Cover Here are the top installations you can't miss at deTour 2021 (Photo: deTour 2021)

deTour, Hong Kong’s design festival makes its return to PMQ with the theme of “Use(fu)less”

deTour, one of Hong Kong’s leading design festivals is returning this November 26 until December 12 under the theme of “Use(fu)less”. The festival is a joint effort between local creative, Shin Wong with Trilingual Design’s Chris Tsui and Adonian Chan which aims to link the virtual with the physical through interactive exhibitions, design seminars and workshops.

This year’s theme asks visitors to actively rethink the very basic functions of design. With 37 workshops and 11 design lectures both in virtual and physical form, there are plenty of unique exhibitions to see. Here, we list down the ones you shouldn’t miss.

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1 / 5

Red Silk of Fate: The Shrine by Sputniko

The red thread of fate has always been a common motif in Chinese, Japanese and Korean mythologies. It’s believed that the red thread is tied by the gods to two people who are destined to be together. In this artwork, Japanese British artist, Sputniko brings the symbol to life through a ribboned piece of fabric to replicate an ancient shrine that’s dedicated to love. Collaborating with Napp Studio & Architects, the reimagined silk thread also carries new meanings of beliefs, desires, emotions and purpose.

The artwork is backed by diffused lighting to mimic the soft glow of moonlight, guests are encouraged to admire the ornate floral patterns and with the ancient lore still fresh in mind, to allow reflection on the meaning of emotion and connection during the time of social distancing.

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2 / 5

Curator’s Choice: The Power of Collaboration by various artists

The curator’s choice for deTour 2021 features four design installations that show the power of collaboration. The first of the installations combine philosophy and designed, called I Know Not What Cafe by Reanatus Wu, which is basically your everyday coffee run transformed as an experiment.

The next installation is called, The Interpreter, which combines sound and design and explores the space between sound and music. Created by instrument designer, Ng Chak Lam of Oblik Soundwork with sociolinguist Dr Jackie Jia Lou. It records casual dialogue and transposes into a series of sounds and rhythms performed by a band of musical instruments that repositions everyday conversation into melodic musicals.

The third installation is a three-part showcase from psychologist Dr Cheung Sing Hang, typographer Keith Tam and graphic designer, Mak Ka Hang which combines typography and design. Called Type-11, it’s a reimaging of a convenience store that looks at the presence of typography in our everyday lives.

Strong Hold Pavilion is the last installation and combines sports and design. Hong Kong rock climbing athlete, Au Chi Fung joins forces with sustainable designer Match Chen in this experimental installation that showcases the effectiveness of team camaraderie and verbal motivation.

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3 / 5

The Swing Void by Cynthia Leung

The Swing Void features a room that invites visitors to breathe and experience the usefulness and uselessness of space-time. It makes sense of basic elements—time, space, light and our bodies—to carve out solitary, intimate, private experiences with a sense of duality. The experience also combines both our useful and useless moments as children, whether it’s the joy of being a playground, the awe of gazing at the blue sky or the comfort of hiding under a blanket.

Outside, the experience appears to be a confined space yet once you enter the room, it’s large enough to fill and play in.

4 / 5

The Hardworking Circuit by Wong Chun Hoi

This installation by Wong Chun Hoi is a monotonous repetitive circuit—for the mere purpose of making an electrical connection. Using as many relay switch units as possible to bridge a sequential extension of cables, it’s a reflection of the same way that people go through in order to make connections in life.

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5 / 5

Elder by Jono Craftspace

Designed by Jono Craftspace, Elder is a moving installation inspired by the bones in our bodies and reimagines the basic framework of the human figure through the lens of manufacturing, born out of the Industrial Revolution. The installation seeks to ask, “Can we replicate function shapes of bones in design?”

deTour 2021 runs from November 26 to December 12, 2021 at PMQ, Central.



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