Newly-established grant-making entity Design Trust awards grants to Fan Ling and MAP Office for their design projects
Hong Kong's recently-established grant-making entity Design Trust
has chosen Fan Ling and MAP Office
as the inaugural grant fellows for its 2014-2015 Research Fellowship Grant and Cultural Project Grant respectively.
The grant-making entity promotes the value of design and supports a multiplicity of design disciplines from graphics, media, and fashion to the built environment.
Fan is a speculative designer, educator and entrepreneur working to bridge creative talents with social and business problems. Fan's project Hong Kong As An Archetype: Revisiting Modernist Ideas of the City and its Urban Forms was chosen out of 40 other applicants in the running.
This research, receiving a monthly stipend of HK$40,000 for six months, focuses on an archetypal interpretation of Hong Kong's modernist urban forms. Exploring the dialectics surrounding the complex phenomenon of urbanisation, poised between two major concepts of political power and economic power, Fan seeks to illuminate a critical understanding of the idea of a contemporary Chinese city in its varying incarnations.
"My research aims to recuperate the idea of the Chinese city as a modernist project beginning in the 1940s, thereby arriving at an understanding of the underlying logic quintessential to our city's built environment," Fan explains.
"The fellowship will enable me first to reconstruct the modernist history of Hong Kong's urban forms, an area of scholarship relatively overlooked, and second, to interpret these findings in comparison with Beijing, as archetypes, thereby contributing to the continuing discourse and theories of our city's evolution."
Meanwhile, MAP Office is a Hong Kong-based artist duo consisting of Valerie Portefaix and Laurent Gutierrez. With a project titled Hong Kong Is Land, MAP Office will be working with eight specific communities locally, exploring their unique culture and economy, and imagining these in the shape of eight artificial islands evenly distributed in the territory.
The proposal for this project, with a total sponsorship of HK$150,000, is to establish an inventory about uneven growth in the city of Hong Kong. The resulting 'islands' are optimistic visions for the future, exploring scenarios that may subsequently serve as paradigms for urban planning, housing density, as well as population growth.
The project will travel internationally, first to MoMA in New York and then to MAK Vienna. This is the first time that an artwork from Hong Kong will be showcased on a global scale. MAP Office said: "In the context of Hong Kong, where land is limited and development hyper dense, the city's future stability is a cause for major concern. Our model of an island scheme — making use of Hong Kong's 200 plus islands, mostly uninhabited — is a research project building on our experience and findings over the past 20 years of mapping."