Archives projects >

They were There (2019-20) >

They were There (no.2) (2020)

Single-channel video (Digital animation)
Colour|16:9 | 10’35” | Silent


Hong Kong Arts Centre


Potted plants appeared in both “Hong Kong Sculpture Exhibition” (1984) (fig. 3) and “Liu Guosong Retrospective” (1985) at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, but they had very different arrangements on the plants.

In the fifth-floor gallery, Liu set up a white panel with two chairs and a waist-length potted pine in front of it, and white mist was released in the exhibition space to correspond to the visual elements of his paintings (fig. 4). In Ha’s exhibition record, Ha, Lau, and a friend were photographed sitting on their knees in front of the pine tree, with the white mist floating over them. If the potted plants in “Hong Kong Sculpture Exhibition” served as a backdrop to the space, the plants were in that case a presence somewhere between functional and decorative, both purifying the air and blending into the space. In “Liu Guosong Retrospective”, the pine plant is an installation that responds to the ink painting, materialising the visual elements of the ink painting; in addition, it facilitates the flow between people and space – guests posed for photographs in front of the pine tree. The plant was also part of the backdrop, but it was no longer a decoration that disappeared into the gaze, but rather turned an opening into a performative event.