PARALLEL LIVES: CHINA / HONG KONG
BY YANG ZHICHAO AND DOUGLAS YOUNG AT THE LAUNCH OF 10 CHANCERY LANE GALLERY ART PROJECTS' NEW INDOOR/OUTDOOR SPACE IN CHAI WAN MEI
(ART BASEL HK WEEK 2013)
Coincidentally, Yang Zhichao and Douglas Young have the same name in Chinese（楊志超）and are born within a couple years of each other. The exhibition explores the relationship of these two artists, who have never met, and their lives in the context of the history in which they were brought up between China and Hong Kong. Their work is a reflection of their personal as well as communal collective memories.
Yang Zhichao (born 1963 Gansu, China) is known in China for his provocative performance art. Chinese Bible, A 50 Year History is an installation work of 3,000 collected notebooks dating form 1949-1999. Combining both performance through collecting the works and documentation into a poignant and meaningful installation he touches the very essence of the Chinese soul. For three years, Yang scoured the streets of Beijing for the diaries of a nation being sold in second-hand shops. The words written on the pages rang with not just one thing, but everything that happened for 50 years from 1949-1999 in China. The books are filled with pre-Cultural Revolution true zealousness for the Communist cause to rote and calculated writings of Mao discourses yet in some places woven with scientific essays and complex mathematical calculations. Some pages of personal plights, other pages of French lessons are found among the 3,000 collected books. The title, Chinese Bible, as he has named this work, links the ideas of a personally spiritual book that at the same time is something that must be learned and not questioned. He feels the diaries fall somewhere in between as they are the expressions of both individual ideas as well as collective thought. Yang Zhichao’s Chinese Bible is yet another chapter linking both China’s past in order to understand its future.
Douglas Young (born 1965 Hong Kong) is a well-known Hong Kong figure in the art and design industry having founded the shop G.O.D. He is a big advocate of establishing 'The Hong Kong School' through a definition of the elusive Hong Kong identity. Over the years, Young has amassed an extensive collection of objects that has been the source of his creative inspirations. These objects are of little or no monetary value, many of which have been discarded by their original owners as junk. It is ironic that what the average consumer considers useless, Young considers to be extremely valuable.
This installation is an assemblage of objects that represents Young's personal memories. It is intended not only to evoke obvious parallels with the work of Yang Zhichao, but through the curatorial choice, juxtaposition and manipulation of the collection as a whole, it is also intended to resonate with the viewer's subliminal consciousness.
The exhibition was held in 10 Chancery Lane Gallery's venue in Chai Wan's industrial warehouse art district during ART BASEL HONG KONG 2013.