M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship 2021 Public Talk

15. 7. 2022

Emily Verla Bovino, M+ / Design Trust Research Fellow of 2021, will present her research findings “Miniature as Method? Vanishing Acts in Trans-scalar Hong Kong”  onsite at The Forum, M+ and online via zoom on 19:30–21:15 22 July. Followed by a panel discussion with artists Nadim Abbas and Michelle Chan Wan Chee. This event will be moderated by Sunny Cheung, M+ Curator of Design and Architecture .

Emily Verla Bovino, M+ / Design Trust Research Fellow of 2021

Indie art toys, model bus collectibles, and mini-iterations of disappearing streetscapes in Hong Kong show that miniature is more than smallness.

It offers ways of rethinking the city it represents through the shifts in scale that it enacts. Reducing and enlarging, absorbing and distancing, mobilising and capturing, miniature generates images that captivate and enchant while pointing to questions of labour, information, and power in the urban environment of one of late capitalism’s 'model' cities.

Working with miniature as a method, Emily Verla Bovino, a 2021 M+/Design Trust Research Fellow, shares moments from over fifty conversations conducted with people variously involved in three areas of miniature selected for their relation to body, infrastructure, and architecture. The presentation follows mai nei (mini) Hong Kong across scales—cosmic, planetary, urban, object, network, gesture, material, and aesthetic.

Bovino will present her research findings, followed by a panel discussion with artists Nadim Abbas and Michelle Chan Wan Chee. This event will be moderated by M+ Curator of Design and Architecture Sunny Cheung. Simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese will be available.

More details here.

Please register here.

About the Speakers

Emily Verla Bovino, an historian, urbanist, artist and writer who spent formative years in Hong Kong, researches the Hong Kong miniature. Working with a curatorial approach to design ethnography, she focuses on collectible model buses, precision replicas of street life, and designer toys as a means to explore the social life and affective dimension of architecture and urbanism in the city.

Nadim Abbas is an artist-researcher and currently a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Visual Arts HKBU, theorizing in miniature as an art practice. His interests in otaku, anime cosmogonies, video games, and global supply chains inform the complex set pieces he creates in which objects disappear into their own semblance and bodies succumb to the seduction of space.

Michelle Chan Wan Chee works with photography as social practice. Her maternal uncle passed away and left behind a vast assortment of Hong Kong model buses. Since then, Chan has experimented with and looked at the city through miniature across scales—from the rituals of baai saan (ancestor worship), bus routes favoured by enthusiasts, the maps of transit planning, and intergalactic imaginings in anime.


About M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship
The M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship programme consists of two separate fellowships investigating issues related to architecture and design. One supports research projects focused on Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area in an Asian or global context, and the second supports research projects related to Asia more broadly, closely in line with the curatorial position of M+, the Hong Kong museum dedicated to visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. Past fellows include: Ling Fan (2015); Joseph Grima and the team of Daniel Cooper and Juliana Kei (2016); Thomas Daniell (2017); Hugh Davies and the team of Fan Lok Yi and Sampson Wong (2018); Oliver Elser and Yasmin Tri Aryani (2019); Jason Lau and the team of Mark Wasiuta and Farzin Lotfi-Jam (2020); and Emily Verla Bovino and Anouchka van Driel (2021).

About Design Trust
Design Trust was established in 2014 by Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design, a registered charity in Hong Kong since 2007, as a grant funding and community platform. Design Trust supports creative projects that develop expertise, build research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Working across a multiplicity of design disciplines including, but not limited to, graphics, media, architecture to the built environment, Design Trust aims to actively accelerate creative research, design and development of meaningful projects that advocate for the positive role of design.

About M+
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Located in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, M+ is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to be a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historical balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s twenty-first century.