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Arts & Culture

Artpace International Artist-in-Residence Pak Sheung Chuen Takes on San Antonio

Photo: Courtesy of Artpace San Antonio, License: N/A

Courtesy of Artpace San Antonio

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This type of city exploration began when, for more than four years, Pak produced an artwork each week for the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao. The way he writes about and photographs his work still bears the imprint of journalism. Typically terse descriptions accompany photographs of actions ranging from poetic to playfully subversive.

The artist likes to invent unexpected ways of interacting with the environment and culture around him. “This is the Mark Six in Hong Kong, this is the lottery game. And I follow the rules of the game, but I make different images.” He points to a lottery card with several grids of Scantron-style bubbles. Each grid contains six filled bubbles, which spell out “Win.” On another card, he has made the image of a tower. “This is showed in the newspaper, so it become a method for the people there. You can copy this, at the same time you can develop your own image. And I find that this is my role. I try to find different things in Hong Kong, but I try to open the rules or the method of the game.”

Some may dismiss this kind of playful cultural engagement. Pak, for his part, rejects the idea that artwork should be serious. “For my own working habit, I really enjoy this very loose thing... I just do the thing that relaxing me.” This may sound odd for an artist who has represented Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale, among the world’s most prestigious art fairs. Perhaps there, too, he has opened up the rules of the game.

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