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Indepth Arts News:

"Tsang Kin-Wah: What are you looking at?"
2008-06-27 until 2008-09-28
Chinese Arts Centre
Manchester, , UK United Kingdom

*The title of Tsang Kin-Wah's forthcoming exhibition at Chinese Arts Centre is simply the question you ask yourself on entering the space. 'What /are/ you looking at?' Pattern swirls around the room, yet meaning is initially impossible to define. As you move and walk around the space, glimpses of text become clear. Words scream out from the walls and suddenly the title becomes an aggressive confrontation. 'So, what are /you/ looking at?' Tsang Kin-Wah's latest text installation combines glossy transparent cut outs with sound to create a work which makes a very direct comment on issues of nationalism and racial prejudice. The simplicity of the space initially masks the anger, frustration and fear revealed in the swirling text. At once concealed and exposed, strong language runs around the walls, ceiling and floor on a textual rampage of extreme emotion.

Tsang's installation at Chinese Arts Centre is inspired by The Shining, the 1980 horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel by Stephen King, where a hotel has a personality of its own that slowly corrupts and infects the mind of the lead character Jack until he is totally possessed by the evil spirit of the hotel. The story draws on the Gothic horror genre of a building having a conscious will. Tsang's work uses the model of the hotel as a physical environment with a defined character and influential power. The installation uses sounds clips from the film with the rhythmically revealed profanities and slurs that adorn the walls to create an increasingly intense experience of racist views, which are often secretly held. The haunting sounds and abusive text come together to emphasise the existence and destructive influence of racial discrimination and violence that lie hidden in the world around us.

As well as the installation in the gallery space, Tsang will also be wrapping the huge panes of glass that form the exterior of Chinese Arts Centre in a his elegant text-laden patterns.

Tsang Kin-Wah was born in China in 1976 and graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2000 and completed his MA at the Camberwell College of Arts, London in 2003. He has exhibited extensively in group exhibitions worldwide and had solo shows at the Yvon Lambert in Paris (2008) and New York (2007), Art-U room, Tokyo (2006) and John Batten Gallery, Hong Kong (2005). Tsang has been awarded the Tokyo TDC Prize 2007, Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2005 and the Prize of Excellence, Hong Kong Biennial 2001. What are you looking? is Tsang's first solo exhibition in the UK.


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