Sandtable 沙盆推演, London Design Biennale 2021

Sandtable 沙盆推演, Hong Kong Pavilion, London Design Biennale 2021
1 – 27th June, Somerset House, London

Responding to London Design Biennale 2021’s theme of Resonance, the Hong Kong Pavilion, Sandtable 沙盆推演 is a digital and physical interactive installation designed to resonate between the physical pavilion in London and the global audience online in real time through double live projections. Captured in sand, visitors’ written strokes will be projected over and put in dialogue with the live feed collected on the digital platform

We invite you to develop stories, dreams, and speculations on the histories and futures of Hong Kong as you encounter the urban legend of Ah Kwan Showing the Way, a fantasy concocted by early British colonialists. This will culminate in an ongoing alternative archive, documenting the multiple, interwoven, non-linear histories of Hong Kong generated by physical and virtual contributors. 

Throughout its history, Hong Kong has been central to global material networks, where resources, objects and ideas have emerged, passed through, been exchanged, or destined. Nevertheless, design as a force for social agency has thus far been peripheral in the discourse of Hong Kong history and cultural values. With the rapid transformation happening in Hong Kong, design has taken on an increasingly critical role for urgent change resonant with today’s global landscape.

As the city’s future and past reach another crossroad, Sandtable 沙盆推演  seeks to disrupt the linearity of Hong Kong’s history through design speculation. Who has controlled the narrative of the city and how might we redistribute ways of knowing? Play a game of Chinese Whispers with the local legend Ah Kwan Showing the Way as a basis, every day we will regenerate the past and tell a ‘fortune’ for our collective future.