Noble Rot

Dec 4, 2021 – Apr 24, 2022
22/F, Wing Wah Industrial Bldg.
677 King's Rd, Quarry Bay
Hong Kong

*The exhibition is open by appointment 19–24 Apr; book your visit here

*’Noble Rot’ Part One 3D Tour
*’Noble Rot’ Part Two 3D Tour


To draw Para Site’s first 25 years to a close as we look ahead to the next, Para Site presents ‘Noble Rot’, a two-part exhibition of all new commissions by the 18 artists participating in the inaugural edition of 2046 Fermentation + Fellowships. The artists are invited to revisit Para Site’s founding ethos of deep play and experimentationtaking a big leap of faith, together. 

At its core, ‘Noble Rot’ is a pipe dream: an impractical unfolding of what it means to make space for a felix culpa. Rapid-fire series of unfortunate events spell disaster and disenchantment as a matter of course, but there may still be ways for us to make room for happy accidents and secret pleasures. In viniculture, exceptional if not unsettling flavours of decay may reveal themselves at select moments in ‘noble rot’, a paradoxical and meticulous yielding of unusually concentrated and refined sweet wines from ripened grapes that have been compromised by a destructive fungal infestation. Noble rot, put differently, undermines the routine effects of infection and invasion by way of metabolic transformation. A happenstance in the mythologies of vinification, noble rot gives us a taste of fundamental contradiction. Ruined clusters belie an uncorrupted sweetness, but who will harvest the fruits of fermentation at the right moment?

Deep-diving into these byproducts of fermentation as an explicitly public practice, the artists of the exhibition expose the seams of cultural production in the midst of crisis. The shifting minutiae of fermentation emerge as a material study, an improvisational process, and a critical lens into times of fracture and emergency. Each fissure in the depths of the oldest metabolic pathway known to the anthropocentric age fizzles and morphs from one moment to the next; any given door may well lead to worlds as far-flung in form, shape, and time even as they remain sutured together by collective memory and historical rupture. Other portals open up to newly solidified ideas and extensions of those that were abandoned as they find curious overlaps and uncomfortable intimacies with each other. 

The new commissions in ‘Noble Rot’ unearth ostensibly concrete relations of ruling, labour, and capital as lines drawn in the sand, soon to be swallowed up and spat back out as foam and froth with vigorous action. Just as nebulous are boundaries and borders only felt, heard, sensed, and intuited: what scars and bruises does a learned alienation leave behind? In an increasingly airless terroir, feral cultures surreptitiously locate other futures on unruly lands. Under airlock, accumulated affects creep and advance like invasive species, but a second glance tells us that they were never as injurious as they appeared. 

What fermentation manages to offer at this current moment of vulnerability, then, is as much a checking of the pulse as a steadying of the hand, in anticipation of revelations both welcome and dreaded, and of gestures and marks we have never made before.

Divided into two exhibition arcs, the exhibiting artists of Part One (4 Dec 2021–16 Jan 2022) are: Herman Chan Ho Wang, Natasha Cheung, Chu Hoi Ding, Koel Chu Ka Kiu, Rannie Ip Ka Man, Florence Lam, Man Ting Vanessa Lam, Hou Lam Tsui, and Wong Winsome Dumalagan; the exhibiting artists of Part Two (9 Feb–24 Apr 2022, TBC) are: Chung Wing Shan, Hong Wah, Wing Sze Ng, Tam Man Ching Michelle, Tam Rafael Vun Kwan, Ice Wong Kei Suet, Wong Pak Hang, Jennifer Yue Yuen Yu, and Yuen Nga Chi.

‘Noble Rot’ is organised by Cusson Cheng, Celia Ho, Kobe Ko, and Ellie Tse.

Exhibition Catalogue

Part Two Installation Views

Part One Installation Views

Part Two Artist Bios

Chung Wing Shan

Chung Wing Shan (b. 1996, Hong Kong) formed Po-po-Post Arts Group in the same year of her graduation. She believes artists working as collectives create a sense of camaraderie in the artmaking process, and that art should reflect its surrounding world and society. She is interested in the issues of borders, boundaries, and the power of space in Hong Kong, and wishes to explore the place and its history in her practice.


Hong Wah

Through his multidisciplinary work in drawing, video, and installation, Hong Wah (b. 1999, Hong Kong) reflects on the relationship between drawing and ink, and the development of video as a tool for social media influencers. Elements of Chinese calligraphy and painting, such as form and passing of time, can be found in his work. In 2019 he curated the group exhibition ‘ – – : – – : – -‘ at Hui Gallery in New Asia College. He was awarded both the Grotto Fine Art Award and the Wucius Wong New Ink Art Award in 2021. 


Wing Sze Ng

By drawing parallels with poetic imagery and pop culture references, Wing Sze Ng (b. 1998, Hong Kong) discusses the metropolitan experience of suffering and sacrifice. She is the co-founder/editor of independent zine MYEW!.


Tam Man Ching Michelle

Tam Man Ching Michelle (b. 1998 in Hong Kong) obtained her BA in Fine Arts at CUHK in 2020. Her creative practices mainly involve mixed media, installations, and interventional practices. She is stimulated by contemporary primitivity to explore the attachment recalled in humans amidst their ambivalence towards the world. Through her practice, she examines and explores the relationship among constructs and people with everyday objects, concurrently establishing her conversations with humanity and the cosmos. Her works have been shown in exhibitions and screenings including ‘A Clockwork Lai Chi’ (2020), ‘Fresh Trend’ (2020), and ‘Video Cypher’ (2019). Accepted into the ACO residency programme in 2020, she and several peers founded Ipseng, a local artist collective.


Tam Rafael Vun Kwan

Tam Rafael Vun Kwan’sartistic practice ranges across sculpture, video, text, sound, and installation. He draws inspiration from the ghosts of society and objects he encounters. He has participated in exhibitions and performances in Hong Kong including ‘Sound Forms’, Contemporary Musiking and Tai Kwun Contemporary (2020); ‘Play. Boredom.Worship.’, Tomorrow Maybe (2019); ‘New Babylon’, Prsntprsnt (2019); and ‘Sincerity Machine’, Twenty Alpha (2019).


Ice Wong Kei Suet

Ice Wong Kei Suet (b. 1995 in Hong Kong) obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University in 2018. By examining her personal experience in time and space, she takes the interconnectedness of nature and humans as her point of departure, working mainly with installation, live art, video, and drawing.


Wong Pak Hang

Wong Pak Hang obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Department of Fine Arts at Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2018. Wong expresses himself through digital and 2D mixed media, including photography, video, painting, and installation. His work is related to contemporary city life. He believes art can represent humanistic concerns, pointing outwards towards civilization, and inwards towards fundamental humanity. Recently, he has been shortlisted for the 24th ifva Awards (Media Arts category), Young Talent of the Affordable Art Fair, and was selected by the New Light Exhibition Scheme of Lumenvisum.


Jennifer Yue Yuen Yu

Jennifer Yue Yuen Yu obtained her BA in Fine Arts at Chinese University of Hong Kong. Yue focuses on figure sketching and printmaking techniques, believing the body contains memory and soul. Yue became an independent curator after graduation and founded Landescape1823, which brings art experiences back to artists through space, and has held site-specific art events since August 2020. Landescape1823 was invited by the Museum of Site to curate its debut exhibition ‘A Clockwork Lai Chi’ (JCCAC, 2021). Yue has received the HKSAR Talent Development Scholarship (2020), HKADC Grant for Emerging Artists (2021), and Para Site’s NoExit Grant for Unpaid Artistic Labour (2021).


Yuen Nga Chi

Yuen Nga Chi (b. in Hong Kong) draws inspiration from the contradiction between living conditions and working experience. Through photography, she further examines the meaning of family and closely observes the repetitive analogies between humans and animals. Her work has been exhibited in Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, and London.


Part One Artist Bios

Herman Chan Ho Wang

Herman Chan Ho Wang (b. 1998, Hong Kong) graduated from the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong in 2020. His art practice focuses on photography, especially documentary photography. His work revolves around the politics of photography, social phenomena, suffering, and relations of power. He has been taking street photographs since he was 18. As an observer on the street, he sees social injustice and speaks out against them via the medium of photography. In his works, he is often presented as a bystander, while he assumes the role of participant sometimes.


Natasha Cheung

Natasha Cheung (b. 1998, Sydney) received her BA in Fine Arts and Visual Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2020 and her MA in History of Art and Archaeology from SOAS, University of London in 2021. She sees paradox as a necessity and strives to make this visible and visceral through practicing installation, photography, video, performance, conversation, as well as drawing itself as forms of drawing. In particular, she is interested in the languages and belief structures constructed to describe sight and vision, and making visible how these non-neutral interfaces have contributed to continued colonial imaginaries as well as how to manipulate these languages to render the absurdity of our reality. She is currently thinking and working with the materiality of gelatin and its legacy as an ingredient in painting and photographic processes, in order to expose non-neutral frameworks of seeing and interpretation.


Chu Hoi Ding

Currently based in Hong Kong, Chu Hoi Ding (b. 1994, Hong Kong) graduated from the Academy of Visual Art of the Hong Kong Baptist University in 2017. Focusing on ceramics and raw clay creations, she often combines mixed medium elements, such as ready-made objects and images, with clay. Through the proposition of ‘destructive construction’, she meditates on daily lives and beings.


Koel Chu Ka Kiu

Koel Chu (b. 1996, Hong Kong) is a writer from Hong Kong. Her recent work has appeared on Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Asia Art Archive’s IDEAS Journal, Fleurs des Lettres, SAMPLE, BIOS Monthly and Still / Loud. She is a full-time (disheartened) art administrator.


Rannie Ip Ka Man

Rannie Ip Ka Man (b. 1997, Hong Kong) focuses on self-exploration and self-reflection in her family relationships. Her practice often centers upon video and photography with found objects and archival materials. She graduated with a BFA with Honors in Cinematic Design and Photographic Digital Art in 2021.


Florence Lam

Florence Lam (b. 1992, Vancouver) is currently based in Hong Kong. Lam works with wonder and magical thinking to fuse together current moral issues with child-like worldviews through performance art, poetry, video and sound. Her practice explores the fertility and sterility of the mind manifested through the properties of the biological body. She is also interested in language as a hint to the evolution of human values and spiritual understanding. She obtained her MA in Fine Art from Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2017 and her BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in 2014. She is the co-founder and co-curator of Per.Platform, a Hong Kong-based live art platform founded in 2021.


Man Ting Vanessa Lam

The practice of Man Ting Vanessa Lam (b. 1997, Hong Kong) centers around the photographic concerns of light and time, presence and absence. Through prints and installation, she explores the meaning of these broad notions in specific terms of place and identity. Fascinated by abstractions in nature and language, her current research interest is the language and form of resistance, memory and protest. Drawing on photographic images of personal and often political significance, such as the dawn, erased graffiti, and torn posters, she explores the possibilities of these images and memories that inform our times. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art in 2020.


Hou Lam Tsui

Hou Lam Tsui (b. 1997, Hong Kong) is a Hong Kong-based artist. Tsui received a BA in Fine Art and History of Art at the University of Leeds in 2018. Her practice centres around personal experience, gender politics, boundaries, and peripheral storytelling. She also writes poems.


Wong Winsome Dumalagan

Wong Winsome Dumalagan (b. 1994, San Fernando, the Philippines) mainly works on videography and the sculpting of images. In moving along with her camera, composing and sculpting the texture and rhythm of images, she believes that art helps guide her in comprehending and stepping into daily life. Therefore, her practice is primarily about daily life and the people around her. Creating works as she moves around different cultural contexts such as Cambodia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong, she explores the authority of images and artworks, and acts as an ‘agent’ or ‘co-creator’ with people around her. She’s a member of Floating Projects Collective.