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Art What!: Tai Kwun unveils evolving, accumulative exhibition ‘trust & confusion’

Tai Kwun Contemporary has announced new group exhibition trust & confusion, running from 5th May to 5th December 2021. Curated by Xue Tan, Senior Curator at Tai Kwun, and renowned international curator Raimundas Malašauskas, trust & confusion is an evolving, accumulative exhibition that unfolds over several episodes on site and online.

Installation view of trust & confusion, Tai Kwun
Contemporary, 5 May – 5 Dec 2021
Photography: Kwan Sheung Chi

trust & confusion is about the conversation of certainty and chance; the transformative power of bodies, intangibles, and ephemeral encounters; music and magic; and the luck of being alive, with all the concerns that come with it. This exhibition is an invitation to observe how things emerge in relation to each other—sounds, gestures, smells, identities—and to be a part of it, being surprised and giving attention to your inner landscape while a spectacle is taking place around you.

Transforming the white cube space into a fluctuating environment that hosts activities and sensations, the exhibition transforms this space in favour of movements, interactions, and deep listening for ears and bodies. There are several visible performances taking place as you arrive, and several invisible ones.

Lina Lapelytė
Study of Slope, 2021, Sound Installation
Photography: Kwan Sheung Chi

As you move along, there is a chance that you might be caught by the sounds of birds and humans conversing, two or three life retrospectives of previously unpublished photographic works, a short splash of dance, a posture reminiscent of a public sculpture in Hong Kong melodies sung by a chorus of tone-deaf singers, a sound sculpture morphing into a theatre prop, a molecule striking a new olfactory possibility, an open rehearsal in public, foam mattresses transmitting the sound of one’s favourite radio, a tree so obsessively protected that it is nowhere to be seen, a visual letter speaking of virtual existence and climate change, among others.

Observing nature’s cycles and the importance of rituals, which anchor our beings and ancestries, the exhibition space is devised in the alignment of day and night, with a brief sunset room in between. Whereas artworks would grow and evolve in the day room, a solo or duo presentation would debut in the night room for each episode. Changes would take place after each full moon, when the tides are the deepest and the forest the nosiest. Some artists’ contributions will remain for months but in fresh configurations; others will appear in changing roles with the unfolding of time.

Trevor Yeung
Learning to be a tree lover
Photography: Kwan Sheung Chi

As a tribute to the bare human voice as a most vibrant and direct form of communication, a weekly release of voices by artists, writers, poets, and choreographers is made available on, where you also find the calendar of the moon to guide you through the coming episodes.

Xue Tan, co-curator of trust & confusion, said: “We first sketched out the contours of the exhibition in 2019 as we imagined creating a ground for our community—polarised and exhausted by the incident of that year—to come together and rest. A constellation of live works of art exploring the individual and collective body through conversations, games, gatherings, and imagination was conceived.”

Felix Gonzalez-Torres
“Untitled” (North)
Photography: Kwan Sheung Chi
Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art,
Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandaleon-Hudson, New York
© Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Courtesy of the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation

Raimundas Malašauskas, co-curator of trust & confusion, noted: “The exhibition may trigger a sense of being in a music video, or a backstage of a theatre set, inside a pinball machine, or in the midst of a meditation session—all of it and more, while practising attentiveness, respect, and playfulness in the company of artworks and fellow visitors.”

Highlights of the exhibition include live performances, such as Still in Hong Kong (2021) by Scarlet Yu and Xavier Le Roy. The commission sees a performer addressing the visitor to engage in an encounter, sharing a personal collection of “stills” made of actions, postures, stories, and extending into conversations. Embodying individual and collective memories, experiences, and relations of and with Hong Kong, these “stills” examine the notion of stillness in this performative proposition, after more than a year of global slowdown and restricted mobility.

Front: Yuko Mohri
Photography: Kwan Sheung Chi

In choreographer Mette Edvardsen’s Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine (2010– ongoing), the project gathers a group of people who have decided to learn a book of their choice by heart. Together, they form a collection of “living books”, to be consulted by visitors—or “readers” Upon request, the “living book” guides the reader to a comfortable place within Tai Kwun and recites the book to the reader from memory.

In Nile Koetting’s Remain Calm (Mobile +) (2021), through hybrid environments that host audio, video, performance, and sculpture, Koetting’s work reflects the mutual responsiveness between the human body and technology in the digital age. This particular work proposes a threefold choreographic installation that poses questions about today’s increasing presence of security technologies and their accompanying choreographies.

Claudia Fernández
Photography: Kwan Sheung Chi

Alice Chauchat’s Unison, as a Matter of Fact (trust & confusion) (2021) presents a score that draws attention to an activity shared by all living things: breathing. Working with movement, perception, attention, and their interwoven choreographic potential, Chauchat invites the visitor to tune into one’s breath and collective breathing in space. The task, written down on a card and passed to the visitor by a docent, contains a formula that, when activated, reveals an incessant choir of breaths.

And in Serene Hui’s Rehearsal for Disaster—The Explosion, Rehearsal for Disaster—The Siren (2021), she proposes two works that are rooted in her long-standing research on individual and collective mourning. In this one, the visitor receives, upon request, a balloon with a question printed on top and is asked to carry it with them throughout the duration of their visit. On returning the balloon, a shared moment of poking takes place and a surprise reveals itself.

Celeste Burlina
The Liminoid
Photography: Kwan Sheung Chi

Tobias Berger, Head of Art at Tai Kwun, said: “This 8-month-long project is conceived to present exciting forms of art that involve performance, memory, sounds, smells, and more.”

“Such new forms also demand new formats—challenging the notion of the exhibition itself. trust & confusion encompasses evolving and accumulating parts: artworks that remain are reconfigured, while new episodes bring in new works. Visitors will find trust & confusion growing and changing throughout the year.”

trust & confusion runs from 5th May to 5th December 2021 at Tai Kwun Contemporary. For more information, visit Tai Kwun’s website here

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