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“Left is a direction. In Shuowen Jiezi (a Chinese dictionary from Han Dynasty), ‘left’ is defined as a hand-held tool. This was later extended to mean political inclination, mistake, demotion, side or stubbornness. ‘Left’ also refers to those people who do not have the ‘right’ behaviour, thinking and lifestyle, and they are, therefore, being discriminated against and forsaken by society,” said Yu Bellini Guy Tse, currently the Artist-in-Residence of Lingnan University who is left-handed, on the concept of “left” as the theme of her artwork since 2013, as well as that of the exhibition on campus.
The concept of the exhibition “LEFT - Why left” originated from her experience of visiting the rubbles of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in 2009 and 2010. Over the past year, Bellini has been sneaking into local demolition sites, which resemble the devastated Sichuan, to collect materials for her artwork. “While buildings in Hong Kong were demolished for urban development, the collapse of houses in Sichuan destroyed the dreams of several generations,” said Bellini. In her current exhibition, dolls made with concrete debris were on display.
The exhibition at the Leung Fong Oi Wan Art Gallery of Lingnan University opened on 10 May with a site-specific performance by Bellini and the Dancing Angels. A hundred concrete-dolls made by Bellini are displayed at the outdoor atrium while 20 pieces of artwork by students from the Visual Studies Department of Lingnan University are exhibited in the Art Gallery. For example, “Papa” by So Wing-yi, one of the student exhibitors, challenges the mainstream culture dominated by praises of the mother; “Tell me, which part of you is the most attractive?” by Chau Sin-man assures self-appreciation; “Stray Neighbours” by Sui Ting is a diary for homeless dogs; “Dear H18” by Leung Hoi-kiu freezes the fading warmth of the neighbourhood reflected in local markets. Year 2 Visual Studies student Mei Chan worked on the topic “The Uselessness”, using discarded wooden pallets to make two chairs and a bench. “We live in a well-off society and often forget the values of things. Bellini encouraged us to try something new, so I tried to be a carpenter even though I know nothing about carpentry,” said Mei.
Bellini has been working in the field of rehabilitation, employing art as a rehabilitative tool. After graduating from the Faculty of Social Sciences from Lingnan University in 2007 and completing her studies of Fine Art at RMIT University (co-presented with Hong Kong Art School) in 2011, she joined the curatorial team of F/S Gallery. She debuted her first installation art solo exhibition at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in 2013, and was invited by “China Art Projects” for exhibitions. She has participated in different art projects, including “Art Moves - Rekindling Hearts with Art and Love, in Commemoration of the Two Year Anniversary of the Sichuan Earthquake”, “New Trend 2011”, “POCHU 3.0”, “Grandma Grandpa Memory Boxes” and “God makes us like this”.