In early spring 2008 the Hong Kong Institute of Architects published an open call for proposals for the design of Hong Kong’s pavillon at the Architecture Biennale in Venice for the same year. In the end I didn’t get the commission, but my proposal was shortlisted for interviews as one of only three in total.
Draft Identity. Place. Space. Culture. A discursive construction.
Hong Kong’s contribution to the Venice Biennale Exhibition 2008 will focus on a set of four cultural projects and developments, represented through a selection of buildings and building-proposals. The projects vary in size and character from small grass-root art-initiatives to large-scale government-induced cultural complexes. Between all of them the projects deal with typical Hong Kong-issues like heritage-conservation, land-reclamation, commercialization, and/or administrative interventions. As a collection these projects describe different approaches and attempts to build a cultural identity for the city.
Each project will be presented through one building or building-proposal that represents one intended identity for a specific location. All four projects are accompanied by introductory texts, giving the background of the project, a time line, parties involved etc. However, more importantly, the projects are counter-balanced by additional materials that represent other points of view: alternative designs by other architects, a selection of the media-coverage on the proposals, grass-root-initiatives, that represent other approaches to the site or topic. Each architectural project becomes the visual nucleus of a critical discourse on the state and future of the identity of Hong Kong.