Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chanel Mobile Art Exhibition @ Central

Last Sunday Mike and I went to the Chanel Mobile Art Exhibition in Central. I learned about this from newspaper last week. As everybody knows Chanel is one of the biggest name brands in the female handbag industry. Though I have never heard of Chanel-sponsored art event, especially at such huge international scale, so I was very curious and did some digging on my own.


It seems that this Chanel Mobile Art exhibition might be one of the largest fashion-funded contemporary art events. Chanel did not only just invite twenty renowned artists from all over the world to create art pieces, they have even commissioned an entire pavilion to house the exhibits. Designed by famous architect Zaha Hadid, the container architecture itself is a great piece of art itself.

The Contemporary Art Container

People refer the pavilion as the "contemporary art container". Here are some artistic rendering of the pavilion that I found online.


Very futuristic shape!! Mike kept saying it's supposed to look like a handbag, but can you see it?....


Here is a video rendering of the art container.

The container exterior was built in 7-foot wide shiny pearl white segments. Despite its beautiful outlook, the entire container structure can be dismantled into pieces and transported.


See!! This is how they assemble the pieces!! Amazing, isn't it?


Over the next two years, the pavilion with the entire exhibition will travel to six cities around the world (Tokyo, New York, London, Moscow and Paris). And guess what - Hong Kong was selected as the opening city! The VERY FIRST among the other five international cities!! Yea, Go Hong Kong!!!!!! (^______^)v

The Perfect Location

The location of the Mobile Art Exhibition is in the middle of Central, on the top floor of the former Star Ferry Pier parking lot.


Overpass from the Central MTR station to the exhibition location. Crowded.


Passed by a pretty water fountain on our way there too.

Finally arrived!!!


Right in the busy center of Hong Kong Island


Surrounded by skyscrapers, what an interesting contrast!!


You can see the HSBC building across from the entrance.


IFC is right next to it.


And the rest of the landmarks in Central.


The other side of the art container faces the Victoria Harbor.


And from this side, the exhibition can even be "watched" by a hot sexy African male model !! hehe... ;)


The Expectation.....?

When you think of Chanel events, you might first think of all those exclusive Chanel (high) fashion events, which are, of course, open to only a select few. But fortunately, Chanel Mobile Art opens to public, and what is even better - it is FREE!!!! You just need to reserve a ticket for a particular time slot beforehand and pay $10 HK dollars service charge.


I was excited. The contemporary art exhibition is supposed to consist of a series of installations, photographs, films, other audio and visual stimulations. The idea of interactive art really aroused my curiosity.


Mike though, on the other hand.....

Well... You can just tell by his skeptic look. Yea, he's the kind of person who hears the word "Chanel" and will then shrug his shoulders and asks "So what?!"


Just like this....


I totally share the same attitude regarding the whole "name brands must be big deal" nonsense bullshit. Though I am eager to see the art work by those renowned artists!! Supposedly the art pieces are not related (at least not directly) to the Chanel brand nor its handbag business.

The Exhibition


Cameras and videos are not allowed in the exhibition, so we can only take pictures outside....


Entrance of the container.


Hehe... can you spot us from the reflection?


I really like the "roundness" of the container. So cute... =)


The line waiting to go in.


The exhibition emphasizes "individual experience". They designed it so that the walk through the exhibit incorporates a timed audio soundtrack. Very different from a normal audio tour, the audio is actually an inseparable element and part of the exhibition.


Everyone was given an mp3 player and handset at the entrance. The female narrator had this husky, mysterious voice. She told you her story, leading you to go through an abstract journey into her head, explore her mind, a mind of a complicated (fictitious) character with multiple-personality disorder.


It's a really enjoyable experience if you synchronize with the audio sound-scape. The audio has cues instructing you when to go along, turn left or right, climb the stairs, close your eyes, etc. Explore as you hear the cues.


I felt that the timing and directions were really well-planned and easy to follow.

I don't have pictures of the art pieces (remember, no cameras allowed!!!), and I don't think it's fair for me to spoil the content for those who haven't seen the exhibition yet. One thing I can tell you though is that it's an interactive art experience - Instead of just simply having you stare at a static canvas or frame, the artists have really tried to create a 3D-space to amplify the art experience and value. And they all have different styles and project their ideas from a different angle.


My favorites are (won't provide any detailed description, sorry. You have to go check it out yourself !) the 360 degree projection of bugs (yea, out of all things!!), the partial water reflection of a Paris street, the female leather skin masks, the "gun powder containing in a woman powder box", and some wickedly beautiful nuke photos... (yea, you didn't hear it wrong, I said "nuke", dude!!) ^o^

The diversity is pretty amazing!!!

Check out the sneak preview video.

Side Story: Flying Saucer Door?!

I witnessed something unusual after the exhibition....


I saw this one segment of the container slided up and open, just like those flying saucer's door on Sci-Fi. I was so excited and kept staring and pointing at it like an idiot!! haha...


Waiting for it to open again....


Yea, it OPENED again!!!!! What actually happened was - the guy from inside was about to come out, but through the small gap saw that I was waiting outside. He then closed the door again....


I want to SEEeeeeee!!!!!


Mike was tired waiting for me waiting for the UFO door to open again.... (yea, poor Mike, he's still sick....)


I left with a new appreciation for mobile and interactive art. =)

ariel cam - night 1.jpg

Lastly, here is the night view of the art container with pretty lights, from the aerial cam shot from the Chanel Mobile site

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