The modern garden is a place where we try to re-create and examine nature. We build glasshouses to host nature under controlled conditions so that we can appreciate it in a relatively frozen time. An exhibition in a gallery concerns a similar modality – the viewer peruses artworks in a specific environment, as if time stands still. However, the nature ‘out there’ consists of what the ‘nature’ sealed in a man-made garden cannot encompass. Variables such as air movements, temperature changes, and our physical sensations constitute the real energy that infuses life in nature. But perhaps, it is through a garden that we can see nature as much as our very own nature. Likewise, in a gallery, we can perhaps come close to art as much as we come close to ourselves.
The Garden was an exhibition like a garden in a glasshouse, but without plants. It was a garden not remembered in time; it was nature beyond the harmony of greenery. It was a glasshouse that celebrated motions in the environment. Curated by Enoch Cheng, who is both a curator and an artist, this exhibition included artworks commissioned by the K11 Art Foundation. New works were produced by Cheng and five other Hong Kong-based artists including Shane Aspegren, Cheuk Wing Nam, Vvzela Kook, Andrew Luk, and Samuel Adam Swope. At the exhibition space, one also found recent works by three other participating artists: Neïl Beloufa, Cai Kai, and Ian Cheng. Taking their inspirations from various aspects of nature in all its liveliness, all the artworks – installations and time-based media of art made up of, for instance, sound, video, sculpture, and performance – stimulated our senses and invited everyone to observe a space that was constantly changing. Strolling around the garden, one could temporarily forget about the secular world and discover more about nature.