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13 May 2009

Pak Sheung Chuen at the 53rd International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia

© Pak Sheung Chuen
You Never See a Square!
Italy, 23/10/2008
Courtesy of the artist

Making (Perfect) World: Harbour, Hong Kong, Alienated Cities and Dreams


Curated by Tobias Berger in association with Para/Site Art Space

Preview: June 4th – 6th, 09:00 - 20:00

June 7th – November 22nd, 2009
10:00 - 18:00 daily (closed on Tuesdays)


Arsenale, Campo della Tana, Castello 2126 - 30122 Venezia
(Opposite the main entrance of Arsenale)

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The Hong Kong Arts Development Council (ADC) is pleased to announce Making (Perfect) World: Harbour, Hong Kong, Alienated Cities and Dreams, a solo presentation of Hong Kong artist Pak Sheung Chuen at the 53rd Venice Biennale from June 7th to November 22nd 2009. The exhibition will feature a series of newly commissioned site-specific works that are conceived and produced for the site and context of Venice and the Biennale. In addition to this, a selection of Pak's past works will also be presented, bringing together a comprehensive illustration of his oeuvre. The exhibition is curated by Tobias Berger in association with Para/Site Art Space, and marks the debut for a solo representation of Hong Kong in Venice.

Pak's interest lies in the possibilities of discovering extraordinarily profound and insightful messages encoded within the most unlikely and ordinary places. He draws elements from everyday life and its surroundings in order to rediscover 'meanings' that are often missed or even ignored by most people. In realising his witty and poetic ideas and thoughts through self-reflective and philosophical gestures, Pak goes beyond meditating on the legitimisation of his seemingly random acts as contemporary art, to successfully blur the boundaries between the personal and the political. Defying aspects of physicality and spirituality, Pak enables new ways of reinterpreting unwritten codes and complexities that exist within contemporary societies.

Influenced by the politics and identity of post-1997 Hong Kong as well as the tradition of Performance Art, Pak's distinctive methodology towards 'adaptation' consists of inserting himself as the subject into the equation, adopting this position to question and explore the notion of individual identities against the new globalised societies and realities that are of extreme relevance to the ongoing modernisation of Asia's mega cities.

Making (Perfect) World will be conceptually divided into four segments - Harbour, Hong Kong, Alienated Cities and Dreams, and it will include a mixture of sculpture, photography, documentation of performances and texts from the artist's intriguing yet humorous body of work --- an exercise in constructing a humane, sensitive and thoughtful alternative to approaching and experiencing everyday life. Pak endeavours to encapsulate both hopes and losses in his ongoing quest for a better understanding of our, at times, confusing and imperfect world.

The exhibition is organised by The Hong Kong Arts Development Council and curated by Tobias Berger in association with Para/Site Art Space. Supported by The Burger Collection, Vitamin Creative Space and Osage Art Foundation.

Pak Sheung Chuen was born 1977 in Fujian (China) and immigrated to Hong Kong in 1984, where he currently lives and works. Awarded the Overseas Exchange Prize (Chinese Performance Art) by the Macao Museum of Art and the Lee Hysan Foundation Fellowship by the Asian Cultural Council in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Pak has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including The First Stop on the Super Highway at the Nam June Paik Art Center in Korea (2009), The 3rd Yokohama Triennial (2008), The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial (2008), China Power Station: Part 2 at Astrup Fearrnley Museum in Oslo (2007) and The 6th Busan Biennale (2006). His solo exhibition Page 22 is permanently installed in New York's 58th Street Branch Library.

A fully illustrated catalogue and the publication Odd One In Two, with a detailed conversation between Pak Sheung Chuen and Tobias Berger, will be published to accompany the exhibition.

For press enquiries:

Wendy Tso at or +852-2820 1031
Yuko Cheung at or +852-2820 1008
For any further information, please contact Yung Ma, assistant curator, at or +852-90140606 (Hong Kong).