"HOMING" A sound and light installation in SF responding to the rhythms of Chinatown by Taiwanese artist Hung Tzu Ni

SAN FRANCISCO – Chinese Culture Center (CCC) presents Homing, an original, site-specific installation by Taiwanese artist Hung Tzu Ni (b. 1989) inspired by the sights and sounds of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

In her first exhibition in the United States, Hung—an installation artist whose work explores the reciprocal relationship between light and sound—reflects, resonates, and responds to the unique confines of the CCC gallery as well the dispositions of San Francisco’s Chinatown and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Hung spent a month in San Francisco in October 2019 as part of an artist residency at CCC. During that time, she explored the neighborhood, paying particular attention to changes in the soundscape, tempo, architecture, and atmosphere as she moved through, and in and out of, Chinatown. She was interested in exploring how our temporal selves continuously refine and define our understanding of “home.”

Homing refers to an animal with the ability to return home and a device that has the precision to arrive at a destination,” says Hung. “My work suggests a point of entry, exit, and return, raising the question of how our temporal selves continuously refine and define our ‘home.’”

Hung has translated her impressions and ideas into an immersive installation that transforms the entirety of the CCC gallery. The gallery’s four distinct, but interrelated bays have been adapted into experiences of space, movement, and time. Hung uses light paths, architectural conditions, and sound as materials to construct points, lines, and surfaces. In one bay, for example, natural light is filtered through a lens on to a temperature sensitive surface that then triggers sounds whose frequency vary depending on the time of day. As visitors move through the bays, some darkened and others not, they experience a syncopation of segregated timelines, loops, and soundtracks.

Hung’s aim, through this architectural intervention, is to shift visitors’ sense of time and place.

“It is very interesting walking from BART towards Chinatown, an experience often accompanied by high-rise winds from time to time due to the high commercial buildings and the lack of areas exposed to sunlight,” says Hung. “But once you arrive in Chinatown, the sensational temperature rises due to sunlight, which also causes crowds to stay. The light is projected on the area’s open spaces in the afternoon. The time when the elderly play chess slowly or early days when young couples sit on benches—it seems that the time and sunshine are prolonged here.”

“We are thrilled to invite Hung Tzu Ni to reimagine our galleries in such a complete and powerful way,” says Hoi Leung, CCC curator. “This is the first time that CCC is showcasing a solo exhibition by a sound artist. It will be a unique show that I think will compel visitors to return multiple times to fully experience.”

Hung Tzu Ni’s work has been featured at festivals and institutions such as the MyceliumNetwork Society Taipei Biennale at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum; SuperDeluxe, Tokyo; and the Taipei National University of the Arts. She was a co-organizer of the Lacking Sound Festival (TW) in 2017 and 2018. Hung has a degree in Architectural Design from Shih Chien University and an MFA in New Media Art from Taipei National University of the Arts. She recently completed an international exchange program at TAMA Art University, Tokyo and Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is currently active in the experimental sound scene in Taiwan and Tokyo.

Homing is presented by the Chinese Culture Center in collaboration with 23Five, with support from the Ministry of Culture in of Taiwan, Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, San Francisco Foundation, Grants for the Arts, Rose Pak Community Fund and CCC Contemporaries.

Homing opens with a free reception on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 7:30-9pm. and is on view February 7-April 18, 2020; Tuesdays – Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny St., 3rd Floor. Admission to the gallery is free.  For more information, the public should visit: https://www.cccsf.us/post-1/homing.