Cartographic Counterpoint — Reading Space x Traversing Time
This project uses an interactive digital art space to present the intertwining landscapes of Central Asian music cultures, histories and geographies. A “Virtual Museum / Exhibition” does not simply showcase an exhibition in a museum, but constructs a museum experience through “exhibition”, simultaneously creating a multi-layered / multi-perspective / multi-dimensional exhibition via the concept of “museum”. Illustrations, sounds, a storybook, as well as the museum’s architectural spaces and visual presentations carrying these artistic creations overlap and interlace to create a different experience of “traversing x listening x reading”. This work invites the audience to enter the complexity of “What is Central Asia”, and consider what is a museum and what is an exhibition.
Leung Pik-ki, an independent curatorial practitioner, aspires to read, think, and create. The current Head of Learning and Engagement at the Hong Kong Palace Museum, she was previously the Head of Education and Public Engagement at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and a lecturer in the Gender Studies Programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her museum practices are informed by a deep concern about curatorial ethics, quotidian pedagogies, and nomadic encounters. She curated the musical event From Persia, the sounds of West Asia / Central Asia / the Western Regions in 2021 with the support of a music grant from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
Traversing the Terrains of Central Asian Music Cultures
This virtual museum/ exhibition is not just a museum that simulates or replicates the physical museum, but an interactive art space that utilises digital technology to invite the audience into a unique and new experience of seeing, watching, listening, reading, and thinking. Through their subjective actions, they produce their own artistic creation process.
The exhibition focuses on Central Asian music cultures and geographies, by intertwining art forms such as illustrations, sounds, a story book, and visual presentations. Exposed to different politics/ cultures/ terrains and scenes/ situations, with music in the foreground or background, the audience will contemplate time, and ponder upon the universe and the multitudes.
The installation “游歷時間 timescape” encourages the audience to think again. Aside from delineating the land of “Central Asia” through national borders and ethnicities, we can consider the complexity of “What is Central Asia” from the perspective of the universe and stars (cosmic view), terrains and rivers (geographical view), and cultural exchanges (historical view).
The installation “聽繪音聲 soundscape” showcases “objects” that embody the music cultures of Central Asia, including traditional musical instruments, a comparison table of nomadic and sedentary music cultures, and iconography.
The installation “閱讀空間 storyscape” will share knowledge about Central Asian music through illustrated stories.
We hope that this virtual museum/ exhibition will not only impart objective knowledge, but also a little “extravagant hope” – the audience will have takeaways besides considering “What is Central Asia”. They may reflect on “What is self”, “What is identity”, and even think about “What is Hong Kong”, “What is diaspora” in response to the ongoing changes in both the local and global contexts.
After visiting the virtual museum/ exhibition, the audience will be invited to download the exhibition catalogue for their own collections.