2018 | Exhibition & Performance | New Balance
Artist: UUendy Lau
Artwork: Our Encounters
Size: 1 x 1 m
Materials: Acrylic, Fabric, Thread, Canvas
Four elements derived from the American footwear brand are unconventionally expressed through the process of producing the artwork.
Explorative - An experiment searching for a "new balance of lifestyle and attitude" embracing distinct matters in our daily experience.
Collective - The iconic identity has been shaped not only by the company itself but also cumulatively by the fondness and opinion from the customers and supporters.
Diversified - The variety shows the openness and flexibility to collaborations and to cope with the new trends and needs.
Sophisticated - The delicate and exquisite craftsmanship and production reflect a pursuit of perfection in its concept and product quality.
"What/Where do you want to do/go when you are wearing New Balance 574?" The project started with an open-ended question and had invited 17 people to give a response to it, including the artist herself. The answers were documented and then extracted partially to be visualised in the installation. Each of the comments was turned into a corresponding subject or object going along with a specially-designed pattern illustrated with lines and embroidery. The work thus becomes a platform manifesting different thoughts and sentiments that gradually sculpt communal speculation of the sneaker label.
Roy | Environmental art sculptor
“I would wear the strong shoes among the board bushes of Kala Dungar, the black mountain in Gujarat, where there is a magnetic road and your car will go up with no motor running this is in India a magical place. I am an artist who travels the world to make my art and nature WITH nature.”
Eleonora | Fashion researcher
“I want a weekend-escape with my friends in another city we never explored, for instance, Valencia during the season of the ferias festival (lots of lights and typical dancing).”
Yarli Allison | Mixed media artist
“I may want to wear them during the opening of my exhibition in a gallery and present “Sea Chicken - A short memoir on Immigration Tide”, a video that I made. I got inspired by a friend of mine who is an architect and she treasures the quality of life as much as that of products - especially those with minimal design. I remember she always wears a pair of New Balance sneakers.”
Bohwa Choi | Creative designer
“I want to go backpacking in East Europe, like Poland or Hungary, by wearing the shoes New Balance 574 now. The shoes are really comfortable to walk for a long time as well as good enough to warm my feet. As long as I wear them with thick socks, there is no problem with them in winter. I would like to walk, walk and walk to find non-touristic places while I explore a new city.”
Juls Gabs | Installation artist
“I would love to use my New Balance 574 to go to the Maras salt sea in Peru where different tons of salt make one of the most aesthetic natural pigmentations of water on earth.”
Wong Ka Ki | Filmmaker
“I want to be filming when I am wearing them because they look comfortable and you always need to stand/walk a lot when filming. You hardly had a chance to sit for some reason. So it's very important to have comfy shoes.”
Jason | Ancient dinosaur coder
“With New Balance 574, I want to play basketball…again, because I keep dreaming about playing it these days...a dream which is far away from me for a long time.”
Spitaldust | Freelance polymath
“The thing I most want to do in a pair of New Balance 574s is to trek along the Inca trail because I dream of exploring the lost city of Machu Picchu.”
Spitaldust also shared with us a very interesting piece of work that he created when he thought of New Balance. He wanted “to consider the balance between literal and idiomatic language by translating unfamiliar idioms (in this case from German) to make a story where the literal translation is somewhat logical, if strange, and where the idiomatic translation also makes sense but tells a different, more sensible story”. With this idea, he wrote the following two stories in distinct translations.
Literal translation from German:
"I was walking round the food market, wearing my lovely New Balances for the first time, when I met my neighbour. He told me my German was under all pigs, even though we haven't kept pigs together yet. It was all sausage to me but I added my mustard. "You can tell your grandmother that," I replied. "You have a bird but you don't have all the cups in your cupboard. Please don't tie a bear to me." Then he talked around the hot porridge and got on my cookie. That was for the cat! I told him there aren't any pigs where he comes from and the fox and the hare say goodnight to one another. Then we had the salad - you can take poison on that. I had a nose-full but I kept my ears stiff. Thankfully, everything has an end, only the sausage has two. He had to leave and I let the pig out."
Translation of the idioms for what they mean:
"I was walking round the food market, wearing my lovely New Balances for the first time, when I met my neighbour. He told me my German was rubbish, even though we don't know each other very well. I didn't care but I gave him my opinion. "I don't believe you," I replied. I told him he was crazy (twice) and asked him not to trick me. Then he talked around the subject and got on my nerves. That was a waste of time! I told him he comes from an unpopulated part of the country. Everything became chaotic - you can trust me on that. I got sick of it but I kept calm and focussed. Thankfully, everything comes to an end. He had to leave and I celebrated wildly."
Maria | Architect/conceptual design practitioner
“I want to climb up outdoors stairs just to gaze at the urban scene, in Mexico for example.”
Aulo | Communications practitioner
“I would take this with me to wander around in Kyoto, the city I always want to visit again.”
Hinz | Designer
“I want to visit Shing Mun Reservoir with my New Balance, again and again, to greet the monkeys and cows, and to walk down to the dry soil and grassland when it is low-tide in winter."
Dorothy | Working, travelling and full-time wife
“I want to get a matching New Balance 574 with my husband and together we can wear them to roam all the places in Tokyo, experience the views at Mount Fuji, step into the heritage in London, and stroll the busy streets in New York - of which are all places that we look forward to going soon.”
Kitty Wong | Designer
“I want to go to the Adventure Park Zipline with New Balance sneakers because they are perfect for me to jump and run all the time!”
Iris C | Solicitor
“I would love to wear them for my weekend excursions around Hong Kong, the city that I call home and yet offers endless discoveries. They say “Exploration is as near as your backyard”. Just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle are countless beautiful mountains, outlying islands, remote beaches and unspoilt fishing villages – just to name a few. Hong Kong has so much more to offer than just a metropolitan life, and there is no better way to explore the many incredible places with a pair of nice, comfortable 574."
Jocelyn | Photographer
“I want to wear New Balance 574 whenever I go on a photoshoot and video shoot because I wear White most of the time when I go shooting. Or I want to wear it when I am hiking in Ireland. I like wearing white or light colour. I have a sense of security if I wear White.”
mm | The laziest kidult
“I want to go to the Grand Canyon Antelopes to experience the greatness and beauty of mother nature!”
UUendy Lau | Design & artist
“I want to climb up onto the tallest palm tree in the world with the New Balance 574, in grey colour, to observe the clearest, bluest sea and listen to the calmest wave. If I can also have a coconut juice that would be awesome.”
Size: 18 x 12 cm
Materials: 250 gsm paper, Cardboard
Content: 17 Postcards with written notes, sketches and portrait of the interviewees were bound into a book for the exhibition. These cards will be mailed to the participants after the show as a souvenir of their contribution to the project.
Participants: Roy, Eleonora, Yarli Allison, Bohwa Choi, Juls Gabs, Wong Ka Ki, Jason, Spitaldust, Maria, Aulo, Hinz, Dorothy, Kitty Wong, Iris C, Jocelyn, mm, UUendy Lau
NEW BALANCE x C.P.U. ICONIC 574 EXHIBITION
Date: 1st - 12th Mar 2018
Venue: 1/F, K11 Art Mall, Tsim Sha Tsui, HK
Exhibitors/ Artists: Li Chi-Tak, Vvn Ho, UUendy Lau, Overloaddance, Kaliz Lee, Leumas To
A collaboration with New Balance and Ping Pong Collective Comics Magazine to create a small installation for their exhibition and a 3-day live drawing performance.
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