The Colony Project is the Hong Kong installation at Taipei NEXT PLAY : Shifting Ground Exhibition. Invited by the Taipei City Urban Regeneration Office, three teams of architects from Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong were asked to respond to a theme, ‘Displacement’, to transform a 1 acre site at Huashan, a cultural district at the heart of Taipei City. The architects further develop the concept based on views to his city’s identity; the works are exhibited to public for two months.
The subject our team (Hong Kong) wished to explore was The Colony. We are interested in how migrant reacts on a foreign land. By building on the site, we ‘colonized’ 1 acre of grassland from site, therefore colonizing a fragment of Taipei. Hong Kong, a colony by nature, has now its own colony.
Our abstraction of the act of colonization can be observed at two scales: The Tower and The Performance.
Directions are from a commentator from The Tower, visitors may use the chalk dispensers that are scattered over the site to demarcate territories with symbols. Participants are given a ‘task’ to ‘work’, their actions and marks will be recorded by a camera mounted on The Tower. Not only acting as headquarter to The Colony, also, the building symbolizes a totem of power and governances. The play, or performance, is the embodiment of four sets of paradoxes: 1/right (Taiwan ownership VS Hong Kong use), 2/space (transparency VS boundary), 3/man (spectator VS performer), 4/media (tangible VS translated).
Hong Kong immigrants will be drawing concessions of land, Taiwanese audiences shall witness alienation of their home ground.
Construction of the tower further facilitates our abstraction of colonialism. Skin of The Tower is prefabricated in Hong Kong and shipped to Taiwan. Towards the end of our ruling, the skin can be shipped back to Hong Kong or other parts of the world for other colonization conquests. The Tower may be replicated thus reinforcing Hong Kong’s “sovereignty”.
The ambiance of The Tower was engineered so that it may possess two characters: the skin is introverted during daytime; its neutral color mimic and blend-in with the cloudy sky of Taipei; at night, the skin is illuminating and flamboyant. A projection screen will broadcast The Performance recorded during the day at a fixed time during the evening. The conglomeration of the people around The Tower will therefore be ritualistic and routine.
GROUNDWORK TEAM Stephen Suen, Manfred Yuen, Raymond Chan, Patrick Wong, Issac Chow, Leanne Mak, Miracle Hui
DIRECTOR / CURATOR Alvin Yip
GRAPHIC AND CREATIVE Hinz Park
PUBLICITY AND LOCAL COORDINATOR Kinki Ng
CURATOR OF THE EVENT (TAIWAN)
Chief Curator: David Tseng
Curator: Wei Tseng
Construction: John-son Liao
Coordination: Aria Yang
PHOTOGRAPHER Joseph Jiau
LOCATION Taipei City, Taiwan
CLIENT The Urban Regeneration Office, Taipei City, Taiwan