HK art bureaucrats’ joke actually works

Few people were lucky enough to be in on Hong Kong’s best April Fool’s joke – I hope I am not spoiling the fun by sharing it now. The elaborate prank was an exclusive preview of a soon-to-open art gallery complex at the old Central Police Station/Victoria Prison compound on Hollywood Road (the Tai Kwun culture zone-hub).

The invitation, in a neat trendy minimalist grey envelope, was to a sort of pre-opening exhibition by assorted artists entitled ‘Rehearsal’.

The gallery itself is fine – though the spiral stairs promise mass-broken-ankle carnage when the tourist hordes invade the place.

The joke was of course the artwork on display: everyday objects like a coat draped over a screen, a glove on a shelf, some cushions on a floor, a popcorn machine and a postcard stand, complete with absurd descriptions of the supposed artists and the deep meaningful concepts. And yes, the carefully selected trickle of privileged aesthete-attendees were suitably mesmerized (apart from those of us too cool to be taken in, naturally).

Makes you wonder what the real exhibitions will be like when the complex finally opens in 2083 or whenever – which of course, is the whole point. By Hong Kong standards, this April 1 jest sets new levels of originality and wit in ‘creating a buzz’. Impressed!



This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to HK art bureaucrats’ joke actually works

  1. Not A Political Decision says:

    Well you can’t hurt the CCP with that kind of stuff can you ?

  2. old git says:

    Indeed the Hong Kong Civil Service excels at discombobulation. For some 45 years, one studied a particular technology and endeavour. One decided to apply to the Civil Service’s Innovation Fund people in Hong Kong to finance a test-to-destruction and reconstruction, at a local University. Not much money was needed, actually. Then one learnt that a successful application for finance require one to transfer all IP to the Government, outright and upfront. But also one needed to prove that the technology existed and was not innovative at all, but instead had already made money.

  3. dimuendo says:

    Off topic but interesting article in the New York Times about the SCMP


    Sorry will not come up as a link, presumably my lack of appropriate skills, but worth copy and pasting into your browser.

    Also says Shirley Yam resigned, because of disappearnce of her article, not been dismissed as I assumed. If so, I would have liked her to stick it out and report on other matters not just connections to Xi

  4. dimuendo says:

    Once posted comes up as a link!!

  5. Knownot says:

    The spiral staircase evokes an amusing riddle, when a person is asked to describe one – without using his or her hands! More puzzles arise: can a spiral staircase be climbed without using one’s hands, or indeed one’s feet? If climbing without feet, can ankles be broken? Surely not; but if they appear to be broken, what truly is broken? And who is responsible?

  6. Red Dragon says:

    Loved those excerpts from the installation blurb, Hemmers.

    Have you ever read such utter drivel in your life?

    No wonder the tossers in the “relevant government departments” went for this crap like a shot. It reads just like a civil service press release.

Comments are closed.