Whose Game Is It?

誰のゲームですか?

De quem é o jogo?

谁的游戏?

Untitled, 2015 Dan Perjovschi (Romania) pen on wall, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist

Created by artists and curators from different backgrounds and geographical origins, Whose Game Is It? is an exhibition project that inquires into the sociopolitical issues in our current world, featuring works by Dan Perjovschi, Ishu Han, Lia Perjovschi, Lee Wen, Raqs Media Collective, and Tintin Wulia. Over the course of eight months, through dialogues, discussions and debates, we have come to terms with our different understandings of the same phenomenon – ‘globalisation’ is something multi-faceted and impossible to define in narrow, definitive terms. Indeed to do so would only diminish the intentions of this project, which aims to provoke questions and encourage diverse and even discordant responses. We decided on a participatory curatorial approach to the question of globalisation because we believe that hands-on engagement and interactions are ways to encourage people to experience phenomena for themselves and to consider an alternative narrative. Recognising that there is more than one cause, process and position, we tried to show a small cross section of this broad topic. In understanding our own historical contexts, our challenge then lay in finding ways to envisage the future through art and aesthetic practice. The artists we have invited to participate in this exhibition interweave tropes of orientalism, post-colonialism and geo-socio-political issues in their practice. They give us an opportunity for insight and discovery through their methods of communication and the spirit of play that runs throughout their projects. We hope that our project’s socio-political and participatory focus will instigate awareness of the intricate relationship between past and present. According to political theorist Chantal Mouffe, ‘consensus is not possible because there is no such thing as a neutral territory.’ With our different backgrounds and the issues we have raised through the selection of artworks, we realised we do not have a definite answer. Instead, we have only questions, in the form of exchanges, challenges and discussions oriented towards positive futures.

Curated by Kodama Kanazawa, Jennifer Lam, Hena Lee, Yingting Xie

Artworks and Participating Artists

Untitled, 2015 Dan Perjovschi (Romania) pen on wall, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist
Untitled, 2015
Dan Perjovschi (Romania)
pen on wall, dimensions variable.
Courtesy of the artist

 

Dan Perjovschi says, ‘My drawings mean something beyond “art.” I can have a more objective and precise look at the events I comment on’. His forthright, powerful as well as humorous drawings discuss the individual’s relationships with political, social and cultural issues. In this work, he also refers to other artists’ work in the exhibition.

 

 

 

 

Reclining Statue, 2015  Han Ishu (China/Japan) video installation. Courtesy of the artist
Reclining Statue, 2015
Han Ishu (China/Japan)
video installation.
Courtesy of the artist

 

Imitating five famous Western statues, Han Ishu slowly falls to the ground to take on the pose of a reclining Buddha. Through this performance to camera the artist considers the differences of meanings of iconic statues; as symbols of nation, belief and freedom, and as popular tourist attractions, depending on the context from which they are approached.

 

 

Terra Incognita, et cetera, 2009  Tintin Wulia (Indonesia/Australia) Collaborator: Hiroki Yamamoto Installation and performance, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Osage Gallery, Hong Kong
Terra Incognita, et cetera, 2009
Tintin Wulia (Indonesia/Australia)
Collaborator: Hiroki Yamamoto
Installation and performance, dimensions variable.
Courtesy of the artist and Osage Gallery, Hong Kong

 

Terra Incognita, et cetera consists of a map of the world based on Buckminster Fuller’s ‘Dymaxion Projection’, which features less distortion of the continents than traditional projections. Visitors to the opening are invited to divide the map and acquire land in a game played in the opening event, only to be erased at the closing of the exhibition. The fun is representative of the geo- political scramble for the globe and creates a focus for conversations about the individual and their political responsibilities.

 

 

 

 

Knowledge Museum, 1999–present Lia Perjovschi (Romania) installation and workshop, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist
Knowledge Museum, 1999–present Lia Perjovschi (Romania)
installation and workshop, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist

 

Perjovschi’s Knowledge Museum is an ongoing interdisciplinary research project composed of handwritten notes and images alongside mind-maps and found objects. For Perjovschi ‘knowledge is transforming the “object” into the “subject” of the history’. Her research into how knowledge is generated, received and perceived is a practice to locate individuality in society and history, from a ‘macro-cosmic’ perspective. A workshop titled ‘How to survive in today’s world doing what you like/want?’ was held in conjunction with the exhibition.

 

 

 

 

Ping Pong Go Around, 1994/2015 Lee Wen (Singapore) wood, table tennis apparatus, video. Courtesy of the artist
Ping Pong Go Around, 1994/2015
Lee Wen (Singapore)
wood, table tennis apparatus, video.
Courtesy of the artist

 

Lee Wen’s doughnut-shaped ping pong table refers to two aspects of the history and the present under globalisation. On one hand, it suggests colonial legacies articulated as centre and periphery, and on the other a current tendency for urban areas to become ‘hollow’ as populations move towards suburban areas. The 360-degree version of table tennis nullifies the traditional rules of the game and players must renegotiate their relationships in order to play.

 

 

 

With Respect to Residue, 2004/2015 Raqs Media Collective (India) paper tablemats, table and chairs. Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London
With Respect to Residue, 2004/2015
Raqs Media Collective (India)
paper tablemats, table and chairs.
Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London

 

Four uniquely-designed tablemats illustrate a world map partially covered by images of commodities – tobacco, fish, tea and peanuts – whose value has been extracted and their leftovers remain. These residues of the consumables of everyday life find their way into the manifest narrative of how things are produced or come into existence. Audiences can consume this work during the ‘Tea with curators’ – see details below.

 

 

 

 

Musical Chairs in London, 2015 Han Ishu (China/Japan) video/photography. Courtesy of the artist
Musical Chairs in London, 2015
Han Ishu (China/Japan)
video/photography.
Courtesy of the artist

 

In London, Han plays a universal game, musical chairs. In the basic rules of the game, people must race to sit down in one of the chairs when the music stops. In this work, he simply finds a vacant seat on a public bench according to the video’s soundtrack. Set against the world’s historical context embodied in London’s buildings, the artist poses questions about the individuals’ participation in society and the merging of people’s everyday life with tourism, trade and globalisation.

 

 

 

 

Events

Every Saturday, 3–5 pm

Tea with curators seated at Raqs Media Collective With Respect to Residue

Sunday 22 March, 3–6 pm

Terra Incognita, et cetera: a closing party with artist Hiroki Yamamoto