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Inter Cities / Intra Cities: Ghostwriting the Future - Hong Kong at the 13th Venice Biennale
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 |

The Hong Kong Institute of Architects and Hong Kong Arts Development Council will participate in the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia with an exhibition focusing on the vital urban, architectural and cultural regeneration of Kowloon East, Hong Kong SAR. The exhibition is titled “Inter Cities / Intra Cities: Ghostwriting the Future”.

Abandoned residential block, Yue Man Square, in Kowloon East's Kwun Tong District.

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Abandoned residential block, Yue Man Square, in Kowloon East's Kwun Tong District.

The Hong Kong-based architectural practice, Oval Partnership, has been appointed as curator of the exhibition by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects following a national call for proposals. Oval has developed the concept for the exhibition and selected content from 13 contributing exhibitors, all working on live projects in Kowloon East, in response to David Chipperfield’s overall theme for the 13th International Architecture Exhibition’s, “Common Ground”.

Poster for

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Poster for "Inter Cities / Intra Cities: Ghostwriting the Future"

The exhibition takes the 320 hectare Kowloon East regeneration area as its subject; one of the largest urban regeneration projects in Asia, and a district based around the ghost of a former airport. It will interrogate how the Development Bureau’s official future plans, as well as unofficial projects, native and planned culture of the Kowloon East district will manifest and co-exist in one of the most prominent regeneration projects in the world.

Aerial view of Kowloon East, former Kai Tak airport (foreground and left), Kowloon Bay (centre) and Kwun Tong district (right).

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Aerial view of Kowloon East, former Kai Tak airport (foreground and left), Kowloon Bay (centre) and Kwun Tong district (right).

In Hong Kong, the double meaning of Common Ground has added poignancy. The phrase ‘one country, two systems’ is a maxim constantly under interrogation. To what extent does Hong Kong retain a different system to the mainland, and how does this different system envisage the involvement of its citizens in shaping their future? Can Hong Kong find new ways simultaneously to maintain the commercial momentum that has made it the success it is today, whilst engaging its citizenry more fully and enabling diverse, culturally rich, and more sustainable ways of living in years to come?

Typical social housing, Ngau Tau Kok Rd, Kwun Tong District.

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Typical social housing, Ngau Tau Kok Rd, Kwun Tong District.

As curator, Oval Partnership will act as ghostwriters, inviting the contributors to speculate on past, present and future inhabitation as a way of re-framing existing conditions, native culture and new activity. These projects will be interpreted to reveal the hidden histories and emerging futures in one of the most extensive urban regeneration projects in the world. The exhibition weaves a series of interlinked narratives to reveal the fragile ecologies of an emerging new urban culture, co-existing within the official master plan. It will juxtapose diverse projects from an array of contributors; from Foster and Partners’ new cruise liner terminal now under construction on the old Kai Tak runway, to small urban agriculture projects on factory roofs, sensitive low-cost housing projects and a nightclub in an abandoned warehouse.

Mut Wah Street, Kwun Tong.

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Mut Wah Street, Kwun Tong.

Christopher Law, Founding Director of Oval Partnership, states: “Amidst a global financial crisis, Hong Kong has emerged to deliver a regeneration project which will take sustainable urbanism to a new level. This is a reinvention of a large part of the city, and we believe it is a fascinating place to postulate and observe how the new architectural culture of a consumerist, investment-intensive, super-connected, high-density but socio-politically only half-awakened city, might evolve. We anticipate that our objectives with the exhibition will promote the continuing dynamic growth of Hong Kong as a world class city.”

Kwun Tong Ferry Pier.

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Kwun Tong Ferry Pier.

The opening ceremony of “Inter Cities / Intra Cities: Ghostwriting the Future” will be held on Monday, August 27, 2012. The exhibition will open from August 29 to November 25, 2012 at the Arsenale, Campo della Tana, Castello 2126, in Venice, Italy.

Bamboo scaffolding in Kwun Tong.

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Bamboo scaffolding in Kwun Tong.

Exhibition Details:

Exhibition Dates
Opening Ceremony of “Inter Cities / Intra Cities: Ghostwriting the Future”: August 27, 2012 (by invitation)
13th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia: August 29 – November 25, 2012

Location
Arsenale, Campo della Tana, Castello 2126, 30122 Venice

Organizers
Hong Kong Institute of Architects
Hong Kong Arts Development Council

Curator, Oval Partnership
Christopher Law, Jonathan Pile, Desmond Hui, Sada Lam, Patrick Bruce

Leading Sponsor
Create Hong Kong, HKSAR

Contributing Organizations
Energizing Kowloon East Office
Exhibitors
Alan Cheung
ANTs
CAVE
Foster & Partners
Hour25 Production
HK Honey
Hidden Agenda
Jim Chan
Oval Partnership
Rocco Design
Ronald Lu & Partners
Wallace Chang

Website
www.venicebiennale.hk/2012

Facebook page
www.facebook.com/VeniceBiennaleHK



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