213 The Absence of Art 德智體群
2016. Tiu Keng Leng, Hong Kong 香港調景嶺
[The Absence of Art]
Tiu Keng Leng is a self-sufficient community. It has its own sports centre, library, schools, and living quarters - all the essential ingredients of a healthy community. Apparently. As in many other instant or new communities, all the essential needs of life are met, with the exception of Art. The ‘art’ part of the Five Ways of Life ‘德智體群美’ (moral, intellectual, physical, social, aesthetics) is usually considered as an afterthought, if at all. Tiu Keng Leng is no exception.
Our proposed ‘The Absence of Art’ attempts to bring awareness to this missing way of life, the devoid of aesthetics. ‘The Absence of Art’ does not attempt to become an ‘art’ per se to fill this void, but rather to represent it.
‘The Absence of Art’ is placed at an oblique angle with respect to the existing curb with roughly one-third of its length outside of the landscaped area to facilitate touch. This position enriches the dynamic experience of viewing from multiple angles no matter whether you are coming out from the library, going to the sports hall, or simply passing by.
A continuous wall of white marble, resembling the material of choice by classical sculptors, runs down the ramp leading to the entrances of the sports centre and the library. This location is right at the centre between the MTR station and the residential towers of which the main pedestrian pathway is frequented by the residents and students of the Tiu Keng Leng community. The middle portion of the long wall is carved away leaving a void to the greenery behind, and a series of artist names are printed in and around this void, only with some of their names truncated abruptly by the carvings. This raises curiosity to the students or the general public and potentially encourages them to use their cellphones to google the missing parts of the artist names. This mental interplay and interactions between the artwork and the general public has a passive didactic value and the potential to nurture the knowledge of art over time as the community grows. This effect is further enhanced by the placement of the wall at an oblique angle to the existing curb, creating different distances between the viewers and the artwork. People can then at different parts touch the names, view them, or look through the ‘absence’ into the greenery for infinite imagination just like art itself.
Artist names are placed around the middle void and some of the names are truncated by the carving out of this void. This fragmentary reading of names facilitates curiosity and instant learning by google-ing on everyone’s cellphones.
有著體育館、圖書館、學校及住宅，調景嶺可說個能自給自足的社區。但德、智、體、群皆備背後，還是欠了美才能滿全五育教學(Five Ways of Life)。
這《德智體群(The Absence of Art) 》藝術頂目，非欲單純地補上美，而是想強調跟展現這份欠缺。