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My role: Co-founder, Creative, Curator, Artist. This is an experimental exhibition, THE BLACK STORE want to discuss how values are formed, and i… Read More
My role: Co-founder, Creative, Curator, Artist. This is an experimental exhibition, THE BLACK STORE want to discuss how values are formed, and it must goes beyond branding. From worthless cents to arts; from a Master course study to real live marketing technique. We turn some local artists into a rising international artist by branding, using words and other information to guide our audience the way of seeing, while at the same time leaving space for thinking. We break the gap between arts and the public, and hoping to audience to find their own ways of appreciating arts, and trust their eyes! Read Less
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This summer with venue sponsored by Red Elation Gallery, THE BLACK STORE invites young artists from all over the world to express their thoughts and idea on WoM. How did WoM become so irresistible that we lost our immunity to such advertising trick? Let’s hear how these artists and
The BLACK STORE say.

There are numerous marketing and advertising out there, although we seems to become immune to them, when “Word of Mouth” (WoM) comes into the game, we are lost all our defence. We believe our friends, relatives and colleague for their ‘best buy’, we dig into forums for “users’
review”, we pay attention to every like and share on Facebook and other social media, and “Word of Mouth” is the new battleground for all marketers and advertisers!

Presented by: THE BLACK STORE (Facebook: www.facebook.com/theblackstore)
Venue Sponsored by: Red Elation Gallery

EXHIBITION PERIOD: 25 August – 8 September 2012
Red Elation Gallery, G/F, 5-6 Lung On Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong (near Pak Tai Temple)
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 12noon - 6pm (Closed on Sunday, Monday and Public
Holidays)
Free Admission
Enquiry: Telephone: +852 2893 7837 / E-mail: info@redelation.com / Website:
www.redelation.com
What is THE BLACK STORE?
 
THE BLACK STORE is art in disguise. Our works comments on the marketing and advertisement, with the tricks and strategy they use. We hope by doing so, audience will be more aware of such strategies and will think about it.

THE BLACK STORE was a New Media research project. Five students from Master of Arts in Visual Cultural Studies in The Chinese University of Hong Kong treat their course project with a little more than others do. They contacted Gallery Z in JCCAC last year, turning such school project into a multimedia performance art and exhibition piece. Opening a “store” in a gallery, wearing uniforms and turning into ‘salespersons’, hard-selling their over-priced ‘artworks’. We are not only doing academics, but a belief and criticism of the values.

We believe that even cents have their value; if some junk commercial goods can be sold with packaging, then we might use branding and packaging to make those seemingly valueless things grow. Our first opening was a great success, and so we did an encore some 20 days later. People liked our Facebook pages, and became our friends.

After our graduation, we went into different ways. We became a marketing coordinator in an international brand, a video editor in cable TV, a drama project coordinator, and local digital media analyst, laboratory officer in quality testing company. Yet our ambition remains. And we decided
to re-run The BLACK STORE, this time fortunately we have our venue sponsor- Red Elation Gallery. With a professional branding for arts, and a group of artists who share our beliefs, creating a series of artwork.

This is an experimental exhibition, THE BLACK STORE want to discuss how values are formed, and it must goes beyond branding. From worthless cents to arts; from a Master course study to real live marketing technique. We turn some local artists into a rising international artist by branding, using words and other information to guide our audience the way of seeing, while at the same time leaving space for thinking. We break the gap between arts and the public, and hoping
to audience to find their own ways of appreciating arts, and trust their eyes!
My role: Co-founder, Creative, Curator, Artist
Musical guest: Pong aka DJ P-chef
The 112 Rabbits, by 脳レンタル
size: 200 X 100 CM
Have you ever think about every camera in your daily life is like a CCTV? In the old time, people need
detective to spy others life, however, the data usage in our life betrays us nowadays. Surveillance is so
convenient and easy. And you are happy to reveal your privacy to the public by Facebook and Social Media.
Life of Curry Wurst
 
You might be tortured by work/live/other pressure everyday. Hence you are so irresistible to enjoy efficiency/effectives/joys that urban life brings you – you have chosen to forget all those elementals.
“ Looks like urban life conquers our world.”
 “All details and elementals in our daily living are almost lost because the myopia of Marketing and Capitalism.”
The artist says so. That’s a statement so true/right/correct/ accurate.
German Artists Carsten Neumann playing with a cooking pan, use daily life as point of penetration and state that we should not like some of the Curry Wurst in Berlin – seasoning, swallow and throw away the leftovers.
He tried to bring in vitality to overwhelmingly urbanized cities, at least urge people to remember toil and waste before and after our enjoyment.
Hearsay Li Chih-hsien , from Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The love triangle between “Consumer”, “Market Need” and “WoM” is never ended.
What make them become harmonious are “environment” , “Soundscape” and “atmosphere”.
The hearsay you heard from the transportation may remain reality.
Notorious Mirage
A big fish pop-up in the forest is nonsense, as if an online advertisement pop-up suddenly when you are focusing at work. ANNOYING. What do the marketers think?
These extremely annoying pop-up advertisements may work?
Dream On!   
Awakening by Ng Shing
 This Chinese character “喂” means “hey” which is created especially for the WoM exhibition, after all these marketing skills and strategies playing through the gallery, can you still keep your mind clear and being alert that you are the one being fool by the marketers tricks? Let’s think about all these exhibits in this exhibition once again and see if you can get all our ideas. Thanks for the artist’s contribution. We heartily hope you enjoy our show.
Hidden Pattern
It looks like wood but it is not necessary wood.
There are lots of wood-like materials on the market but nothing to do with wood. Your eyes may tell you it is wood; your ears may hear that they are wood; but it will be a different story when you get touched with it. So same for this artwork “Hidden Pattern”. The piece is mixed by 2 different components and you will be reminded how different it can be between appearance and reality.
Hidden Pattern
It looks like wood but it is not necessary wood.
There are lots of wood-like materials on the market but nothing to do with wood. Your eyes may tell you it is wood; your ears may hear that they are wood; but it will be a different story when you get touched with it. So same for this artwork “Hidden Pattern”. The piece is mixed by 2 different components and you will be reminded how different it can be between appearance and reality.
Spannung Mixed media installation (Wood x Paint)
by Dirt Sanner
Is it a white chair on green paint or green chair on white paint?
Craftsmanship or art?
Possibly 1+1=2, two chairs combined into one?
If that’s true, it’s comparatively less expensive than two scoop of ice cream costs $36+$1 under the aura of legitimacy. Incoherent, individualism, from looks alike diversified to full perspective, artists Dirt Sanner invite you to be a critic – is he diversified in perspectives or extremely out of position – is it a glass of water/half a cup of water/WoM after all?
Stoned Wisdom by Joey THE GREAT.
People easily forget what are precious in their life as they usually put “Career”, “Social network” and “Public Affairs” as their first priority. Time flies and the precious moments won’t stay until you realize they have gone.
The contemporary poet realized this in front of this stone so he wrote this poetry on it, and hope people can treasure the time they spend with their families and be-loved ones and don’t waste resources on something which doesn’t really matter.                                                                    
 
System Rojo by FUTURO
We are all living in different kinds of system; there is certain extent of systems in
different institutions. We cannot avoid them but embrace them. Even we may sense
there is something wrong with that system, we still need to adapt into it. It just likes
blending the blackness into the absolutely “correct” framework.
 
The artist has shown the contraction in this installation by using white neon-light and
canvas to present the “black”.
My Childhood
When I was six, my mum let me draw; she said I can make a living with it when I grow. Once my first piece was done I received praise from teachers. Actually I was just copying a fast-food character with an extra pair of rabbit ear. Teachers thought I did well in mocking with an addition of creativity.
This is my first time realized the world is so easy for me. With this formula of success soon I penetrated the China market and today I am a genius entrepreneur. To support your exhibition I lend you my meaningful first piece of art, add oil, brother.
that’s what advertising telling you, almost perfect.
Almost  
You are almost perfect, this is almost a masterpiece.
Your reflection is almost the protagonist of this pasterpiece.
It’s just Almost.
that’s what advertising telling you, almost perfect.
Great
 
Great, means good, very good. And a 3D-version of Great probably makes it even better!
Lots of people think that 3D movies are great, not sure if this 3D-version of Great means greater for them.
3 basic colors in 3 dimensions form a word “Great”
When people tell you a film movie is great, the film will sound great to you; when an artwork itself is called “Great”, it simply sounds great to everyone. What an ultimate application of WOM.
My role: Co-founder, Creative, Curator, Artist
Office the Circus 1,2,3  GRASS AUSTRIA
Every Office is like a circus. Everyone is showing off his/her abilities and hope everyday is a good show. Some people may just working like a brainless working machine or boss’s clown. Selling their dignity for mortgage or living. Their lives are so gloomy or tedious like the trees desire for higher space in their entire lives.
A Hong Kong based illustrator realized this and drew this series of sketch for THE BLACK STORE’s staff and wish they can be enlightened.
Tree of City
A city cannot live without trees. The growth of tree make us curious to keep our eyes on it. A tree composed by city on the other hand, is an aggregate of desires, all the way down, endlessly
Status Quo (mixed media), Analog TV x DVD x Digital Video,2012
British-French artist Shaun Royston who lived around Australia and New Zealand being invited for a three month Artist-in-residence programme in Hong Kong, Status quo is the aftermath exhibits.

In the name of “Status Quo”, Royston concluded and revealed his own status among all these capitalist developed worlds in Hong Kong – a city that advertising dominates its urbanscape without much creativity. He accused criminality in marketing strategies and advertising by visually illustrates their status – 

GLITTERED, SWIFT, CONFOUNDED, And INDULGED.
The BLACK STORE Afterwords 

A feelings of hyperreality occupied us after entering the ‘The BLACK STORE’. Hyperreality is a real without origin or reality ( By Jean Baudrillard), or “The Authentic Fake” (By Umberto Eco). Marketing is so deep-rooted in our daily lives. The BLACK STORE cannot really expose them one by one. Yet this is not what we would like to do anyway. The BLACK STORE is a mean to an end. By presenting marketing technique in a hyperreal way, we hope our audience to see that : Marketing, advertising and Word of Mouth are just tricks to increase our desire to buy, but we have the right to choose. Trust your taste, trust yourself. If you really like the artwork, who cares who create it? The background of the artists is not important. What is important is the feeling and emotion connection each artwork gives you. 

As long as there are marketing and advertising, The BLACK STORE is always out there. For more The BLACK STORE features and behind the scenes, please visit : www.facebook.com/theblackstore
 
 
 
 
Thank you every single audience, friends and family, and of course, every artist who is involved in this exhibition. Last but not least, every one from The Black Store and Red Elation.
 
 
 
 
 
Press
Easttouch Magazine
Easttouch Magazine
Milk Magazine
Ming Pao Weekly Magazine
Ming Pao Weekly Magazine
Ming Pao Weekly Magazine
Lam Bo's Column at Easttouch Magazine
Radio interview at Hong Kong People Reporter
Radio interview at Hong Kong People Reporter
Radio interview at Hong Kong People Reporter
The Black Store 訪問 @ 香港人網
Starting from 13:00 of Part One till the end of part two
http://www.hkreporter.com/audio_archive.php?archive_id=17330
Shout out from start from zero
Support from Metro Radio
Support from Metro Radio
 
 
 
 
Audience Feedback and video recap
Opening night recap
Opening night recap
Opening night feedback
Audience feedback
BLACK STORE is everywhere.
You can’t stop them, but you can have your own point of view.
Trust your own taste, wether you like it or not, just admit it.
Listen to your heart and express your yourself.
For the rest of the story, please subscrible for more surprise.
http://www.facebook.com/theblackstore