Intangible was an exhibition by Aowen Jin for the 2014 King's College Arts & Humanities Festival. Commissioned by Pokfulam Rd productions, it was the first time that Aowen had collaborated with playwrights, poets and actors, to blur the boundaries between literature and art. The exhibition transformed part of King's College London into an interactive artwork, where viewers became forensic investigators, exploring the diverse hidden cultures that exist behind and between the mainstream parts of our society.
Focusing on the theme of Underground, the exhibition was held within the vast hidden spaces that form the college’s Strand Campus. These spaces – which were once used as the Queen’s Private Garden – are normally closed to the public, but were opened especially for the exhibition. The talented actors and poet performed a specially commissioned performance named Colony, integrating Aowen's artworks into the performance.
Aowen painted untranslatable words from various languages inside the interior of the college. The UV pens left invisible marks that can only be seen with UV torches.
Aowen explains: “I wanted to highlight the challenges posed by today’s many subcultures – which like the untranslatable words are often hard to understand from outside each culture – and like the artworks, which are invisible to the naked eye, these cultures are often difficult to find and hidden from mainstream view. As viewers journey throughout the college, the art glows with bright fluorescence under the UV light and acts as a metaphor to remind the audience that the complex and intangible elements of cultures can only be uncovered and understood through physical effort.”
Strand Campus, King's College, London, October 2014.