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“Vertical Fabric: density in landscape” The 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition Hong Kong Response Exhibition Grand Opening at City Gallery

100 Towers 100 Architects Incubating visions for vertical freespace in Hong Kong

(Hong Kong, 25th March 2019) Following the overwhelming success in Venice last year, The 16th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia - Hong Kong Exhibition ("Hong Kong Exhibition") “Vertical Fabric: density in landscape” (垂直肌理:密度的地景) will be returned to Hong Kong under the title of The 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition - Hong Kong Response Exhibition (Hong Kong Response Exhibition) in March during the Hong Kong Arts Month. Many local and international artists and art communities will gather together during the Hong Kong Arts Month for art inspirations and diversified happenings, including The Hong Kong Response Exhibition scheduled from 20th March to 22nd April at City Gallery for the first phase followed by the second phase schedule for 26th April to 23rd June at Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre.

The Hong Kong Response Exhibition is jointly organized by The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Planning Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), with The Hong Kong Institute of Architects as the Partner and Create Hong Kong of the HKSAR Government as the Lead Sponsor. A Grand Opening ceremony is held today at the City Gallery and officiated by the Guest of Honour Dr. Bernard Chan, JP, Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, the HKSAR Government.

The Hong Kong Response Exhibition showcases 116 tower models marching along from the Edinburgh Place in Central, and extending into the exhibition areas on G/F and 3/F inside the City Gallery. The Hong Kong Response Exhibition illustrates the aesthetic of density, uniqueness and compactness of Hong Kong’s urban density to the audience. The model towers feature a variety of architectural elements as each embodied different ideas and design strategies. Together these exhibits reveal different ingenious and refined designs to discuss the controversial issues of housing and land, green space and community connections faced by Hong Kong as a metropolitan city.

The Hong Kong Response Exhibition is curated by Professor Weijen Wang as the Chief Curator, together with Co-curator Mr. Thomas Chung and Co-curator Mr. Thomas Tsang. In responding to The 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition’s theme of “Freespace”, the Hong Kong curatorial team sets the theme of Hong Kong Exhibition as “Vertical Fabric: density in landscape” and has designed 3 different structural bases, each with fixed infrastructures of 360mm square plan extrusion and 2m in height as the basis of typical Hong Kong tower architecture.  A total of 89 groups of exhibitors from Hong Kong, the Mainland, Taiwan and overseas, including Thailand, Brazil, the Netherlands, Japan, USA, Spain and Switzerland, etc., were invited to design the towers in different visionary ideas to explore freespace in vertical space.

Grand Opening of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition at City Gallery
At the Grand Opening Ceremony today, the Guest of Honour Dr. Bernard Chan is joined by other officiating guests to unveil the Hong Kong Response Exhibition by cutting a special ribbon printed with the Hong Kong Response Exhibition’s wordings and the proliferation of towers to symbolize the high density and vertical urban architecture of Hong Kong.

The honourable guests attended the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition “Vertical Fabric: density in landscape” today are :

Guest of Honour: Dr. Bernard Chan, JP, Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Officiating guests:

  1. Mr. Felix Li, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Architects
  2. Mr. XIAO Jia Hong, the Department of Education Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR
  3. Mr. Franklin Yu, Chairman of The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation
  4. Ms. Winsome Chow, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council
  5. Mr. Raymond Lee, JP, Director of Planning, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  6. Ms. Fiona Lam, Acting Head of Create Hong Kong, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  7. Professor Bernard Lim, BBS, JP, Co-chairperson of 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition – Hong Kong Response Exhibition Steering Committee
  8. Ms. Alice Yeung, Co-chairperson of 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition – Hong Kong Response Exhibition Steering Committee
  9. Professor Weijen Wang, Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition
  10. Mr. Thomas Chung, Co-curator of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition
  11. Mr. Thomas Tsang, Co-curator of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition

Dr. Bernard Chan, JP, Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, expressed his gratitude to The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for organizing the Hong Kong Response Exhibition to promote Hong Kong’s architecture.

Mr. Felix Li, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Partner of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition said that, “The Hong Kong Institute of Architects is proud to be a key player behind this prestigious international architecture exhibition as this will enhance the exposure of our members in the global stage. I hope you would like the exhibits, be inspired and conceive our city of tomorrow together.”

Speaking on the same occasion, Mr. Franklin Yu, Chairman of The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation, one of the organizers of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition remarked that, “The Hong Kong Exhibition in Venice was well received by media and the international audiences with tens of thousands of visitors recorded.  We therefore bring it back to Hong Kong as a response exhibition and share it with the local citizens and international visitors. We would like to express our greatest appreciation to the lead sponsor, Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, response exhibition’s organizers Planning Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as well as contributions from all other sponsors and supporting organisations.”

Ms. Winsome Chow, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, another Organizer of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition, said, “The Hong Kong Arts Development Council has been advocating and supporting the broad development of the arts and culture of Hong Kong, striving to promote Hong Kong arts overseas. Last year, the Hong Kong Exhibition in Venice received critical acclaim and a record high attendance of over 95,000 visitors, providing the visitors a unique experience to walk in a miniature city constructed by 116 towers. With passion and creativity, the architects and curators express their different interpretation of this city amidst the urban density of Hong Kong.”

Mr. Raymond Lee, JP, Director of Planning, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, another Organizer of the Hong Kong Response Exhibition mentioned at the ceremony that, “I am glad that this year’s Hong Kong Response Exhibition takes place at the City Gallery, as this brand new premise is one of Planning Department’s pilot platforms to reach out and showcase to the public about our major town planning proposals and infrastructure projects. It is not just an ideal venue for commuting and exchange of planning ideas, but also a perfect location to host public forums and workshops throughout the exhibition period.”

The Chief Curator of the Hong Kong Exhibition, Professor Weijen Wang said that, “The Hong Kong Response Exhibition provides a platform of dialogue between Hong Kong and the world, shaping a discourse of Hong Kong’s urbanism and vertical architecture. And most importantly, facing challenges in land conservation for high density city of tomorrow, the exhibition provides architects with opportunities to re-think the design of tower typology beyond, incubating visions for vertical freespace facing global challenges in technology, environment, society and culture.”

Concurrent Forum and Workshops for Public Apart from the major tower exhibition, a series of forum and workshops will also be organized for the public throughout the exhibition period. It is hoped that the public are able to gain more in-depth understanding about Hong Kong’s unique architectural landscape with more vision to the future development. (Please refer to the appendix for more details)

Exhibition Schedule The 16th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition - Hong Kong Response Exhibition will be staged for three months in Hong Kong until 22nd April at the City Gallery for first phase and followed by the second phase on 26th April to 23rd June at the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre respectively. General Admission for public is free.

 

The 16th  Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition Hong Kong Response Exhibition

Hong Kong Response Exhibition – City Gallery, Central (First Phase)
Date: 20th  March – 22nd  April, 2019
Time: Monday to Thursday: 10am –  6pm Friday to Sunday and Public Holidays: 10am – 7pm Close on Tuesdays (except Public Holidays) Venue: City Gallery, 3 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Response Exhibition –  Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui (Second Phase)
Date: 26th  April – 23rd June 2019
Time:   Monday to Wednesday, Friday: 10am –  6pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10am –  7pm Close on Thursdays (except public holidays)
Venue: Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road,Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

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