deTour 2020 announces the Matter of Life theme

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deTour 2020 announces the Matter of Life theme
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HONG KONG.- Organized by PMQ and sponsored by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, deTour announced that its 6th Design Festival will be held at PMQ, in the heart of Hong Kong’s SoHo, from 27 November – 6 December 2020. As the largest design festival in Hong Kong, deTour 2020 celebrates works and ideas from around 15 designers and designer units both locally and internationally. For the first time, deTour will also launch an online virtual festival, alongside the physical one, for an immersive experience to connect audiences from all corners of the world. Showcasing the innovative and playful nature of design, both the virtual and physical festivals will invite visitors to participate in and connect with the installations and exhibitions.

Curated by an emerging design unit, the Hong Kong-based Trilingua Design Studio, this year’s festival is themed on Matter of Life, which explores the role and value of design in everyday life amid our current times of change and uncertainty. Through a series of interactive and engaging exhibitions alongside a program of events both online and offline, deTour 2020 hopes to expand this global discussion by bringing together local and international designers for a collaborative experience in celebration of design and creativity.

The visual identity of this year’s festival is designed by a leading Hong Kong-based studio Hato. Riding on the festival’s collaborative Matter of Life theme, the visual identity reflects collective spirit, and how the air we breathe is what connects us all as humans. Echoing that shared experience as the heart of this year’s festival, Hato gathered recorded voice messages of the festival’s co-creators and created a collaborative key visual by using the sound wave, which is then presented as 3D balloons. The key visual will also be used as Instagram filters for the public to engage in and play with. Further details will be announced soon.

This year’s festival will divide its physical and virtual presentation into the following three main sections, alongside a robust line up of talk program and public workshops:

● Special Collaboration: deTour commissions a renowned international design unit to collaborate in a large-scale installation. This year, deTour is honoured to have Whatever Inc., a prominent creative studio based in Tokyo, Taipei, New York, and Berlin , in the collaboration. Their immersive installation FLOCK will celebrate life and people coming together virtually in the world of COVID-19, and visitors will be invited to create an avatar of themselves in the photo scanning booth at PMQ. Images of such avatars will then be transmitted to a large digital mural to be set up in the PMQ courtyard. Through the giant display screen, visitors will watch their avatars flying real time in a virtual community in the sky alongside those who visited the festival before them, like a flock of birds. Audiences from around the world can also participate by uploading their avatars to the deTour 2020’s website which will live stream on the giant display screen throughout the festival.

● Feature Exhibition will highlight four leading local and international design units whose work focuses on solution design. The following will be presented in this year’s festival:

● CoLab (Hong Kong), whose work I’mperfect Lives: A Taste of Decay will challenge visitors to rethink our fear of disease nowadays through looking into “good bacteria” in the process of food and fermentation.

● Brief Encounters by New Office Works (Hong Kong) addresses the way the public can engage with each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic while following social distancing measures through the colourful transparent films to be installed as barriers onsite.

● NOSIGNER (Japan) will present Identity Face Shield, a face shield with a pixel-style human face printed on it to address the importance of protecting our privacy in the time when face recognition systems have been developing rapidly while we protect our physical health.

● How the World Sees by Synoptic Office (New York, Hong Kong), an immersive, living map that captures the flow of real-time news stories from media outlets around the world to reveal the everchanging global dialogue.

● Selected Entries: Through an Open Call, deTour 2020 received over ninety creative proposals and selected ten exceptional works from local and international designers which reflects different issues, for example, artistic expression and environmental issues. Two of the highlights are:

● Hong Kong designers Riyo Chan Oi Yau and Obie Chan Shung Lek’s God Catcher, is a satirical and interactive claw machine which will hand out a unique “prayer packet” with a small statue of a god and a correlating written blessing to visitors for bringing them spiritual comfort in a year when our daily lives have undergone tremendous changes.

● Design’s Diffusion: Mimication and Regeneration by aona & Cou Tou Wood Working (Hong Kong) attempts to reconstruct the process of imitation and its role in design through analyzing a discarded mid-century timber dining chair found in the street, and comparing it with modern Danish classics such as Finn Juhl’s Chair 108 and Hans Wegner’s Ch30. The project will design a new furniture piece as a continuation of the mimication process and the exploration of its regeneration.

Shin Wong, Curator-at-large of this year’s deTour Design Festival, commented that “We are delighted to once again present deTour at PMQ and look forward to showcasing a larger, more international event with the launch of our new virtual festival. Through the coming together of local and international communities through our physical and online events, deTour 2020 aims to celebrate the vibrant design scene in Hong Kong and beyond. We hope that this festival will provide the visitors - from the public to art & design enthusiasts – with an exciting event in what has been a challenging year.”

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