HACK SPACE with New Zealand artist Simon Denny together with a group of China-based artists. HACK SPACE is a new iteration and expansion of Denny’s exhibition Products for Organising.

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The exhibition takes at its core the theme of hacking space – the idea that place, territory and infrastructure can be radically adapted in unorthodox ways to solve problems. HACK SPACE sits adjacent to the phenomenon of Shan Zhai (山寨), a widespread term in China often associated with nearby “silicon valley of hardware” city Shenzhen. Originally used to refer to a bandit stronghold outside government control, it has today become shorthand for fake or pirated products, from mobile phones to digital cameras, among many other products. From New Year galas to medicine and movies, Chinese consumers encounter Shan Zhai in almost every aspect of their daily lives. The Shan Zhai phenomenon is no longer only restricted to low-cost fake products, it has become associated with how a certain type of Chinese company achieves success without following conventional wisdom and develops competitive advantage through innovative hacks.

Redefining notions of innovation, one of the leading values of today’s world, through an unconventional organisational, social and spatial arrangement, the hacker-like Shanzhai principle is an underlying link between the exhibited works in HACK SPACE. Drawing themes from Simon Denny’s exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries, which compared hacking culture and innovation in different contexts, the exhibition brings together practices that question, cheat, flip, redefine and short-cut notions of space, buildings and creative practices.

Staged in K11 Art Foundation’s pop-up venue, a space previously used to show future building projects that continue to change the urban landscape around Hong Kong, HACK SPACE forms an alternative hacker narrative, weaving moments from the history of western hacker activity with artworks that rethink space through unconventional methodologies of making and thinking. The exhibition presents works by eleven artists entering into dialogue with the work of Simon Denny, who has designed the layout of the exhibition as a ‘skyline’ of sculptures, installations and video works. Many of the works will sit on pedestals that Denny has had refashioned from a real-estate display occupying the room before HACK SPACE. A physical open-sourcing turned sculptural framework, these “distributed” pedestals suggest the alternative networks redefining innovation in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and beyond.

There will be a discussion about the exhibition with Simon Denny and Amira Gad, moderated by Hans Ulrich-Obrist, on Wednesday 23 March 2016. Click here for more information.

Following its presentation in Hong Kong, Simon Denny’s Serpentine exhibition will continue its tour to WIELS Centre for Contemporary Art in Brussels, Belgium opening on 18 May 2016. 

K11 Art Foundation

Founded by Adrian Cheng in 2010, the K11 Art Foundation (KAF) is a registered not-for-profit organisation, which supports the development of Chinese contemporary art from Greater China by providing a creative platform that nurtures artistic talents and brings them to the international stage. Not only does KAF support artists, the Foundation also serves as an incubator for young Chinese curators.

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Related Events / Exhibitions

Exhibition

Simon Denny: Products for Organising

25 Nov 2015 to 14 Feb 2016

The Serpentine presented the work of Simon Denny, an artist who works with sculptural installations that include print, graphics, moving images and texts. The first solo show of Denny's work in London, Products for Organising, was developed in response to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery and featured new installations that revolved around contemporary radical management practices and the historical hacker organisational forms that may have inspired them.

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HACK SPACE Simon Denny image 1

Formalised Org Chart/Architectural Model: GCHQ 3 Agile/Holacracy Workspace, 2015 Photo: Nick Ash Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne
HACK SPACE installation image 2

HACK SPACE installation image 2

Installation view 2016: HACK SPACE, K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong, China
HACK SPACE installation image 3

HACK SPACE installation image 3

Installation view 2016: HACK SPACE, K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong, China
HACK SPACE installation image 4

HACK SPACE installation image 4

Installation view 2016: HACK SPACE, K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong, China
HACK SPACE Simon Denny image 3

HACK SPACE Simon Denny image 3

Simon Denny, Modded Server Rack Display: Adapting Hacking, 2015 Photo: Nick Ash Courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne
HACK SPACE Cui Jie image

HACK SPACE Cui Jie image

Cui Jie Entrance to Parking Lot 2014 Oil on canvas 150 × 200 cm Courtesy of CISSY CHEN, Copyright the Artist
HACK SPACE Li Liao image

HACK SPACE Li Liao image

Li Liao 2012 Performance, ready-made materials (uniform, ID card, the labour contract, ipad) Courtesy of the Artist
HACK SPACE Tao Hui image

HACK SPACE Tao Hui image

Tao Hui ‘7 Materials’ 2015 Color, single channel HD video; 11’48” Courtesy of the Artist and AIKE-DELLARCO Gallery
HACK SPACE Zhai Liang image

HACK SPACE Zhai Liang image

Zhai Liang One Track — How to be a Protestor 2015 Watercolour on paper 76 × 56 cm Courtesy of the Artist and White Space Beijing