As Hong Kong prepares for another season of Art Basel, one of our home-grown talents, artist Simon Birch, is set to unveil a massive art experience titled The 14th Factory this weekend in Los Angeles. A culmination of multiple years of planning and coordination that has spanned continents, the teaser videos alone make it seem to have been worth the wait.
No stranger to pushing boundaries with art, Simon staged some of the largest shows in Hong Kong, prior to the recent explosion of international art events in the city.
Constantly thwarted in his plans to produce larger exhibitions, Simon took his dream show on the road to New York, where he was able to lock down a prime space across from the New York Stock Exchange. However, faced with mountains of red-tape, timing issues and increased costs, he instead switched the exhibit’s location to L.A. where he was embraced and encouraged by the local arts community.
Along the way, the project morphed into a way to transform derelict spaces into inspirational journeys that uplift the community in which they’re based. Described in the curator’s own words, the exhibition is “a new independent paradigm for socially-engaged art” and “a large-scale contemporary art experience that acts as a vehicle for social impact.”
The show is now housed in an old factory building in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles and spans hundreds of thousands of square feet. The exhibit is equal parts art gallery and experience, with multiple rooms and mediums that you simply couldn’t stage in a land-scarce city like Hong Kong.
Over the past decade, Los Angeles has been coming into its own as an art capital due to ambitious new museums, a large local talent pool, and a growing number of artists immigrating to the city.
Attending The 14th Factory, exhibition-goers will be greeted by installations, sculptures, videos, soundscapes, and live performance, spread out over the massive grounds.
Artists contributing to the 14th Factory include Cang Xin, Devin Liston, Dominique Fung, Doug Foster, Eric Hu, Gary Gunn, Gloria Yu, Li Wei, Lily Kwong, Movana Chen, Paul Kember, Prodip Leung, Sara Tse, Scott Carthy, Scott Sporleder, Simon Birch, Stanley Wong, Wing Shya, and Yang Zhichao.
If Instagram photos are a good indication, The Fourteenth Factory promises to be an impressive combination of both content and scale. The experience includes a maze of airplane tails, a forest of pitchforks, massive paintings, films, and even a nature installation. In effect, it’s almost like creating a pop-up contemporary art museum.
Here at Hong Kong Hustle we have a special fondness for Simon’s work, and early readers will remember our site header featuring one of his paintings for the first eight years of our online existence. On this important landmark, we wish Simon, the contributing artists, and his team the very best with their opening and look forward to seeing more in the days to come.
Tickets to the exhibition come in several different varieties. There are also free days, and you can read about the range of options on the ticketing page. Additional information can be found on The 14th Factory Facebook page.
*All images are courtesy of The 14th Factory
UPDATE: Here’s a video of inside the exhibition:
Simon Birch’s The 14th Factory
Open to the public Saturday, March 11th, 2017
440 North Avenue 19 (at the intersection of the 5, the 110, and the Metro Gold Line)
Los Angeles, California