BYOB (BRING YOUR OWN BIENNALE)
‘Bring Your Own Biennale’ (BYOB) is a catchphrase, framework, and approach envisioned to stimulate our collective role in the creation of an innovative Bi-City Biennale between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It calls for individual participation and networked collaboration – working within and outside boundaries to generate unexpected results. BYOB makes the process of cultural production transparent, an approach that relies on the citizens and the city’s infrastructure for our Bi-City engagement. It is at once contextual but also reflective, a unique opportunity to speculate on what our impact on the metropolis could be.

Our Biennale’s central location in the future West Kowloon Cultural District provides an open platform for dialogue. By inviting inventive practices into the site, we will build upon people’s interest and their participation to formulate this Biennale. Our Biennale is not a frozen, definitive statement comprised of vacant representations of architecture –but alive with debate, events, and activity inspired from performative practices. The Hong Kong component of the Bi-City Biennale is about creating fresh tools, new ways of working, designing intelligence, and appropriating mechanisms that deal with direct feedback to engage the public. This ‘public’ is diverse and we embrace this diversity in the ownership of space- where public good, public space and the public domain can be re-conceptualized. Diversity within cities and the creation of cultural capital is complex, as exemplified by Sharon Zukin’s critique on the ‘representations of culture in public space’ in parks, art museums, and city streets. Thus BYOB asks: how is public culture defined? Who has the right to experience, conceptualize and control culture? In essence we are publishing a real-time ‘Users Manual’ for this diversity, where the West Kowloon promenade site becomes a backdrop for creative speculation and dynamic ingenuity. We learn from people, from nature, from our daily interactions, and we are inspired by everyday practices, appreciate the informality and spontaneity that rubs up against the rigid, the formal and the planned. Here we create ephemera and use weblogs as social levellers to share and exchange information in order to generate new models and paradigms which fully embraces the creative cultural practice of architecture, art and urbanism.

eskyiuHKBiennale_IdeaOfATree_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_TetraPhobia_Photo by MADes
eskyiuHKBiennale_HoleinTheWall_Photo by Syren Johnstone
eskyiuHKBiennale_TwoWongsGoingtoSea01_Photo by MADes
eskyiuHKBiennale_TwoWongsGoingtoSea02_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_WestKowloonWalledCity01_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_WestKowloonWalledCity02_Photo by MADes
eskyiuHKBiennale_PocketFence_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_BloodyHaze_Photo by MAP Office
eskyiuHKBiennale_LiveNature_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_Ecofarm:GreenPixel_Photo by Marisa Yiu
eskyiuHKBiennale_ProjectingWindow_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_TheStage01_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_TheStage02_Photo by Eric Schuldenfrei
eskyiuHKBiennale_MainPavilion_Photo by MADes

BYOB (BRING YOUR OWN BIENNALE): CITY MOBILIZATION

Project Overview:

Marisa Yiu and Eric Schuldenfrei along with co-curators Alan Lo and Frank Yu, led the 2009 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture to mark the first cultural event of international scale to take place at the future West Kowloon Cultural District from 4 December 2009 to 27 February 2010. The site of the West Kowloon hosted 46,000 square metres of over 80 exhibitions, more than 49 events/forums, with over 30 schools participating, showcasing an open platform composed of inventive works and thought-provoking installations, experiments, workshops and performances that aim to engage the public in rethinking the society that they are integral of.

The Hong Kong curatorial team was selected on June 25th 2009 after an open competition call for curators submission, organized by HKIA, HKIP and HKDA. As a cooperative cultural event that is shared by the two cities under a Bi-City thematic. The 2009 Hong Kong Biennale’s principal sponsor was the Home Affairs Bureau of the HKSAR Government, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of China.’Bring Your Own Biennale’ (BYOB) is a catchphrase, framework, and approach envisioned to stimulate our collective role in the creation of an innovative Bi-City Biennale between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It calls for individual participation and networked collaboration – working within and outside boundaries to generate unexpected results. BYOB makes the process of cultural production transparent, an approach that relies on the citizens and the city’s infrastructure for our Bi-City engagement. It is at once contextual but also reflective, a unique opportunity to speculate on what our impact on the metropolis could be.

Curatorial Vision:

“Bring Your Own Biennale” (BYOB) is a catchphrase, framework, and approach envisioned to stimulate our collective role in the creation of an innovative Bi-City Biennale between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It calls for individual participation and networked collaboration, working within and outside boundaries to generate unexpected results. BYOB makes the process of cultural production transparent, an approach that relies on the citizens and the city’s infrastructure for continuous engagement. It is at once contextual but also reflective, a unique opportunity to speculate on what our impact on the metropolis could be.

The Biennale’s central location was located in the future West Kowloon Cultural District provides an open platform for dialogue. By inviting inventive practices into the site, we will build upon people’s interest and their participation to formulate this Biennale. Our Biennale is not a frozen, definitive statement comprised of vacant representations of architecture –but alive with debate, events, and activity inspired from performative practices. The Hong Kong component of the Bi-City Biennale is about creating fresh tools, new ways of working, designing intelligence, and appropriating mechanisms that deal with direct feedback to engage the public. This ‘public’ is diverse and we embrace this diversity in the ownership of space- where public good, public space and the public domain can be re-conceptualized. Diversity within cities and the creation of cultural capital is complex, as exemplified by Sharon Zukin’s critique on the ‘representations of culture in public space’ in parks, art museums, and city streets. Thus BYOB asks: how is public culture defined? Who has the right to experience, conceptualize and control culture? In essence we are publishing a real-time ‘Users Manual’ for this diversity, where the West Kowloon promenade site becomes a backdrop for creative speculation and dynamic ingenuity. We learn from people, from nature, from our daily interactions, and we are inspired by everyday practices, appreciate the informality and spontaneity that rubs up against the rigid, the formal and the planned. Here we create ephemera and use weblogs as social levellers to share and exchange information in order to generate new models and paradigms which fully embraces the creative cultural practice of architecture, art and urbanism.

Project Details:

Location: West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong

CommissionerHKIA, HKIP and HKDA

Size: 46,000 square metres

Date: 4 December 2009 to 27 February 2010

More details here: 2009 Biennale website for more information.

Curatorial Team:

Chief Curator: Marisa Yiu

Curator for Arts, City Integration and Events: Alan Lo

Curator for Exhibition, Education, Film and Media: Eric Schuldenfrei

Curator for Architecture, Urbanism and Landscape: Frank Yu

Architectural Planning team: Claude Wong, Solomon Fong, Wang Ho (Gravity Partnership)

Exhibition and Fabrication team: Nick Gu, Jiaxin Chum (ESKYIU)

Project Manager: Amber Young; Curatorial Coordinators: Chow Kayan, Sze Pui Ki, Janice Ho; Project Officer: Sam Yu.

Press Highlights:

Featured in Wallpaper*.  Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale 2009. More Here.

Reviewed in DEZEEN.  More Here.

Featured in FastCompany magazine. ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN’S NEW HOT SPOTS: HONG KONG AND SHENZHENMore Here.

Highlighted in Create the city with the community, HKU publication and Review in Leo Lee: Garden in the City dialogue and Presentation with Marisa and Eric. More Here.

Reviewed by ArchDaily on the Pavilion design. More Here.

Reviewed in Whotels Worldwide Showcases its Passion for Design in Hong Kong. More Here.

Series of Articles covered in CNN. Second Skin: West Kowloon’s trees dressed like women. More Here.  Two Wongs go to sea: Trying to stay afloat in Hong Kong real estate. More Here.

Bi-city Biennale: Futuristic archeology in West Kowloon. More Here.

Featured in article in South China Morning Post. 

First iPhone orchestra show at the 2009 HK SZ Biennale. More Here.

Articles and Coverage on Chief Curator profile. More Here in Timeout HK, and Make A Difference symposium on the Social Value of Design.

Marisa Yiu, Eric Schuldenfrei, Alan Lo and Frank Yu, Curatorial team, featured in the Hong Kong Tatler Magazine.