Bed Pressure

Found objects, video in monitor, dimensions variable, 2017

A site-specific installation commissioned for the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) in Shenzhen, the project evolved with various found objects and furniture left in the factory dormitory which was to turned into the exhibition venue. Two bunk beds were stacked in a mirroring position and found objects were fitted in-between.

The used steel bunk bed in the factory dormitory witnessed the swift development of Shenzhen. It was the most intimate furniture of the migrant worker but its straightforward pragmatism designated its value only for transit to the next stage of happiness. In fact, it was not limited to Shenzhen. Steel bunk beds were for all developing communities with industries but to remain in certain collective memories only. Plain and durable, it was once the only choice for many working class families in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, etc. However, cheap furniture was dumped when people’s material life was improved as their values changed.


Steel beds as materials for art, referring to the original context of the site can become metaphors for development, in terms of both individual and collective. In this installation, they are at the same time the physical and conceptual container to transform the space and to deliver a multi-layered narrative. Objects come from different times and signify a variety of meanings. An expanded perception of the present and the presence is attempted.


To complete the installation, a music video of Canto-pop song Wait For Three Years (盼三年) (1988) by Hong Kong pop singer Danny Chan was played 10-time slower. Chan’s songs were popular in Shenzhen during the early years of the development of this Special Economic Zone.


Excerpt of Wait for Three Years played in slow-motion