Lustrous like plastic
April 2, 2022 – May 29, 2022
Hessel Museum of Art
Lustrous like plastic brings together new and recent works by artists Heman Chong, Christopher K. Ho, Bo Wang, and WangShui. It probes issues related to the breakneck pace of near-constant redevelopment in dense urban cities, where land is primarily treated as a financial asset. Bringing together video and mixed media installations, the presented works reveal the ways in which the malleability of the city reflect, and at times even mediate, our collective cultural memories, anxieties, and desires in the contemporary moment.
The exhibition’s title comes from a phrase coined by Japanese photographer and theorist Nakahira Takuma in his 1970 text “Rebellion against the Landscape”. Written at a time when Japan was undergoing economic restructuring in the wake of World War II, the text responds to the expanded scale of capitalist urbanization in Tokyo. Likewise, many of the works in Lustrous like plastic focus on present-day cityscapes that have been subject to the forces of neoliberalist policies, accelerated economic growth, and transnational flows of capital. The exhibited works draw from the contexts of Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York, revealing glimpses into the entanglements between capitalist logic and urban development. At the same time, they allow us to consider the extent to which human agency can be enacted upon the city itself and how we make meaning in collaboration with—and sometimes counteractively against—the environments that we inhabit.