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Before Memories Expire 記憶若有限期/

Hong Kong,  218, Landmark Atrium, JPS Art Gallery

May 6, 2021 - June 6, 2021

“How do we, as humans, individuals, and members of a community, embrace the destruction and recreation of our socio-economic cityscape, collective memories and interwoven identities?” -- Elaine Chiu


Growing up in Yau Tsim Mong District, one of the busiest neighbourhoods in the city, Hong Kong artist Elaine has been witnessing the drastic and continuous transformation of the urban space and environment since her childhood. The transient, fluidic, and intersecting memories and impressions about Hong Kong have been deep-rooted in her consciousness and self-identity. 


With the effect of the amendment of the Building Ordinance in 2011, thousands of signboards, hand-written or neon-lighted, have since been removed all around the city. Elaine initiated an on-site sketching campaign to record the fleeting cityscape with her paintbrush in the past three years. Street-sketching prompts her to contemplate the disappearance of numerous heritage buildings and tenement houses in the local community under rapid urban renewal. 


Titled Before Memories Expire, this exhibition is a continuation of Elaine’s previous on-site sketching and community art project. Centring her research around endangered buildings, architecture, cityscape, and memories of Hong Kong, her work explores different organic carriers, and their relationship with time and people, including community culture, architectural structures and memories, that are formed bottom-up in the urban space. 

「在建築物和建築群不斷刷新、呼吸、成長和演化的過程裏,我們作為回憶的共同擁有者,在不斷被拆毀和重建的社會環境、回憶與身份下,該如何自處?」— 趙綺婷