As one of the nine Collateral Events of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition in this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, an exhibition, titled Transformative Hong Kong, will explore the critical territorial, architectural and urban space issues facing Hong Kong’s future.
Transformative Hong Kong will be on view from 20 May to 26 November 2023 in Campo della Tana, Castello 2126, 30122 in Venice, Italy.
Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation and Hong Kong Arts Development Council, with partner institution the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), the exhibition is curated by architect, curator and lecturer Sarah Kwok Yan Lee, architect, educator and Professor Hendrik Tieben and architect Yutaka Yano.
The curatorial team: Sarah Lee (left), Hendrik Tieben (middle), Yutaka Yano (right). Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
In response to Lesley Lokko’s The Laboratory of the Future, the exhibition will focus on Hong Kong’s future on how the country is being transformed by such mega-projects as The Northern Metropolis and the East Lantau Metropolis, and by such innovations as Modular Integrated Construction (MiC).
The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Biennale Foundation and Hong Kong Arts Development Council will be revealing these creative visions to the world through their “Transformative Hong Kong” exhibition.
The exhibition will share Hong Kong’s transformation with the world, and reveal both a city in a constant state of transformation and where creative design in this city is heading to.
The curatorial team: Sarah Lee (left), Yutaka Yano (middle), Hendrik Tieben (right). Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
The show will consist of 11 sets of exhibits with interactive mixed media representations and visual essays, snapshots of this transformative moment in our city, to feature the voices of a diverse group of creators who are distinctly Hong Kong in nature, and in vision.
“The International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most influential events in the world for architects to envision the future of different architectural planning of their countries. We are going to explore the insights into Hong Kong’s transformation in urban planning and architectural design while we preserve local traditions and culture, continuing to innovate under the discussion around the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Ar. Benny Chan, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), Partner of the Hong Kong Exhibition said at a press conference held on May 5.
Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
The exhibition will be presented in three designated scales: “Territorial Transformations”, “Architectural Transformations” and “Public Space Transformations”, with focused themes on Hong Kong’s relationship with the Mainland, sustainability, climate change, technology and energy/resource management, and how the architectural collaborations and innovations using the city as the “laboratory” to meet the challenges faced by the future generation of Hong Kong.
Arup, Modular Design A Sustainable Future. Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
“Territorial planning has long been the social issues for Hong Kong’s future development. Ongoing mega-projects and recently initiated territorial planning framework will profoundly transform the city,” said Professor Hendrik Tieben, a member of the Hong Kong Curatorial Team.
“Even though the complexity and depth of the subjects extend far beyond the scope of this exhibition and a fluid transitional phase is often difficult to crystalise or capture, nevertheless the exhibition introduces a unique insight into selected critical urban issues facing Hong Kong in the near future,” Tieben added.
Building Narrative. Image © Kris Provoost Photography
“Hong Kong is a global financial and aviation hub and a densely populated urban centre which presents unique challenges and opportunities for urban planning and architectural innovation,” said curator Ar. Yutaka Yano.
“With the advent of smart city technologies and digital fabrication, Hong Kong’s design practices are transforming and increasingly propelled by sustainable-agenda, data-driven and adaptable urban design philosophy. However, Hong Kong’s unique cultural heritage is not lost in the pursuit of technological advancement.”
“By embracing innovations, architects continue to aspire to create sustainable spaces while preserving the rich cultural heritage that makes Hong Kong unique,” Yano added.
Catalyzing Paradigm Shifts. Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
Public Space Transformations
“For the public space in Hong Kong, the key question remains: how can residents of the dense urban areas be provided with suitable open spaces near their homes and ease of access to the wider distant natural areas? This question became particularly urgent under the Covid-19 pandemic during which access to open spaces became an essential factor for health and well-being,” said Ar. Sarah Kwok Yan Lee.
“Public Space Transformations is essential in the creation of more successful public spaces and will be the stronger consideration of community views, existing place qualities and environmental conditions and we remain optimistic and are encouraged by both new generations of designers as well as the more established practices in this endeavor to improve Hong Kong’s public space that support our way of life,” Yan Lee added.
The Harbour A Reimagination. Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
Transformative Hong Kong exhibition will be exhibited from 20 May to 26 November 2023 in Venice, Italy. The exhibition will return to Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2024. More information will be released on the official website in due course.
Moving bamboo. Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
New Media Ceramics. Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
The MTR Corporation, The Northern Link. Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
Key visual. Image courtesy of Transformative Hong Kong exhibition
Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is the Lead Sponsor of the exhibition.
The Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 will be held from Saturday 20 May to Sunday 26 November, 2023 at the Arsenale and Giardini venues.
Read more about WAC’s coverage about pavilions on Venice Architecture Biennale 2023. See the full list of participants and the Collateral Events on WAC.
Top image in the article: Building Narrative. Image © Kris Provoost Photography.
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Venice Architecture Biennale