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Estranged Gestures

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
13 August, 2013
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Closing / End Date:
7 September, 2013
Event Category:

Tricia Flanagan is an artist who takes on the role of cultural anthropologist to create an exhibition which investigates the contemporary condition of Hong Kong’s ever diminishing artisans, the stewards of our intangible cultural heritage. In doing so she challenges us to understand their work to help us frame our future.

Working closely with the community she has collected stories, images and gestures to reveal the innate way craftsman connect with their materials, where tools become extensions of their bodies,  their products embracing risk more than the certainty which characterizes a  digital age.

The result is an installation of sculpture, sounds and images. It is about how our relationship with tools is rapidly evolving into processes of certainly rather than risk. In the past a tool’s function could be interpreted visually through its mechanical logic. Today,  as computers become the tools of choice, code denotes their endlessly variable functions, the workings of these tools invisible to our senses, untouched by anyone’s senses.  Workmanship of risk rather than certainly means that the craftsman’s body is in a dynamic state of flux, correcting, executing, adjusting responding to the material at hand. This reciprocity is not so much a thought process but an embodied knowledge.

This exhibition challenges the community to think about workmanship and craft, our shared intangible cultural heritage, in new ways. It challenges us to abandon the notion of craft as nostalgia,  but to acknowledge craft  as a vital form of dynamic thinking, and to embrace new modes of risk as we shape our future. 


Dr. Tricia Flanagan has a PhD in Fine Art and a Master of Arts – Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bau­haus University Weimar, Germany, and a Bachelors degree in Fine Art from The University of Newcastle, Australia.


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