Art, Artist Talk / Walk-Through, Exhibit, UP Vargas Museum, West Wing Gallery (Edge)

Hong Kong Intervention | Sun Yuan & Peng Yu

Hong Kong Intervention
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu
31 August – 29 October 2011
GF West Wing Gallery

The Vargas Museum in cooperation with the Osage Art Foundation opens the Hong Kong Intervention project by Chinese artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu at the West Wing on August 31, 2011 at 4pm.

In 2009, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu asked Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong, who were mostly women, to plant a bogus bomb in the spaces of their choice in the well-appointed houses they worked in. They also asked them to photograph each other with their backs turned. The piece was first exhibited in full at the 17th Biennale of Sydney in 2010. According to the biennale catalogue, “it addresses the emotions and issues underlying the relationships between Filipino workers and their Hong Kong employers, and examines the phenomena of migrant workers living outside of their home country, integrating themselves into the families and homes of others.”  The artists have produced provocative works using such materials as live animals, human blood, baby cadavers and fat tissue.

In this project, the classic tension between purity and danger emerges more potently because it intrudes on space in which another form of anxiety takes place: between intimacy and estrangement, anonymity (facelessness and uninhabitedness) and incursion. All this settles on an uneasy calm in the pictures of this project in which the workers stealthily smuggle in a toy grenade in the homes they keep for employers whose secrets, whose interior life, they probably know to heart. It is said that a third of the Philippine population is out of the country, keeping the economy on an even keel by sending back home around 18 billion dollars a year in remittances. The body of Filipinos is a ticking migrant force in the inner sanctum of their masters.

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu will deliver a talk during the opening. The exhibition runs till October 29, 2011.

The Osage Art Foundation (OAF) was established in 2004 as an international not-for-profit philanthropic organisation devoted to building creative communities and promoting cultural cooperation. The Foundation was established because we saw a need, and saw an opportunity to address this need – to offer more support in the development of the arts in Asia. OAF works mainly with the visual arts, and works to address three main concerns: Creative Communities, Cultural Cooperation and Creative Capacity. A key part of Osage Art Foundation’s mission is to foster a deeper regional consciousness of the arts within Asia. OAF programmes are distinguished by their focus on cultural exchange, educational outreach and the building of knowledge; OAF exhibitions develop from substantial research, aim to make strong statements about significant as well as emerging artists, and to provide regional platforms for innovative curatorial perspectives. Find out about current projects and more at

About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.


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