Installation view of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at 100 ft. PARK, Hong Kong, 2014. Courtesy 100 ft. PARK

Installation detail of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at 100 ft. PARK, Hong Kong, 2014. Courtesy 100 ft. PARK

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

100 ft. PARK
Hong Kong

This summer, the sun has been shining so brightly over the sky in Hong Kong. Adding to this, local artist Stephanie Sin brought two more streaks of light into the city’s Prince Edward neighborhood, where the exhibition “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” at the 100 ft. PARK art space, featured a thoughtful installation of two rainbows. 

The name of the show is a clear reference to the song made famous by Judy Garland in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. On the other hand, the Chinese name of the show is “Next Station, Diamond Hill,” which is a whimsical play on the word “rainbow,”or choi hung, in Cantonese. In Hong Kong, there is a subway stop called Choi Hung; thus, the Chinese exhibition title, as explained by the artist, implies a movement and connection between subway stations, and it acts as a reference to her own migratory background of being born in Hong Kong and raised in England.

Sin is mainly known for her paintings, yet for this show she explored a new medium, using prisms, a fan, white cloth and light to create a breathtaking scene. Without using brushes or paint, Sin created a sense of emptiness and ambiguity through the translucency of light. The installation, consisting of two rainbows reflected on a piece of white cloth draped over a large window, is like most of the artist’s abstract paintings, which do not have a visible or clear outline and only allow viewers to see patches of colors. Here, the thin layer of white cloth acts like a “canvas," imbuing a subtle impression of the outside street scene, which becomes the backdrop of the work. The rainbows become more than two stripes of abstract colors; they provoke deeper contemplation as images that bridge the artist’s poetic sensibilities with the visitor. 

The installation was inspired by a double-rainbow that appeared across the sky of Hong Kong two years ago. For “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Sin reproduced rainbows with a minimal installation in 100 ft. PARK, creating an illusionary effect using black fabric, which made the space seem larger than in actuality. The bright, primary rainbow can be easily seen, but one has to look a little longer to discover the fainter, secondary rainbow. As a result of today’s pace of life, many passersby tended to walk past the gallery without taking a second look, too busy to appreciate the nuances of the everyday. The work attempts to remind viewers to slow down and be open to the undiscovered and overlooked beauty of the day-to-day. 

In experiencing the exhibition, viewers stepped into the dark corners of the art space and seemed to immediately dissolve into the canvas that is Sin’s installation. Viewers were either able to sit on a bench and quietly observe the tranquil formations, or interact with the two rainbows by touching them, allowing the colorful light to reflect onto their face and letting themselves become part of the work. Sin successfully transformed this intimate space of 100 ft. PARK into a site for introspection, where visitors were invited to a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was on view at 100 ft. PARK from June 7–July 13, 2014.