“Remains of a Travelling Battered Wing” is a solo exhibition of mixed media works by the Hong Kong based, Filipino artist Arnel S. Agawin. The exhibition, which comprises drawings, paintings, video and installation, takes as its starting point, a journey of discovery by Agawin to the inner recesses of Hong Kong’s psyche. It is a journey he had to make in becoming a resident of Hong Kong and making this place his home. It is not only a journey about his process of assimilating into the specific social and cultural context of Hong Kong, but also an attempt to transform this context.
The centerpiece of Agawin’s exhibition is called “Remains of a Travelling Battered Wing” and it is a singular wing made from twigs, leaves and handmade paper.
Agawin plans to carry “Remains of a Travelling Battered Wing” from his home in Quarry Bay to the gallery in Soho and he plans to make the walk barefoot.
This performance is symbolic of the journey he had to make in adapting to life in Hong Kong, barefoot so that he can make a ‘better connection to the earth’ whilst bearing his wing. A documentation video of this performance and interaction with passers by, will be part of the exhibition.
I want to present a “composite work” that visually represents my adaptations to Hong Kong’s societal realities as a circumstancial migrant and willing adoptee. It will interpret aspects of my experiences as a person continually deconstructing his own cultural mold to either adapt to or confront inevitable cultural impositions, memorializing the triumphs of mutual respect and understanding, and taking heed of the warning signs of all forms of prejudice.
The works will aim to effect an intellectual curiosity for the creative expressions of the different people of cosmopolitan Hong Kong such as a Filipino artist, in my case. It will suggest to examine issues about racial discrimination, environmental protection, free-expression, xenophobia, etc. through the visual subtleties of the medium used (i.e. installation, performance and wall hangings) than direct political declarations.
– Arnel S. Agawin