False Public Space – In a poetic/private tone

Leung Mee-ping

Concerning the works of art on public spaces, there are numerous example in which private spaces are intervened in order to discuss its publicness. Recently there is an artists’ group ‘hijacked’ various local public spheres, redefining the spaces which have been ‘privatized’ by commercial organizations. This literally involves art into our living spaces, but also counteracts the power and changes the reality. Being art or not for such kind of public art no longer makes any significance as it is already a part of the serious yet relaxing livelihood.

Similar to the young artists of his generation, Silas Fong begins with scenes from his daily life. To a certain extent, he engages into public space by works like ‘Stolen Times for Sale’, ‘Surveil the Strangers’, ‘When the Door Opens’ and ‘Opening Performance’. These works portray the people, known and unknown, he encountered in his public life, but the people inside did not appear as the same individuals as in the reality. If we define the publicness of his works with references to those who interferes the public spaces, he seemed to be distanced from the real life. The characters in the public space he focuses on or plays with might only be their shadows. Therefore the interpretation of his work is wide-opened while his position, when dealing with space politics, remains vague. For me, his engagement into public space in fact reflected/created his private space of existence. Inside, he slowly tastes his poems, just like the tone he talks in the actual life.

– Published in “Anonymity – The Debut Solo Exhibition of Silas Fong”, Exhibited from 1-19 November 2008