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The Hong Kong Collateral Event at the 17th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition – Concurrent Physical Exhibition in HK & Virtual Display in Venice

In view of the various challenges as well as the opportunities that Hong Kong is facing which include climate change, scarce land resources, heritage conservation, talent development, an ageing population, and other such issues, the local architectural industry has collaborated with experts from the commercial, arts and design, academic sectors and NGOs, to showcase their social concerns and present a series of creative solutions at the 17th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition. Under the theme ‘Redistribution: Land, People and Environment’, the exhibition helps establish a new paradigm for building Hong Kong as a more liveable city.

The Hong Kong Collateral Event at the 17th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition is jointly organised by The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation (HKIABF) and Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC), in partnership with The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) and with the support of Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region serving as the Lead Sponsor.

Due to the global pandemic, the Venice Architecture Biennale has been postponed from last year and is currently underway in Venice from May to November 2021, with the Hong Kong team embracing a virtual approach by applying augmented reality (AR) technology to display its exhibits at the Hong Kong Collateral Event. Concurrently, organisers also launch the Hong Kong Response Exhibition to showcase the exhibits of this edition’s Hong Kong Collateral Event in a physical format for the first time starting from20 October 2021 until 15 December 2021, at the City Gallery, with the support of the Planning Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as another co-organiser. The Hong Kong Response Exhibition is open to everyone in the Territory for appreciation of all the exhibits in person.

Dr. Bernard Chan Pak-li, Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, officiated at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition as the Guest of Honour. He was joined by Donald Choi, President of the HKIA and Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Collateral Event, Helen Leung, Chairperson of the HKIABF, Winsome Chow, Chief Executive of the HKADC, as well as Ivan Chung, Director of Planning of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the ceremony.

“While facing the ‘new normal’ arising from the pandemic, we at the Hong Kong Collateral Event at the Venice Architecture Biennale have revolutionised the traditional format by hosting various webinars and a virtual exhibition in Hong Kong prior to the one in Venice which uses AR technology to engage overseas visitors there to appreciate Hong Kong’s creativity,” says Donald Choi. “More than ten thousand international guests have visited the Hong Kong Collateral Event since May 2021. They were impressed with our new digital exhibition format. Such response indeed brought great encouragement to our curators and exhibitors.”

Upon the stabilisation of the pandemic situation in the Territory, the curatorial team decided to launch a physical Hong Kong Response Exhibition for the Hong Kong Collateral Event to showcase the 20 creative exhibits. Choi points out that the exhibits developed by 20 participating teams reflect the result of collaboration among the 53 exhibitor units, formed by emerging architects as well as corporate executives, designers, artists, academics and representatives of NGOs. Their common aim is to assemble a diverse array of creative ideas focusing on the redistribution of our critical resources: land, people and environment, to enhance our overall liveability.

Led by Donald Choi, the Curatorial Team has five more members, namely Paul Mui and Benny Lee, Co-founders of BREADstudio; Agnes Hung, Senior Architect at the Inhabit Group; Ka-Sing Yu, Assistant Professor of Practice for the Architectural Conservation Programme at the University of Hong Kong; and Dr. Hoyin Lee, Co-founder of the Architectural Conservation Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Response Exhibition of the 17th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition
Date: 20 October – 15 December 2021
Time: 10am-6pm (Monday to Thursday, closed on Tuesdays except Public Holidays)
10am-7pm (Friday to Sunday and Public Holidays)
Venue: City Gallery (3 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong)

FREE Admission
For details, please refer to the project website: https://2021.vbexhibitions.hk/