20 May ‑ 29 Aug 2020 (every Tue to Sat) 9:30am ‑ 6pm (8 hours 30 minutes)
24 May ‑ 30 Aug 2020 (every Sun) 1 ‑ 6pm (5 hours)
香港西環般咸道90號


Exhibition Period: May 20, 2020 - August 30, 2020

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) is pleased to present "Metamorphosis or Confrontation", Tobias Klein’s most extensive solo exhibition to date on the theme of Digital Craftsmanship. Klein was trained as an architect at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Before relocating to Hong Kong in 2014, he taught for more than ten years at the world-renowned Architectural Association School of Architecture and the Royal College of Art. Klein holds a PhD from RMIT Melbourne and currently teaches in the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. By exploring applications of 3D printing in architecture, art, design and interactive media installations, Klein has created a fusion of contemporary CAD/CAM technologies built from natural materials, found objects and cultural historical references. In his work, Klein develops the emerging discipline of Digital Craftsmanship as an operational synthesis between digital and physical tools and techniques.

The UMAG exhibition traces Klein’s work over the past decade and is structured in four distinct areas: "Bones", "Masks", "Mutations" and "Forces". Each theme unravels the relationships and evolution of the artist’s body of work, while at the same time demanding that visitors take a position of negotiation, evolution or confrontation.

The first room, "Bones", serves as a general introduction. Full of references and models that were both inspiration and source material for the artist, the space has been transformed into a cabinet of curiosities (Wunderkammer). The second room, "Masks", is dedicated to a single work. Inspired by the intricate detail and cultural allusions of Cantonese Opera masks, this interactive installation transforms the visitor into a participatory player within a landscape of discoveries and unexpected moments. "Mutations", the third exhibition space, places three different works in a stimulating constellation—"The Invisible Human, Melted Proportions and Witnesses"—while thematising a shift in time and space. In the final room, "Forces", Klein establishes a dialogue between traditional forms of Chinese wood carving, experimental glass blowing and the ornamentation of digital transformations.

Seen as a whole, the individual rooms establish myriad readings. On the one hand, they allow for an understanding of the mastery of both digital and analogue materials while expressing the ability to apply interpretative and communicative techniques between old and new. This entire exhibition may be regarded as an extended Wunderkammer—a total work of art—which impressively presents the rich tapestry of Digital Craftsmanship.

— Tobias Klein, Florian Knothe, Harald Kraemer