Moss Wonders

Jan 27 – Feb 8
Para Site
10B, Wing Wah Industrial Building
677 King's Road, Quarry Bay
Hong Kong

Para Site presents ‘Moss Wonders’ (27 January–8 February 2024), a solo exhibition by Chan Ting, curated by Jessie Kwok, that emerges from the artist’s three-month residency that began in November 2023 in Para Site’s 10/F annex.

Fifty-year-old wooden furniture, a pair of ceramic chicken feet, a saucer from a former teahouse—these are but among the range of eclectic objects culled by the artist from Quarry Bay, the neighbourhood of Para Site, during Chan’s residency. Chan often reconfigures the form and texture of ready-made materials with a tactile sensibility. These items, accompanied by images and sounds gathered by the artist, transform the exhibition space into an improvised ‘room of wonders’ filled with shared memories.

In conducting their research and intervention in the exhibition space, Chan draws inspiration from the life cycle of moss: Virtually rootless, its foundation is transient and ever-shifting. Nonetheless, as it takes over a surface, it supports its own vibrant microecology. Channeling the plant’s rhizomatic energy, the artist has been roaming Quarry Bay in search of materials, carpeting the exhibition space with slabs and installations in an attempt to recast the ‘white cube’, even if this ambition may be incomplete and short-lived.

In ‘Moss Wonders’, ordinary objects converge, defying easy categorisations as their functions and roles shift. Audiences are encouraged to wander around, open a cupboard, peer inside, and delve into the hidden stories that lie beneath. With this demonstration, the artist thus extends an invitation to embrace a life akin to moss, especially in environments that seem dark, on the fringe, and perhaps hopeless. There might be a lesson to be gleaned from moss, in that there is always a way to find a footing and generate multiple points of connections against the existing order. 

About the artist

Chan Ting (they/them; b. 1993 in Hong Kong; lives and works in Hong Kong) works with mixed media, image, sound, and installation. They consider themself a wanderer whose work is to explore the relationships among people, cities, and nature. Traversing the everyday and extraordinary elements of the city, the artist incorporates found objects and ready-made materials. Chan’s practice often emerges from a stream of consciousness process with a particular focus on a poetic dialogue between image and sound. They have participated in artist residency at Foo Tak Building from Art and Cultural Outreach, being co-founder and artist-curator of the independent artist-run space Negative Space (2019–2022), and have been awarded grants from institutions in Hong Kong, including the Friends of the CUHK Art Museum Research Grant (2022) and Para Site’s NoExit Grant for Unpaid Artistic Labour (2020). Their recent solo exhibitions include  ‘Smoking Room’ at PMQ, Hong Kong (2021); recent group exhibitions include ‘Exercising Freedom’ at HART Haus, Hong Kong (2023), and ‘Temporary’ at Negative Space, Hong Kong (2022). Chan received their MFA in art creation and BFA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2023 and 2019 respectively.