Jeremy Deller's Inflatable Stonehenge Arrives In Hong Kong
British Artist, Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege, a full size inflatable replica of one of the world’s most famous monuments, Stonehenge, will be unveiled in Hong Kong as part of Mobile M+: Inflation!, opening 25th April 2013 (Press Preview 11am 24th April 2013). The interactive work, which visitors can bounce on, was created by Turner Prize-winning British artist Jeremy Deller. A co-commission between Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and the Mayor of London, Sacrilege first appeared in Glasgow before touring major cities across Britain as part of London 2012 Festival.
Sacrilege will be placed alongside five other giant inflatable sculptures by local and international artists, including two new commissions created especially for the exhibition by Hong Kong based artist Tam Wai Ping and Chinese artist Cao Fei. The six works will be accompanied by a performance piece by Tomás Saraceno (Argentina) which will be staged on 4 and 25 May and 8 June 2013.
Alongside the five other works, Sacrilege will take advantage of the promenade on West Kowloon, the future site of the West Kowloon Cultural District, with an iconic view out over Victoria Harbour. The installation, with inflatable moss covered slabs at over 7m high, and a 35m wide fake green grass base will offer a stark contrast to Hong Kong’s heavily urbanized environment. It’s placement on the site of The Park, creates a fantasy landscape within the city upon the evolving site of West Kowloon.
By re-presenting one of the world’s most famous existing prehistoric monuments and sites of cultural significance as an inflatable sculpture Deller allows audiences to reacquaint themselves with history in a high-spirited and entertaining manner, whilst exploring cultural heritage.
Monumental artworks of this scale have never been presented alongside one another in Hong Kong, making “Mobile M+: Inflation!” one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions ever mounted in the city to date. The exhibition will be presented on the site of the Park at West Kowloon Cultural District - a fourteen hectare site devoted to arts programming next to M+, Hong Kong’s future museum for visual culture.
Inviting members of the public to interact firsthand with large-scale inflatable sculptures, “Mobile M+: Inflation!” aims to pose questions about the nature of public art and the ways in which audiences might engage with it. Several of these are derived from everyday objects that have been inflated to outsized proportions as a way of rendering the familiar unfamiliar, more tangible, and uncannily touchable than ever before. Other works in the exhibition question the nature and potential of art and architecture in public space through installations that evoke ephemerality and reflect on human relationships to built environment and to the natural world.
By exploring the ever-shifting notions of nature and artifice, intimacy and monumentality, temporariness and permanence, as well as beauty and the grotesque that characterise these exhibits, “Mobile M+: Inflation!” will create a diverse experience that probes the role of public art in the context of an evolving and endlessly mutating constructed landscape.
The exhibition acts as a prelude to the opening of the Park in 2014, highlighting the future possibilities for multi-disciplinary arts programming in the fourteen hectare site, planned to include music festivals, large-scale sculpture and installations. The Park will provide green open space and gardens, contributing parkland to the heavily built up cityscape for residents to enjoy.
Inflation! is a part of Mobile M+, a series of pre-opening ‘nomadic’ exhibitions curated by M+ that aim to engage the public ahead of the opening of the museum, scheduled for completion in late 2017. By initiating and realising projects that would not be possible in a single museum building, Mobile M+ seeks to turn the perceived disadvantage of being “rootless” into a strategic advantage by organizing events that embrace a multi-disciplinary approach.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of on-site events ranging from artist talks, workshops, guided tours to performances.
Lars Nittve said, “I am delighted that the M+ team have been able to secure this incredibly important piece of contemporary art for Hong Kong residents to enjoy. The work was enormously popular when it toured the UK last year, and I can’t wait to see the Hong Kong public’s response. Sacrilege will offer residents a unique experience of interactive public sculpture - hopefully stimulating debate about the kind of works which might be on show in The Park once it opens in 2014. Sacrilege challenges ideas about how art should be displayed and experienced, aligning with M+’s commitment to presenting art in a new dynamic way. Works of art can no longer be classified into fixed genre; which is why M+ will be a museum for visual culture in all its forms. This piece also reflects our commitment to bringing groundbreaking artworks to Hong Kong, as well as supporting local artists.”
Jeremy Deller (b.1966, London, UK; lives and works in London)
Over the past two decades, UK-based artist Jeremy Deller has been highly influential and instrumental in pioneering new methods of making art collaboratively. His interactions with artists, musicians, historians, collectors and performers have yielded multi-layered video and installation works that push our understanding of social and cultural phenomena, as well as transgress the divide between the artist (or artwork) and the audience. In 2004, he won the Turner Prize. He has presented solo exhibitions worldwide, including the Barbican Art Gallery; London (2005), the Palais de Tokyo; Paris (2008), and The Hayward Gallery; London (2012). In 2010 he was awarded the RSA Albert Medal, Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, for 'Procession', Manchester 2009. In 2012 his monumental artwork ‘Sacrilege’ toured the United Kingdom, commissioned for the Cultural Olympiad – planned to coincide with the Lond on 2012 Olympics. He will represent Britain at the 55th Venice Biennale, opening 1 June 2013.
Photo: © Artlyst 2012