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    Contemporary by Angela Li participated in Art Central 2021 from 19th to 23rd May 2021, presenting a group exhibition at Booth #1 showing latest works of represented artists Cheung Tsz Hin, Fatina Kong, Liang Manqi, Li Hongbo, Ling Pui Sze, Lv Shanchuan, Ng Chung, Peter Steinhauer, Jacky Tsai, Martin Wehmer, Wu Didi and Angela Yuen; as well as a solo project the Lonesome Changing Room by young Hong Kong artist Chan Wai Lap at Booth P5. By constructing a changing room-like, private environment within a public art fair, Chan invites the audience to reinvestigate the relationship between individuality and the community. The solo project is an integration of the artist’s research and personal experience, and presents an opportunity for visitors to act as intruders to the artist’s or other people’s privacy, creating an intimate dialogue. Alongside usual objects seen in a changing room, such as lockers and showers, on show will be Chan’s latest series of paintings and installations created in the past year. As soon as the audiences step into the space, they discover the bits and pieces of Chan’s observation offstage, hence an intimate dialogue with the artist is induced immediately. Chan Wai Lap’s solo project will continue to be shown at the gallery’s Hollywood Road space after Art Central from 26th May to 26th June.

    With swimming as the core of inspiration in his artistic practice, Chan has started creating artworks around the theme of public swimming pools since 2016. From his solo exhibitions I Say Marco, You Say Polo in New York to I Cannot Wait For Three Months in Istanbul, his works continue to address the relationship between public spaces, humanities and his inner self among different cities. Throughout his extensive research, the artist has posed a list of questions about the privateness of a public space. Not only is a changing room the only and the most private place among public pool areas, it also gathers groups of strangers where they share short moments of awkwardness, catching a glimpse of each others’ inner worlds, “similar to what we initially encounter in a date or relationship” Chan explains.

    After Chan’s outdoor art installation I Will Always Be On Your Side was shown at Tai Kwun, portraying a swimming pool from above, he decides to build another visually contrasting project - this time in an art fair. “It has been more than a year that no one has been allowed to visit a changing room, and it is very lonely and needs some company,” said Chan. Sending out messages of compassion and playfulness, his extraordinarily delicate drawings are waiting to be discovered amongst objects commonly found in changing rooms, such as shower heads, plastic curtains and lockers, blurring the boundary between personal and public spaces.

    Chan Wai Lap (b. 1988, Hong Kong) received his Bachelor of Art (Hons) in Visual Communication from Birmingham City University in 2011. With a keen interest in swimming, his works address the relationship between a public space, humanities and the artist’s own inner-self. He had participated in artist-in-residency programmes at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun, Turkey and New York City. His works has been included in solo and group exhibitions in various art institutions, including “I Will Always Be On Your Side” (Tai Kwun Contemporary, 2020), “I Cannot Wait For Three Months” (halka sanat projesi, Istanbul, 2019), “I say Marco, You say Polo” (Fringe Club, Hong Kong, 2019; School of Visual Arts, New York, 2018), “The Bacteriology Drawing Lab” (Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Hong Kong, 2019), “Everything’s Alright” (chi art space, Hong Kong, 2016) and “Yesterday’s” (Osage Gallery, Hong Kong, 2013). He was awarded the Professor Mayching Kao Arts Development Fund, Project Grant (Emerging Artists Scheme) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and received The Award for Young Artist (Visual Arts) of Hong Kong Arts Development Awards in 2019.