After the huge success of his solo project, Chan Wai Lap has recreated the Lonesome Changing Room 2 at Contemporary by Angela Li. By constructing a changing room-like, private environment within a public space, Chan invites the audience to reinvestigate the relationship between individuality and the community, in response to the pandemic. The exhibition 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 audience step into the space, they discover bits and pieces of Chan’s observation offstage, hence an intimate dialogue with the artist is immediately induced. “The Lonesome Changing Room 2” opening reception will be held at 5 – 8 pm, Thur 3 Jun, with special performance by Chan Wai Lok, Ivan Chan and Leung Tin Chak. The exhibition will be on view through to 26 June, 2021.
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. “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 curtains, lockers and wooden benches, blurring the boundary between personal and public spaces.