Erasing Landscapes

Daniel K. Elkin | Gerhard Bruyns | Peter Hasdell

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In a digital paradigm, so exposed by the conveniences of social media and the infinite replication of images, it is hard to imagine how some Hong Kong spaces and interiors are disappearing – replaced in part by image and in part by reflection and transparency that removes shadow, material presence and physical embodiment – given that the constructed world of buildings, homes and stores provides an intense sense of inertia, one that falsely endows a belief in the permanence of our physical environs.

Yet, it is paradoxical that within this city of a million interiors, homeowners occupy marginal square footage with personal or temporarily personal possessions, becoming passers-through, transients. The intractability of many of these ‘forms of interiority’ and their objects is part of an elaborately constructed impression, composed of a myriad of images but ultimately transient and contributing to disappearance. This comfort comes in the created transience with which the reifying expressions of personality and exclusivity are regarded, as Abbas Ackbar has written: Hong Kong is “not so much a place as a space of transit”.

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Acknowledgements: The Environmental and Interior Design student body and staff [2016 -2017] who participated in the 2016 Vertical Studio, at the The School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.