Interview: Fumio Nanjo, Japanese Art Curator
The famed art curator and director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, tells us about the upcoming exhibition he’s curating at Asia Society
HongKongTatler.com: Your upcoming exhibition at Asia Society is called The Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow. What does that mean?
Fumio Nanjo: Our present society is changing rapidly in its progression of technology, infrastructure, culture and urban planning. What will happen in the next 20 years? That’s the question I posed to the designers and creators involved in this exhibition. They all responded in very interesting and different ways, not only relying on their signature design products but also pushing boundaries with new art forms.
HKT.com: Who is involved?
FN: We have jewellery designers Kai-Yin Lo and Nicolas Cheng; lighting designers Arnold Chan and Teddy Lo; architects and interior designers William Lim, Wendy Fok and Dylan Kwok; product designers Michael Leung and Elaine Young; fashion designer Chin Yeung; and new-media designer Kingsley Ng. All are Hong Kong born.
HKT.com: We hear one of the artists has built a farm?
FN: Indeed: Michael Leung has taken salt from the Lantau seas and created a farm installation, taking inspiration from recent farming projects on Hong Kong rooftops. Kingsley Ng uses high-tech media, monitors and projectors to screen his interpretations of the past and future. These artists have gone back to their roots and are creating things from scratch. They are not bound by existing and past definitions of art and design; they are creating things according to the message they want to impose.
HKT.com: Is Hong Kong ready for such an avant-garde exhibition?
FN: Yes. Hong Kong used to be considered behind when it came to art, design and culture but now it’s changing. Young people are quite intrigued and inspired by these new ideas. In this way, talents in Hong Kong are emerging and expanding.
HKT.com: How is this show different?
FN: One unique point of this show is that I talked to artists and designers and they proposed their ideas for installations and art works. I’m proud that I can curate this challenging and risky but very creative show.
The Imminent Domain: Designing the Life of Tomorrow runs at the Asia Society from January 31 until March 31.