Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale photos

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Here are some more photos of the Hong Kong part of the Hong Kong & Shenzhen bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, featuring installations by designers including American studio Rocker Lange Architects, Vienna designers mischer'traxler and French designer Mathieu Lehanneur.

Above: ASIA’S WORLD CITY: HYBRID HONG KONG + SHENZHEN/ by Museum of Site (MOST, HK)/ Andrew Lam
MOST’s “Winter-worm Summer Herb” structure is curated by Andrew Lam and designed by Berlin based Hybrid Space Lab (Elizabeth Sikiaridi +Frans Vogelaar). It contains 9 video works from world’s acclaimed artists including Yang Yong, Jiang Zhe, Xu Tan, Eric Van Hove, Leung Meeping, Kwan Ng, Urbanus, and Hybrid Space Lab. The works focus on the “heterotopia” situation in an transforming metropolis of Hong Kong + Shenzhen, in an era of post-colonial assimilation.

See photos of the Shenzhen installations in our earlier story.


Above: BYOBench: The Projecting Window/ by Ip Cheuk Lam, Sophia/ Sze Wing Yee, Haynie/ Li Pui Yee, Edith/ Chan Yiu Wah, Eva

The Projecting Window', is designed as a discourse of current conditions of cross-border residential/ property development and the construction industry. Comprising of a group of precast bay window panels, the proposed installation will be displayed on the external grassland near the coastline of the West Kowloon Promenade, creating a novel spatial experience for the viewers. It will function not only as a simple landscape installation but also as an introspective representation of prominent urban phenomenon, projecting a view of the future of the generic architecture and urbanism and hence, provoke the conventional perception of the built environment of the city.

The biennale began on Sunday 6 December and continues until 23 January 2010.

Above: Second Skin/ by Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University

‘Second Skin’ aims to domesticate this wilderness by use of simple and abstract symbols that reiterate the history of the land in contrast with its past and its future as a cultural district. Visitors, attracted to walk through and between the various clusters that make up the installation, are unconsciously drawn into a more intimate interaction with nature. The juxtaposition of the symbols in the natural environment, and the visual tension between the trees and the skyline, turns the site into a sculpture that changes with time and weather.

Captions are provided by the biennale.

Above: ANDREA/ by Mathieu Lehanneur + David Edwards [LABOGROUP]

Andrea naturally purifies air via a whisper-quiet fan to propel air through the leaves and root system of a plant, then out through water and soil filtration and back into the room environment. Since the late 1980s, scientists have sought to improve the efficiency of living plants to naturally clean the air of harmful pollutants. Andrea passes polluted air through living surfaces, eliminating pollution with world-class design and elegant simplicity.

Here's some more information about the biennale from the organisers:

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2009 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture
About the 2009 HK SZ Bi-City Biennale

‘Bring Your Own Biennale’ (BYOB) is a catchphrase, framework, and approach envisioned to stimulate our collective role in the creation of an innovative Bi-City Biennale between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It calls for individual participation and networked collaboration – working within and outside boundaries to generate unexpected results.

Above: Film Container/ The Changing Room, Music Theatre by UNStudio/ Illegal Construction by Zheng Guogu/ Mock-Ups in Close-Up Architectural Models in Cinema 1927-2009 by Gabu Heindl amd Drehli Robnik

BYOB makes the process of cultural production transparent, an approach that relies on the citizens and the city’s infrastructure for our Bi-City engagement. It is at once contextual but also reflective, a unique opportunity to speculate on what our impact on the metropolis could be.

Above: BYOBench: Urban Adapter/ by Christian J. Lange, Rocker Lange Architects

While variation is apparent in the style of Hong Kong’s civic furniture, there is a lack of uniformity in the formal expression that could potentially foster a unique Hong Kong character. The contemporary civic bench seeks to provide multiple design solutions instead of just one single arrangement. The “Urban Adapter” is based on a virtual parametric model and uses data to interact with surrounding environment, therefore, rather than having a fixed form, the furniture can generate into various shapes with the same DNA dependent on different site conditions. While each design serves primarily as seating, other values may be added so that multiple communication arrangements are arranged.

The Hong Kong Biennale Curatorial Team

An international legion of designers, architects, educators, arts supporters and creative innovators are leading the Hong Kong Biennale Curatorial Team. Led by Marisa Yiu (Chief Curator), the Curatorial Team is also composed of Alan Lo (Curator for Arts, City Integration and Events), Eric Schuldenfrei (Curator for Exhibition, Education, Film and Media), and Frank Yu (Curator for Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape).

Above: Idea of a Tree/ by Mischer Traxler/ Katharina Mischer/ Thomas Traxler

Inspired by a fascination for machines and nature, the project brings the qualities of a tree recording nature cycles and turning it into a product. Driven by solar energy, the machine starts producing when the sun rises and stops when the sun settles down. After sunset, the finished object can be harvested. This ‘industrialized locality’, is not so much about local culture, craftsmanship or resources, instead it deals with the climatic and environmental factors of the process’ surrounding.

The Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale is certain to forge the city’s cultural platform as a landmark event from 4 December 2009 to 27 February 2010, fueling creative conversations that focus on how Hong Kong’s society can make an active imprint on their city’s future.

Above: BYOBooth: “3:15’s Rain Catcher” Let’s Celebrate Rain, HK, and Hawkers/ by YS GROUNDWORK - ARCHITECTS/ Manfred Yuen/ Stephen Suen/ Alex Jiang/ Stephen Ip/ Ricky Lee/ Alvis Ko/ May Ho/ Aries Nip/ Lolita Lei

Biennale Main Pavilion:

Designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, the Main Pavilion of THE Hong Kong Biennale acts as an entrance point to the whole exhibition at the Hong Kong West Kowloon waterfront Promenade. This paper tube structure provides a semi-opened space for numerous exhibits as well as houses biennale’s forums, workshops and events.

Above: Live Nature/ by Ida Sze/ Billy Chan
Leisure & Work,
Nature & Manmade,
Rural & Urban,
Juxtapose to form the unique characters of Hong Kong.

This pavilion attempts to create a setting to taste the joy of living under a tree! Different sections of home lives are abstracted into sculpture in this pavilion, tree crown replaces concrete roof, to shelter your sleeping, dining & chatting. Swaying shadows, singing birds, smelling soil, soothing sunlight. Aren’t they better than marble stones, moulded cornices, chandeliers?

The form of this design creates a prominent presence within the landscape and also as seen from the skyline from across the bay. The plan encloses a large regular shaped interior accessible from all sides with a high 12 metre ceiling. The openings can be closed off in numerous arrangements to flexibly accommodate the various events that will be held.

Above: BYOBench: Abandoned Furniture/ by Rosly Mok/ Vanessa Chan

The stories behind abandoned furniture are precisely what makes them come alive. Their mystery and layers of history creates sentimentality, and perhaps extra eagerness and meaning.

Above: FarmScape/ by UMAMI-UTILITIES/ CL3

farmScape is an eventscape, an involved pavilion that requires the visitor’s help to re-imagines the traditional pavilion as a prosthetic landscape that simultaneously hijacks and implants within a local ecosystem. A device of both nature and synthesis and a platform for the community, it takes cues from the temporal nature of the Biennale and the rapidly changing landscape of Hong Kong as a whole. Visitors will be allowed to ‘rent’ individual plots within the dia-grid field and encouraged to plant seeds of their choice from a catalog of local crops.

Above: Eco Farm - Green Pixel/ by Meta4 Design Forum (Humphrey Wong) MDFA/ The Organic Farm (Pad Chu) in collaboration with Biennale team, Federation of Youth Groups

Meta4 believes that Green architecture is not just a dream, and the more we take part, the more we can change the world. The Eco Farm project wishes to create an interactive and enjoyable process by asking participants to plant seeds into recycled egg crates that other participants had previously made. People can pick their own crops to grow and bring home them home at the end of the Biennale. Meta4 wants to remind urban dwellers, through planting and passing, of their respect for and responsibilities to the natural environment.

Above: BYOBench: Urban Picnic/ by C:A+D Carlow Architecture and Design: Jason Carlow

The Urban Picnic is a flexible furniture system designed for the public spaces of HK. It seeks to explore new combinations of materials and techniques that can visually and socially enhance the public. In consideration of ecological sustainability the units are manufactured from a combination of durable DuPont™ Corian® and green certified, laminated bamboo plywood. Upon completion of the exhibition, the Corian® furniture will be recycled again.

Modules are designed as a series of platforms and surfaces that when configured, the units can flip, rotate and connect depending on site-specific conditions and programmatic requirements. This allows the furniture to accommodate different sizes of groups, and groups of different people.

Above: Paddling Home/ by Kacey Wong

Paddling Home is a 4’x4’ apartment floating on the sea. The concept of this project was inspired by the extremely expensive living condition in Hong Kong where people can only afford a tiny apartment, having to spend their lifetime repaying the mortgage. The artists think the image of a helpless little house paddling away in a vast dangerous ocean towards the infinite shoreline is similar to using 20–30 years to repay a huge mortgage loan; it is dangerous and creates feelings of helplessness. Paddling Home is about mobility and compact living, freedom and the search for a better place.

Above: West Kowloon Walled City/ By Douglas Young/ G.O.D. Limited

What is the indigenous architecture of Hong Kong? Which are the buildings that best represent local culture? The answer lies in the legendary Kowloon Walled City, home of Hong Kong’s untouchables and social outcasts until it was demolished in 1993. It was Hong Kong’s forbidden city, built not by royalty but by the city’s underclass. Yet people were still able to survive and thrive. It is the story of Hong Kong itself encapsulated in architecture, a place that has succeeded despite the odds.

Above: Tetra Phobia/ by Aaron Tan/ Paolo Dalla Tor/ Ewelina Magda TEREZCZENKO/ Alberto CIPRIANI/ Miguel CORMIER/ Catty CHAN/ Stephen Wikeley

RAD looks to discover urban clues and logic that contribute to the living fabric of the city.



Above: HighLine/ by DillerScofidio + Renfro/(Project Team) James Corner Field Operations and DillerScofidio + Renfro



Above: “Mediascapes / Narrative Cities” Forum/ Daniel Wu/ Gabu Heindl/ Duncan Jepson/ David Erdman/ DJ MC Goldmountain/ Eric Schuldenfrei

  • Y

    I hope to see they would got more architectural, structural, spatial exhibition rather than just installation.

    Also I think the issue they picked up in the exhibition could be closer to the future architecture, whatever about digital prefabrication, or new building material. I think the exhibition from the photos is a bit too focus on the present local Hong Kong environoment .

  • tanya telford – T

    not sure Y, im thinking this way – what they’ve incorporated in Biennale -many more people will be able to interact and get involved with things and im really impressed with what ive seen so far (via the internet). You might be right about focus on present local Hong Kong environment but i think main land Chinese people hold Hong Kong in high regard. Id be really interested to hear what the Chinese people think about this Biennale in main land China – it seems positive to me, more than just structural and material stuff etc.

  • X

    Definitely all these photos have been send by the organisers (or a nice promotion of designboom) to buzz about an event that fails.
    The biennale is strictly a local response to a very local political and economical environment.
    This site was an opportunity because of its emblematic location and future or non future projects: the west kowloon waterfront. an amazing wonderful no man s land out of the control of the local web. Foster project abandoned and now new call with few invited offices: OMA , Rocco, etc….
    That was the opportunity to create an international event and challenge….
    But instead BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag, sorry we are not in Park n shop… Bring Your Own Biennale) is a very boring exhibition with a very few international office and a lot of locals. A Biennale should be a strong internationnal event with a strong content (just read again the call to participate to this one on their website) to invite us to the debate.
    Instead we have the annual show of a school, actually that could be good also…..
    THINK LOCAL ACT LOCAL (Bucky laugh)

  • X

    Sorry to dezeen team , I mentionned designBoom. My mistake

  • Y

    The one padding home, on the above, looks awful to me. Hong Kong is such a place famous at tiny living space, terribile living environement, cheap material, etc.

    If the guy is proposing a floating apartment, why dont he propose a more comfortable living space rather than a floating tiny cage?

    Don’t they know the local Hong Kong living environment is a problem rather than an issue? I just dont understand why the exhibition display the present problems rather than their proposed solution. They should bring more visions to the exhibition

  • tanya telford – T

    ive just been reading more about this: its only the 3rd time its happened, they have 2 web sites: http://www.szhkbiennale.org & http://hkszbiennale.org (ie: Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture & Urbanisum), there seems to be a good few international participants. Its interesting to learn that there trying to put into practice a new kind of model for an Architecture Biennale (dual city, grass roots up/regeneration). Obviously very different to Venice Biennale, Id say both are relevant. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if other Architects were also involved (broader spectrum of work and different visions etc) but still think on the whole its good and it is only on its 3rd edition.