Borders and the societal processes they generate are an ongoing concern of Carol Chow’s curatorial practice. Addressing topics such as division, reunification, migration, identity and power, her ambitious exhibition projects reveal political and societal dynamics in thoughtful, sensitive, and insightful ways.
In 2019, Chow curated an exhibition titled “The Wall 2019” in Hong Kong, inviting 17 artists to create works that reflect various kinds of walls that facilitate or block human progress and societal development at the junction of the 100th anniversary of the May 4th Movement, 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the 30th anniversary of the democracy movement in different countries, amongst them China and East Germany. The title is inspired by Pink Floyd’s album “The Wall” and Alan Parker’s movie of the same name, in which the wall acts as a metaphor of defense against various institutional violence, be it familial, educational, or military. In fact, a wall can at once defend and divide, protect and exclude.
Building upon this 2019 exhibition, Caroll Chow’s latest exhibition, presented at SomoS, is titled “The Wall – Union or Divide,” It extends the wall theme to the examination of the complexities of emotions and realities underneath the political reunion of Hong Kong and China, and that of West and East Germany.
Despite the difference in sovereignty, both reunifications share a similar nature of the wedding of capitalism and communism as well as that of democracy and authoritarianism. The ethnic, cultural, and historical connection and the contesting ideological forces work in tandem in the post-unification era, resulting in the erection of new visible and invisible walls and frictions.
In its juxtaposition of Hong Kong and German artists’ work tackling the wall metaphor, “The Wall: Reunion or Divide,” is expected to further fruitful dialogs.