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.