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Para Site announces The Floating Eternity Project

Para Site presents The Floating Eternity Project open 15 September–10 November 2013, a group exhibition featuring Adam Bobbette & Seth Denizen, BREAD Studio, Moosje M. Goosen, Grieve Perspective, Ho Sin Tung, The Estate of Charles LaBelle, Venus Lau, Maha Maamoun, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, and Hong-Kai Wang.

BREAD Studio, The Floating Eternity, 2013. 3D model.
BREAD Studio, The Floating Eternity, 2013. 3D model.

The Floating Eternity Project takes its point of departure from a 2012 architectural proposal by BREAD Studio to create an offshore columbarium to alleviate the pressing concerns over Hong Kong’s critical land scarcity and greying population as well as the implications of these issues on the city’s economy of the afterlife. Taking into account Hong Kong’s belief systems, BREAD Studio conceived of a temporary platform that would contain over 350,000 niches of equal auspiciousness for individual human remains, vital to the concerns of the Chinese fengshui tradition and at an affordable price. This columbarium was planned to be anchored in the outer waters of Hong Kong and to return to the shore when needed.

Through newly commissioned and existing architectural proposals, texts, videos and installations by Hong Kong and international artists, the exhibition explores notions of land scarcity, private and public spaces attributed to the living and the dead, and the formation of memory landscapes. The latter is informed by the traditions of death and mourning such as the Hungry Ghost Festival and the history of graveyards and burial rituals in Hong Kong. This history ranges from the establishment of the first unauthorized Chinese burial site on Cemetery Street (now Po Yan Street, on which Para Site is situated) in 1850 to the pivotal role Hong Kong played in facilitating the return of remains of members of past Chinese diasporas through institutions such as the Tung Wah Coffin Home from the late 19th century to the present. The Floating Eternity Project is curated by Qinyi Lim.

This exhibition is accompanied by a series of public programmes. These include film screenings at Para Site exploring memory formation and space, as well as the representation of specters and the supernatural in Hong Kong film culture (on 5 October and 19 October), co-curated with Venus Lau; a sound performance by artist Hong-Kai Wang, Terrestrial Excursions at Spring Workshop on 15 September, 15h.

The sound performance, Terrestrial Excursions, will use conversation as a mechanism to explore the process and technology of reminiscence. Starting in Taipei, Wang recorded an exchange between herself and Taiwanese composer Yong-Chih Chang discussing their memories of Ching Ming day—a tradition linked with tomb sweeping. Based on the transcription of the exchange, actors and collaborators Steve Hui, Miu-Ling Lam and Samson Young are invited to re-enact the conversation and intervene as a way of revealing to the audience the process of unfolding memories in a language shaped by circumstance and context.

Para Site
G/F, 4 Po Yan Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong