LAZNIA 2 2015 - From longing to belonging
Place: LAZNIA CCA 2 - 5 Strajku Dokerów Str., GDANSK - NOWY PORT
27.11.2014 – 1.02.2015
Opening: 27.11.2014, 6 PM
Artists: Leung Chi Wo, Tsang Kin Wah, Honorata Martin, Michał Szlaga, Tse Yim On
Curators: Ying Kwok, Jolanta Woszczenko
There is no doubt that all of us feel an emotional bond with the place where we grew up. This bond becomes even closer in our adult life, when we make conscious choices about our sense of belonging to a place and to people. Collective memory, history, culture, even such things as taste or a smile are the foundation of who we are. However, no-one loves every single thing about themselves; we always have a love-hate relationship with the place where we were born or to which we belong. By juxtaposing two different ways of understanding and perceiving the world manifested by artists from Hongkong and Gdańsk, we would like to analyse the sense and understanding of global and local belonging. This is not going to be a critique of either the present or the past. Through understanding the role played by the state of our mind, we hope to achieve greater awareness of what is happening around us. Even though sometimes our belonging is not what we long for. We are hoping to explore the sense of belonging with its rich historical and political background, straddling along a national and emotional state of mind, while finding narrative and psychological sense through various artists' works. 
It is now a critical moment when people in Hong Kong are protesting for true democracy and the right for their future. However none of the works in the exhibition is making a direct comment to the current situation or the political-social issue, it try to provide us a way in to their story and promotes a better understanding of the complicity of the state of mind. 
Leung Chi Wo is a multidisciplinary artist. His works range from photography and video to text, performance and installation. He is particularly interested in the undetermined relationship between conception, perception and understanding, especially in relation to site and history, within cultural and political frameworks. Leung combines historical exploration with conceptual inquiry within a contemporary urban landscape.
For this exhibition, we will be showing two pieces as an extension of HK’s colonial past. For the contemplation of the royal name – Victoria, Leung collected messages from over forty women named Victoria telling the story about their name. They form a monologue voiced over the mundane scenes filmed during his walking trip along Victoria Road from Kennedy Town in HK, where the British landed for the first time in Hong Kong.
The “One Country Two Systems Policy” was signed before the British transferred the sovereignty over Hong Kong to the Chinese government. “Only time can tell” – this is how Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, commented upon the policy. The text was printed on a photograph of bullet holes on an existing iconic colonial structure, the Legislative Council Building in Hong Kong. The bullet holes in the building are often believed to date to World War II. During the battle for Hong Kong, when Japan occupied the island, the building was used as the headquarters of the Hong Kong Military Police. There is no official account of who was responsible for the hundreds of bullet holes. They have simply been put down to “enemy fire”. The “enemy” remains anonymous and indefinite.
Leung continues his interest in the relativity of perception; how certain histories – and memories – shape our understanding of the world around us; how history is represented and interpreted.
In painting, text, photography, and video work, Tsang Kin Wah explores sexuality, religion, and humanity’s darker instincts. There is always a conflict between the first impression and the so-called real thing behind it, so he tries to capture the more insidious aspects of human relationships with his works. Work Untitle illustrate a cruel conflict which seems to be relevant for any society at all time. It is a conflict between the authority and the powerless individual; the major and the minority. The aggressive text in Tsang’s work is not just a personal complaint but an artist’s sensitive observation of the society. The emotion carried by the text makes an extreme contrast with the linear graphical presentation. Once you enter the work, you will be forced to face the hidden side of the real world exposed by the artist.
Tse Yim On grew up in a typical Hong Kong housing estate and has been a witness of drastic political changes and socio-economic transitions. Tse has adopted the grassroots spirit and transferred it into his works. His works are inspired heavily by his experience of living in Hong Kong. They successfully capture the quirky elements of Hong Kong people’s collective memory, and instantly respond to everyday situations. His art creates a bridge between the fleeting romanticism of our memories of bygone years and the harshness of current reality. Whatever the specificity of his works, the sweetness still resonates within them or else the irony is never lost and always rebounded, and through these the viewers can relate to them in a close and personal manner.
Growing up in the Japanese comic culture, Tse has developed a rich and versatile visual language . He is interested in the grass-root culture and heavily influenced by popular culture.
Forming part of the Internet Kuso and Neta trends, Tse uses free association to collect the images available to any 30-plus native-born Hong Kong inhabitant and turns them into a collage on canvas. These images comprise the collective memory of the Hong Kong people (such as public housing estate culture, the changing landscape of Hong Kong, the “one country, two systems” dilemma), popular culture, ACG elements and currently active politicians, etc. His paintings, which can readily be understood as the visual diary of a young Hong Kong artist from the post-70s generation, serve as hyperlinks presenting the vision of the world of those post-70s artists.
Honorata Martin (born in 1984 in Gdańsk) is a multimedia artist and performer, currently working at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. She is most interested in projects that entail total commitment, courage and determination, in which she subjects her body and mind to extreme trials, so as to overcome her fears and limitations, both physical and psychological.
The exhibition will present her 2014 video work Going out into Poland, which is a summary of her project completed upon the invitation of Zbigniew Libera. In it, following the example of pilgrims, Honorata Martin set out on a lonesome journey without a specific destination, whose route was determined by the people and places she came across. Through her solitude, with only a cart and her dog for company, the artist came to face the task of how an alienated person may enter in a relationship with places and people. The video presented at the exhibition is the artist’s summary of these two months of wandering.
Michał Szlaga (born in 1978 in Gdańsk) is a photographer, currently studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. His artistic career gained momentum following the 2007 International Photo Awards he won. He also cooperates with such magazines as Maleman, Newsweek Polska, Twój Styl or Viva, photographing famous politicians and celebrities. He is interested in documenting the Polish reality, which may be seen on his blog, which is constantly updated with new photos. Since 1999, he has been associated with the Gdańsk Shipyard, of which he is a tender and inquisitive documentarist. Not limiting himself to its current state, he also archives any and all keepsakes, stories, non-existent places and people associated with the shipyard. Apart from photographs, the exhibition will also present a rich collection of books, albums, stamps and postcards associated with the Gdańsk Shipyard. 
Michał Szlaga’s works were printed with the generous support of the City Culture Institute in Gdańsk.
Entry free
Municipal Institution of Culture