Pierfrancesco Celada solo exhibition – ‘Instagrampier’
The latest exhibition at WMA, ‘Instagrampier’ is a solo exhibition by Pierfrancesco Celada (Pier), curated by Michele Salati.
Pier began frequenting the Western District Public Cargo Working Area in Hong Kong after moving to the neighbourhood in 2016. Once used primarily for shipping and trading, the Pier by then has morphed into one of Hong Kong’s best public spaces named by local non-profit Hong Kong Public Space Initiative. Better known as the Instagrampier, it is a place where people go to fish, exercise, walk their dogs, relax, watch sunset, and take photographs, both scenic and selfies.
Like many Hong Kong residents living in tiny homes, Pier walks to the Pier every day to claim the space available to him in the open, bringing his camera. As he does that, he begins to notice all kinds of repetitions, new faces show up and old faces return, yet a lot of photos have been shared on Instagram with the same poses at the same spots, copying the same ways others have used this public space. In that cycle of creation and re-creation of Instagram driven imagery, a constant repetition of poses and situations are played by an endless number of interchangeable actors.
The Pier becomes a place of transition, no longer between land and sea, but between reality and the virtual world of self-representation; between our real selves and the way we wish our lives were perceived and represented.
Piqued by this interest, Pier expanded his photography practice to curate the Instagrampier’s own Instagram account. By physically being at the Pier making photographs of others taking pictures, and collecting the images others made in the virtual space, the artist found himself engaged in an endless cycle of representation. It was not until March 1, 2021, when the Marine Department closed the Pier to the public citing pandemic reasons, did the artist break away from the cycle.
Through this iteration, the artist pays tribute to all his project collaborators met via the Instagrampier, and brings another transition of representation of people and lives from the public and virtual spaces to this private exhibition space.
A number of public programmes will be held alongside the exhibition. Stay tuned to our social media platforms for more details.
Image courtesy of the artist, Instagrampier project
After completing a PhD in Biomechanics, Pierfrancesco Celada has started a series of long-term photographic projects documenting life in modern cities. He won the Guernsey Photography Festival International Competition (2020), PHMuseum Photography Grant (runner-up, 2020), Happiness Onthemove Award (2017), the Photolux Leica Award (2014) and the IdeasTap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award (2011). His work has been exhibited internationally including London, Paris, Oslo, Hamburg, Tokyo and Hong Kong. His first monograph Instagrampier will be launched in June 2021. He has been based and worked in Hong Kong since 2014.
Michele Salati is an artist and creative director in advertising living and working in Hong Kong since 2016. He works with different media and collaborators from arts, developers and roboticists. His projects are sensitive to local cultures and extend beyond national boundaries. He has won many international awards of design and creativity including Cannes Lions, Design and Art Direction (D&AD) & The One Show.