18 May–7 August, 2018

Nylonkong Dreams

Pascale Marthine Tayou solo exhibition

Hong Kong


Nylonkong Dreams is the first solo exhibition by Pascale Marthine Tayou in Hong Kong. Tayou, an installation artist of Cameroon descent, is currently based in Ghent, Belgium. He first came to prominence for his participation in Documenta 11 in 2002 and the Venice Biennale in 2009.

Nylonkong, shorthand for New York, London and Hong Kong, refers to the three leading financial centres of the world that all share similar economic and cultural traits. For Tayou, these metropolises signify the crossroads for our civilization whereby many personal dreams can be realized. This boundless idealism in fact sets the pace for other cities to follow. If the growth of these global cities is dependent on their ability to exert greater economic control over a larger geographic spread, whose city is it becoming? Does the majority of the population situated outside of this economic equation have any real influence on the future of where they live?

To bring about a new awareness of this dilemma, Tayou contemplates the way in which we, as human beings, manage our desires at the most basic level. Are there any universal ideals we can still share as a community of people? Shy of labelling himself as an artist but instead, in his own words, as “a lost man in the universe of forms, a man shuttling in the space of multiple unknowns”, Tayou’s own travels have become a constant source of inspiration in his exploration of the ambivalence towards transnationalism, an issue that is close to Hong Kong. Furthermore, if the function of a gallery is to endow individual artworks with meaning, Tayou considers the exhibition as a germane platform to reflect on humanity in the broadest sense. Tayou states, “Nylonkong Dreams is intended to delve into the flesh of earth of men and to seek a common gene that binds all of us.” This exhibition takes on the form of “a garden of confrontation of the past and the future”. To provoke hallucinations, the artist simulates a hyperconscious state of mind that in turn questions the very essence of human fate. In doing so, this visual experiment blurs the distinction between past and present, real and virtual, ritual and the everyday, as well as material and immaterial, bringing us closer to experiencing the very contradiction of contemporary life. For this exhibition, Tayou incorporates a stable of art objects made from the past and juxtaposes them with locally sourced industrial materials to create a panoramic vision across the entire space.

Selected works