a room is different from the one you are in now

opening: 15.09.22 19Uhr

a collective work
by Trilateral Lab


a room different from the one you are in now is a site-specific mixed media art installation that explores the manifestation of overlapping spaces, (anti-)compromise and the ever-expanding distance between individuals.

This exhibition is the long anticipated opportunity for the three core members of Trilateral Lab, an artistic collective based in Hong Kong, to meet in the same space, since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic. Two of them have since migrated to the United Kingdom and Germany and have not been able to travel back to Hong Kong due to travel restrictions and strict COVID measures imposed by the Hong Kong government. 

Composer and sound artist Alain Chiu, choreographer and video designer Max Lee, and producer and curator Jacqueline Wong cofounded the Trilateral Lab in 2017, after their first collaboration in the project G'Day! Hong Kong at Adelaide Fringe Festival 2017, brought together by a shared exploration of audio-visual-spatial possibilities.

The idea of the project began in 2019, when the three did an artist residency at Prenzlauer Studio in Berlin, at the time of the Hong Kong protests. Returning to the space three years after, in this exhibition, Chiu and Lee each bring in objects and videos that they have each created in the previous years, with the other’s support throughout the creative process. Changes to the artworks are made to adapt to the space and particular context, being far removed from their original locality, to acquire new meanings in the current configuration. Wong, who has been supporting the collective as a dialogue facilitator and producer, has taken the role of curator in the project. While being an exhibition space, the space in question is also an artist’s studio where other Berlin-based artists inhabit and whose business will go on as usual during the exhibition period. The project examines the complex emotions of individuals who have experienced social turmoil and its aftermath, both physically and remotely, and how the idea of distance may be translated through the overlapping of various performances and manifestations of space.

Alain Chiu’s work originates from a previous work Dream Sequence, which in turn originated from another work Assemblages. Evolving from a site-specific art to a mobile game experience due to the pandemic and the closure of exhibition venues, the work is now brought to Berlin in yet another form, that of an arcade game and a sound installation. The individual works in the space are unnamed, to give precedence to the ‘room’ and its exploration, as in the title of the project. Visitors are invited to participate in the arcade game situated in this unexpected space, as they contemplate what constitutes a ‘room’ and its uses, the precarious boundaries and definitions that have been broken by our experience of the pandemic.  

Created and choreographed by Max Lee, Fish is a dance short film featuring a fisha swimmer inside a fish tank that imagines freedom in the ocean. Filmed in an abandoned fishing village in Hong Kong, Fish was first commissioned by Jumping Frames - Hong Kong International Movement-image Festival. The original cut, made a few years ago during the political unrest in Hong Kong, can be read as an ominous metaphor of being in a suppressed environment, gradually evolving from a mental proposition before the social turmoil to this particular cut which is more about Lee’s personal experience after his relocation to Manchester in 2021. Another work presented in the space, Cloud, is Lee’s first mixed-media installation that explores the state of emptiness.