Even Onto China
April 13–May 13, 1995
Even onto China is connected to a souvenir project I did for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Sept. 1993.
Inspired by a miniature, the installation in the gallery space connects the ephemera of a circulating multiple, the hairpin souvenir, to the images around the seller/worker, street/market in Hong Kong, the site of transaction of the hairpin. A historical photo of the same site circa 1890’s is juxtaposed with my photos from 1993.
The Arabic saying: ‘Seek Knowledge Even Onto China’ creates a geographical trajectory of philosophical orientation.
The stairwell market of Hong Kong is very prominent physically in these images and links up with the stairwell character of Artspeak. Along the gallery’s stairway, glazed tiles with hand painted images are embedded into the plaster wall. These images reference details and fragments from Arabic manuscripts of the same period as the hairpin, 15th century.