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Art Projects Gallery
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Invisible Cities: Hong Kong
by Art Projects Gallery
Location: Art Projects Gallery
Artist(s): Angki PURBANDONO
Date: 1 May - 29 Jun 2013

A rhinoceros squeezed inside an opened shiny tin food-can; a rubberized blond doll in blue bikini fending off a bunch of cheeky, fishy intruders; a pack of toy pandas foraging for food in a forest of bamboo fungus - these describe a few of the curious and striking imageries that were created during Art Projects Gallery's inaugural artist-in-residence program, titled "Invisible Cities: Hong Kong", by Indonesian artist, Angki Purbandono, after spending a month in Hong Kong in the Autumn of 2012.

During the Angki's 30-days residency in Hong Kong, the artist explored the city intensively, absorbing its sights and smells, unraveling its idiosyncrasies and nuances layer by layer, before dissecting them and then assimilating them back selectively and creatively into his artworks. Angki, currently the most prominent artist in Indonesia specializing scanography, created the artworks for this residency with this very medium.

Scanography refers to the use of a flatbed scanner to capture images of objects in the creation of art, similar to how a photographer would, using a camera. For Angki who also creates art with photography, "scanography is more than the camera; the scanner has the ability to capture the finest details of the object due to its light from within and the limited depth of field."

Angki's modus operandi for his creative process and art-making begins with "playing" with the objects he had found in Hong Kong, arranging them in various compositions that he has earlier visualized in his mind, before placing them on a flatbed scanner to scan. While doing so, he is especially sensitive to the effects of the light from the scanner on the objects that will define the shadows, textures, colors, depth and details of the digitized image.

The objects that Angki has used for the "Invisible Cities: Hong Kong" series are ubiquitous to the local culture, habits and lifestyle. He scoured places such as at the local supermarket in Causeway Bay, at the wet markets in Wanchai, the dried foods shops in Sheung Wan and the night bazaar at Temple Street for his creative subjects, delightfully finding items such as dried fish, an antique chopsticks rest set, a frozen duck, fresh fruits and even dried seahorses that are used locally as a traditional aphrodisiac. In one of the works, Angki had added items that he had brought from his home in Yogyakarta to Hong Kong - a collection of miniature Javanese knifes - with the intent of introducing his own culture into the work.

While the objects used for the artwork may be commonly found - albeit some items may seem like unusual art subjects - it is the way Angki had selectively juxtaposed and composed them, together with a sense of disarming playfulness and the artist's trademark humor, that makes these works visually stimulating, thought provoking and truly memorable.

Image: © Angki Purbandono, Art Projects Gallery

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