13 Sep ‑ 24 Nov 2019 (every Sun, Wed to Sat) noon ‑ 7pm (7 hours)
G/F & 22/F, Wing Wah Ind. Building 677 King's Road, Quarry Bay Hong Kong
free
contributed by


Archive of the People, Bruce Ding, Fong Fo, Feng Junhua, Grass Stage, i12 + Jiujiu, Intercommon Education, Ko Sin Tung, Sunday Lai Long Sang, Lee Chun Fung, Lee Kit, Patrick Lee, Leung Chi Wo, Leung Mee-ping, Ocean Leung, Leung Po Shan, Lo Lai Lai, Grace Ma Lai-wah, Phoebe Man Ching Ying, Mok Chiu Yu, Ou Feihong, Xiaoshi Qin, Grace Samboh, Tang Kwok Hin, Sara Wong Chi Hang, Wong Ka Ying, Zhu Jianlin, Zi Jie

From the ‘60s through the ‘70s, Café do Brasil was the place for people to hang out and chatover caffeinated beverages. Situated in a corner enjoying a seaside view, on the second floorof Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, the café features in the literary accounts of many HongKong writers as home to many young intellectuals, a site for “the exploration of radical socialthought and politics” (Lui Tai-lok). In the memories of other witnesses, it lives on as justanother spot for close-knit crowds to meet and gossip. Either way, when tracing through thelong, winding history of cultural spaces in Hong Kong, one sees many of Café do Brasil’semulators, replacements and successors.

It is almost impossible to find any visual record of the café today. Filling this void, instead, arefragments from memory—or fantasies, at times romantic or stirring, or simply mundane—asobscure as the heterogeneous narratives that surround it, as ambivalent as our hopes andhesitations about gathering in public spaces, as suffocating as the fraught notion of publicnessin contemporary reality. At a time when certain memories and places are lost, or beingeroded, while other memories and places are being restored and replayed, how can weconnect with one another, and through what historical reference, and amid what sorts ofemotional conflicts? The exhibition Café do Brasil is an attempt to recollect the historicalfragments of its titular locale and delve into its resonance today. Taking a historical sitereplete with fantasy and pathos as both the meeting point and the beginning of a conversation,the exhibition invites friends and peers to join a shared discussion in the exhibition space, andto explore a range of topics, from the individualistic to the worldly, from coexistence toconsensus.

The exhibition comprises three chapters:
Chapter 1: Coffee Shops employs the setting of aroadside café to trace two exhibitions from the history of Para Site—Coffee Shop (1998) and3/4 Suggestions for A Better Living (2007)—taking its cues from the reflections on the publicfunction of art spaces Para Site has made throughout its twenty-three-year history to re-engage in this discussion about the public sphere. Occupying the entirety of Para Site’s mainexhibition space, Chapter 2: All Tomorrow’s Parties interweaves works by contemporary artistsfrom Hong Kong and mainland China with scavenged fragments that refer to Café do Brasil toinstigate an ongoing, multilateral conversation reminiscent of those taking place in a café ortea house. Finally, Chapter Three: Together, a public programme series taking placethroughout the exhibition period, includes extensions of the works featured within it,footnotes to specific discussions, and meetings to start new discussions—a get-together, ashared experience of joy, vertigo, hangover, regret, along with trial-and-error.

Café do Brasil is curated by Qu Chang.