Sonic Topologies: Hong Kong

聲形地境:香港 (2021)
with MetaObjects 元物
South Galleries, M+, 12.11.2021–11.11.2023

Tactile sound installation


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Sonic Topologies: Hong Kong is an aural cartographic interpretation of Yamazaki Tsuruko’s 1967 painting, Work. Inspired by the interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit of the Gutai Art Association, the Japanese avant-garde artist collective to which Yamazaki belonged, the work creates a transcoding from image and touch to sound. By placing and moving one’s hands over different parts of a 3D printed topographic relief of the work, visitors are able to use the painting as a ‘sound map,’ where their hands are tracked using machine learning, creating a multisensory experience through sight, hearing and touch.

A collection of surround sound field recordings from Hong Kong are mapped to the colour, shapes and textures of Yamazaki’s abstract artwork. The soundscapes create a psychographic exploration of places of geographical and historical significance and sites of economic and social activity as visitors listen and ‘drift’ through the city with their hands. With the presence of two or more participants, the sounds become spatialised around the exhibition space. Visitors may ‘play’ the work collaboratively, where Yamazaki’s painting displayed flat on a table as a tactile map allows participants to embark on an immersive journey around Hong Kong.

Thanks to András Blazsek, Manni Chen, Ho Tsz Yeung Jacklam, Steve Hui (Nerve) and Daniel Stempfer.

Table by SKY YUTAKA.

Photos by MetaObjects / Ryo Ikeshiro.

Video by Green Mok.

Performers: Longman Luk, Cheng Yang, Sonia Fung and Ryo Ikeshiro.

The work was presented on 23.6.2023 at M+ at Night: Sensory Encounters M+夜不同:感官體驗 with Jacklam Ho, Manni Chen, Cheng Yang and Daniel Stempfer.