Cities are highly coded locations.
Unique to Hong Kong is that the city’s symbols and systems have been continually recoded over the past 200 hundred years. Transitioning from Chinese to British rule and back again (with a brief period of Japanese occupation in WW2) Hong Kong has been repeatedly rebooted: linguistically, politically, culturally and even geographically. The remains of bi-lingual messages, remixed symbols, and obsolete fragments of code are still found scattered at street level. Traces of the Hong Kong’s previous incarnations appear throughout the architecture, traditions, food and fashion, such that walking around the Central Districts evokes an appreciation of the city’s complex multiculturalism, as well as its mercantile past and present.
Indeed, fundamental to Hong Kong’s foundation, and continued way of life, is its ongoing role as a global trade centre. Since its establishment by Britain in the 1840’s, the city has served as a key port-of-trade connecting East and West in the exchange of a broad range of merchandise. Once dealing primarily in tea, silk, opium, gold, cotton, and spices, the city’s more recent exchanges of favour are fashion accessories, consumer electronics and international finance. The multiple trans-national networks that have developed as a result of this rich history of trade have deeply formed and re-shaped the city at cultural and architectural levels.
XON KON is a project by interdisciplinary artists Hugh Davies and Troy Innocent.Innocent explores connections and multiplicity in his works of design, sculpture, animation, sound and installation. His methods of multiplatform storytelling and relationships between objects and their surroundings create their own world, a game that viewers can play. His works explore the connections between language and reality, interacting within the contemporary media-scape utilising his own unique aesthetic language. His most recent works are urban art environments: an interactive sculpture garden in the Docklands and Urban Codemakers, a game that reinvents the history of Melbourne. Innocent is currently Course Director of Games and Interactivity at Swinburne University; and is represented by Anna Pappas Gallery.
Davies is an Australian media arts practitioner, researcher and educator. With creative output spanning sculpture, installation, image and video production, games and participatory practice, his works have been presented in Europe the Americas, Asia, and Oceania. In 2014, Hugh received his PhD from Monash University studying transmedia games mixed reality experiences. He is Senior Lecturer in Media Arts at LaTrobe University in Melbourne where he is also deputy director of the Centre for Creative Arts. He has previously taught at the University of South Australia, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Monash University, Royal Danish Art Academy and the Adelaide Centre for the Arts and publishes in the areas of visual art, media, philosophy and religion.