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22 April 2021
In 2019, Hong Kong-based artist Phoebe Hui was selected to imagine the 5th Audemars Piguet Art Commission, in collaboration with Ying Kwok, guest curator for the project and newly appointed Senior Curator (Digital and Heritage) at Tai Kwun Centre for Art and Heritage. Hui’s work notably marks the first Audemars Piguet Art Commission to be exhibited in Asia, opening in the Duplex Studio at Tai Kwun from 25 April – 23 May 2021.
Hui’s large-scale installation The Moon Is Leaving Us enhances the critical role that representation plays in science and in our comprehension of the Universe. It comprises two major bodies of work: Selena, a custom-built drawbot that produces intricate Moon drawings; and Selenite, a kinetic robot consisting of 48 mechanical arms arranged in a parabolic shape projecting varying Moon imagery on to 48 unique screens.
Inspired by the latest scientific data and historical observations of the Moon dating back to the 17th century, the artist juxtaposes historical astronomical renderings with state-of-the-art scientific imaging, constructing robotic devices that reinterpret data and bring awareness to mediation tools used to depict the visible and invisible worlds.
Hui questions the many different manners in which we represent the Moon and blurs the boundaries between science and poetry to shine a new light on the cultural ties we share, on a global scale, with Earth's only natural satellite
Through an epistemological approach, the artist captures the melancholic emotions entangled with the scientific fact that the Moon is slowly migrating away from Earth.
There is a special place in people’s hearts for the Moon. Uninhabitable and remote, it is an imaginary place that encourages exploration and can metaphorically bring closer families and friends who are apart. This symbol of the future and of open possibilities has drawn me in since I can remember.
Phoebe Hui is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher primarily working in the relationship between language, sound and technology. Her recent projects increasingly rely on interdisciplinary ideas drawn from the philosophy of science, system aesthetics and the concept of indeterminacy.
Hui received her MFA at UCLA Design Media Art, Los Angeles, her MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, and her BA in Creative Media from City University of Hong Kong. She is the recipient of a number of grants and awards, including HKETO Yale-China Art Fellowship, Hong Kong Art Development Council Young Artist Award (Media Art), Asian Cultural Council Altius Fellowship, Bloomberg Emerging Artist Award, Asian Cultural Council United States-Japan Arts Program Research Fellowship, Hong Kong Art Development Council Art Scholarship, Hong Kong Design Association Design Student Scholarship, among others.
She has presented her research-based art practice and papers globally at venues including Ars Electronica, ISEA, the MIT Media Lab, Asian Contemporary Art Week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.