The Brink

7th – 9th October, 2023

Ugly Duck


Frieze week is as popular as ever, drawing art enthusiasts and collectors from around the world. During this vibrant week, we’re excited to see a dynamic and highly talented team of young curators, Tiderip and their exhibition “The Brink”The team is making their mark on the art scene, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the forefront of the contemporary art world.

Tiderip, an experimental international curatorial collective, founded in Shanghai / London in 2021.The co-founders are emerging curators and artists graduated from the Royal College of Art (RCA) and University College London (UCL). Dedicating to interdisciplinary innovation, Tiderip seeks a new model of curation future. The crest of the wave represents our gathering and convergence, and in the darkness there lies our strength, fluidity and diversity.


“The Brink” is an expansive exhibition featuring the creative endeavors of 21 artists, comprising both established figures and emerging talents. Their artistic expressions span the spectrum, encompassing sculpture, installations, paintings, and performance art, all thoughtfully curated within the confines of a once-dilapidated tannery.

This exhibition represents a collaborative endeavor, jointly conceived by artists Anna Blom, Jo Dennis, and curators Marjorier Ding, Elena Shkvarkina, and Linlin Zhu. Together, they have drawn artists from diverse disciplines, uniting them in an exploration of the psychological, physical, and imaginative aspects of a space. The stripped-back setting serves as a unique canvas for their creative investigations, delving into the concept of “place” and its counterpart, “non-place.”

Such sites often fall within the category of liminal spaces, residing in-between the realms of the public and the private, the constructed and the natural. This inherent liminality instills a sense of disorientation and alienation, which serves as a springboard for an examination of the intricate and, at times, paradoxical ways we perceive and interact with space. It invites contemplation of how personal and collective memories, as well as culture, shape our understanding of a place.

The artworks on display navigate a broad array of themes, including temporality, mortality, the symbiotic relationship between individuals and their environments, and the dynamic interplay between memory, history, and mythology in shaping the essence of a place.

Featuring specially commissioned artworks tailored for the occasion, “The Brink” transforms the Ugly Duck exhibition space, encompassing both the ground floor and the garage. This multifaceted exhibition showcases the talents of a diverse group of artists including Abigail Norris, Alex Young, Anna Blom, Elena Shkvarkina, Ge Hui, Ivan Seal, Jo Dennis, Katrin Spranger, Nicola Hicks MBE, Pía Ortuño, Ross Taylor, Tom Woolner, Xu Haoyang, Zhang Guangyu, and ZITA. A special guest, KV Duong, will be performing Katrin Spranger’s thought-provoking environmental statement, “Spillage,” in collaboration with costume designer ZITA.

Complementing the exhibition is a special screening program curated by Linlin Zhu. This program offers a unique insight into a range of mid and short films, including documentaries directed by Pietro Francesco Pingitore and Siyi Gu, experimental shorts by Laura Puig and Chengzhou, and animations by Elmano Diogo.



2023年10月7日至9日,Tiderip聯手21位國際藝術家,在Ugly Duck展覽空間推出一場主題為“新廢墟與新靈魂——The Brink/塵埃之盡”的大型群展。此次展覽匯聚了一群充滿活力的藝術家,他們包括已成名的藝術家和新晉藝術家,其中不乏榮獲英國女王傑出勳章的藝術家、英國皇家藝術學院的導師、中國私人美術館的創辦人以及國家地理頻道的制片人等。同時,也有畢業於英國皇家藝術學院和倫敦大學學院等頂尖藝術院校的新銳藝術家。這個多元的陣容將透過雕塑、裝置藝術、繪畫、表演和電影等多種藝術形式,共同在曾經荒廢的制革廠空間中展示他們的最新創作。


此次展覽是由藝術家Anna Blom、Jo Dennis,以及策展人Marjorier Ding(丁琪)、Elena Shkvarkina和Linlin Zhu(朱琳琳)聯合發起。展覽上呈現了一群多元化的藝術家,其中包括Abigail Norris、Alex Young、Anna Blom、Elena Shkvarkina、Ge Hui、Ivan Seal、Jo Dennis、Katrin Spranger、Nicola Hicks MBE、Pía Ortuño、Ross Taylor、Tom Woolner、Xu Haoyang、Zhang Guangyu和ZITA等。特別嘉賓KV Duong將進行一場由Katrin Spranger創作的環保主題表演《Spillage》,並將與服裝設計師ZITA合作呈現。

主展區之外,展覽特別開設了由Linlin Zhu(朱琳琳)所策劃的影像放映單元。5位來自不同國家的電影人將帶來一系列短片作品,包括Pietro Francesco Pingitore和顧思懿執導的紀錄片、Laura Puig和周承舟創作的實驗短片,以及Elmano Diogo製作的動畫短片。




——Tiderip 實驗獨立策展小組,致力於跨界與創新,探索一種新型策展未來模式。


Fading by Elena Shkvarkina


The following content is excerpted from a discussion between curators Marjorier Ding, Linlin Zhu, Elena Shkvarkina, and Natalie Lau, the Managing Director of the Language Academy in Hong Kong. They delved into the theme of this exhibition and unveiled their curatorial concepts and creativity.


N: The Brink is an expansive exhibition of 21 artists presenting sculptures, paintings, screenings, and performing art. I’m Natalie, the Managing Director of Language Academy, one of the key sponsors of this exhibition. It’s a great opportunity for us to gather all three curators here today, to dive in their curatorial approach, the message they would like to convey, and the challenges they have faced. And most importantly, how they manage to hold such a successful and impressive exhibition. So, maybe let’s start with Marj. Why the exhibition is titled as ‘The Brink’?

M: It’s quite an interesting story to tell, because we come up with this concept first of showing this exhibition in such a venue that has its characteristic in a way. But then there was a certain debate on the theme: shall we choose ‘Let the Darkness in‘ or ‘The Brink‘?’ But in the end we choose ‘The Brink‘ as it’s actually a very common expression in English ‘on the brink’, which means on the edge of something. This building, for the record, comes from Victoria Era, which is at least a hundred years ago. And in between the time, there was Industrial Revolution. There were factories here before. And at certain point, this building was about to be torn down because apparently, it no longer fits in the character of this neighborhood anymore. But people were against that because it carries so much history. It is literally a demonstration of what happened to Britain in 200 years. From our perspective, we want our exhibition to reflect the same spirit. When you take the first glance of this building on what is happening inside, you may feel like it is going to crumble down. But as an artist, as a bunch of creators, what can we do to preserve this kind of spirit? Even as simple as transforming this venue into some scenes temporarily can be meaningful in a way. So we feel like ‘The Brink‘ is the best which can reflect everything we are trying to express.

N: I see. The idea of collaborating sculptures, paintings and performing art in a revitalizing space like here at Ugly Duck is brilliant! How did you come up with such a great idea?

L: Actually Marj has prepared this exhibition for nearly a year and I have heard about this a long time ago. At first, I was really interested in this concept because I have always think about how we can survive and find our new self in this kind of ruined and abandoned place, and

how can you use art or any kind of conditions to hear yourself. And Marjorier, in her previous exhibition, has tried once to set up a special screening, which is quite fun . this time, she invited me to join this exhibition as a film and visual curator to set up a special screening program. According to this concept and venue, I asked help from IAFFF, International Animal Future Film Festival and also from my database, and also some film makers from other exhibitions. Together, we selected five films for this exhibition.

N: So what are the challenges of creating an exhibition like this, which houses a variety of medium?

M: It’s definitely a challenge for sure. As I was just saying, it is a building which is very unique with its character in a way, and we are also trying not to just show our exhibits randomly. At the end of the day, we still want to create some meaningful conversation. Everybody knows that next week is Frieze. So, different kinds of galleries or organizations from all around the world will flush into London. However, people usually carry the image of big, shiny, white cube kind of space, like shiny white walls in Frieze little booths. But we do not always get to see exhibits in this kind of abnormal venue. That was one of the starting point for why we choose this place as our exhibiting place in the first place but at the same time, even though we only use one and a half day to finish the curation things were indeed very intense to get things done in just 20 hours. There were a lot of items where they have told us, these kind of little items, we would not call them as ‘rubbish’, they live in this garage. They are already a part of this venue. For instance, there is a certain kind of four-folded sculpture, which they look like they own a space here, and it takes volume. So we need to pick, what is meaningful to the concept of this exhibition, what is relevant. For example, these two benches, they were in the main room and the artist of this piece. When she came to installation, she felt like these benches created a kind of church / chapel vibe and that also stresses on the principal expression. That was a challenge but we solved it and I hope that everyone who made their way to the exhibition actually had some take-away.

L: Until the day before our exhibition, I could not have imagined it would be in such a rough, and crazy space. We discussed for a long time on how we could put all the artworks in this kind of space and how to get them involved in this kind of vibe. Surprisingly, it fits really well, especially the painting of Ross. When it arrived, we just decided to put it here, because it just fits the wall so well. And also for the screening part, I have changed my mind for many times. Where can I set up a small cinema? It seems to be impossible to do that in this place. For the screen, we first decided to use a TV-like monitor or a screen like that, and then we decided to use a white sheet. But we found that it was unstable. And Jo (one of the artist), came up the idea to me, ‘Let’s use the whiteboard, hang it up and let’s use the boards to block an area for you.’ And things just happened!

N: About the message that convey for this exhibition, I found that environmental issues and animal-friendly topics are very obvious that the artists or the curators want to bring. So, nature, environment and human and the relationship between them, it seems it’s one of the core topics you would like to explore in this exhibition. So is there any deeper message you want to convey through the curations and the way you present it like this?

E: I think the whole set up as well as the choice of artists kind of speak for itself. A lot of them relates to the animal rights and are connections with animals’ lives and natural life and how we lost the touch with it. It is important, especially in this period of time, to reconnect and find the bond again. Including the screening program, it really activates the empathy towards animals’ lives towards also man-made places like this and reflects on how this places affected the nature and how we can turn them into something more meaningful, helpful to the nature and the society. Yes, for sure, there is environmental message like in the performance, the message of consumption in many artworks of Katrin Spranger (artist) and also Ross (artist) as well. We also talked about the spiritual elements of connection like Pía (artist) and Anna (artist), who amazingly brings in the intention to the daily moments where we don’t really recognize them. So, it’s all about centering yourself, take a deep breath, and reconnect through the art that we offered, and through the artists who offer their help.

M: I want to bring another artist as an example. She is Alex Young, where you can see her artworks in form of crows and that room there. The reason I want to bring her up is because, basically in our first meeting, she nearly gave up art as she has epilepsy, which means she needs to take medicines her whole life in order to control herself. It’s not that obvious in these two pieces of artworks but I went to her another exhibition show at RCA. She actually molded some of her medicine, put right next to her works, and afterwards, I had a long talk with her. She said that every time when she does a sculpture, it is also a healing journey for herself. That is why whenever she makes clay, she is presenting herself in the process of making and healing. She wants to present that side of herself to the audience, that she really has the same kind of effect when she is surrounded by her work and that’s the take-away for her in this exhibition.

L: When we talked about how you find yourself and heal yourself in such an abandoned and broken world, you can see that all our artists and filmmakers, they either choose to connect to the nature or the animals to find or to express themselves. Or they even just use art, by learning how to paint, and learn how to act, or make sculptures to learn how to heal themselves. It’s like different kinds of ways from each side. And also for the film makers whom I choose, they would go to the nature to feel themselves in that kind of dark world. They may imagine the trees are our human bodies to feel how we can stretch ourselves, how we can breathe and how we can get through into the roots. They may attend art schools, to learn how to act in a play or on the stage to express themselves, to defend themselves.

N: Yes, I think that is a kind of self-exploration process. When you create your work, it’s also kind of healing yourself too.

M: By the way, Natalie, since you are here all the way from Hong Kong. So, I have a question for you as well. You are the managing director of Language Academy in Hong Kong, so I was wondering can you also share with us your journey and what makes you decided to support this exhibition and also as an educator yourself, can you also share your experience about how would you describe to Internet about Art and education in your own words?

N: First, the academy I am in charge or I am leading actually serves the group of more able and elite students. They have the desire to learn beyond the classroom. They are able to learn cross-disciplinary content. And as an art lover and an advocator of situated learning, I consider art to be a very impactful medium for us to learn, especially language learning. While artwork creation and the spark of creativity inside each of us, is a talent all of us have, language is another medium that build the bridge between the creators and the audience. For example, when we visit a museum or an exhibition, we can listen to an audio guide or we can read the description. Even for a painting, sculpture or any form of artwork, creators would have a message to convey, while viewers have a different perception or perspective to understand the artwork. I think it is an interesting way of communication as well, where they (audience and artwork creator) can exchange ideas. It is also a grounded way to learn as well. I think education is not only chalk and talk, and should not be in one-way. It should be interactive and all about communication, how you express yourself and how you communicate with others. As for supporting this show, it was at first, a very appealing attempt for me to see whether we can interlink art and language studies together through some hands-on experience, like the workshop we held yesterday. Most importantly, even though all of us have a talent of creativity. it is important for education to happen, just like what Linlin mentioned how they go to art school to learn. I think education is needed for the sake of nurturing talents for every aspects, no matter it’s screening or making sculptures. It is the same philosophy for language study and for art.

L: During the process of my growth, I never had a chance to or even if you got a trauma, I would not have known how to deal with it. I didn’t even realize that it was a problem. This year, not until when I ended my MA degree, we (Linlin and her fellow schoolmates) were asked to make a film on ourselves, a personal film, which I have no idea how to do and so as everybody else, as we have never done it before. That is when I really got a chance to look inside on what I have been through. That is the power of education my professor told me, ‘how you look at yourself, and how to look at the trauma you had been through, and find a way to go through it’.

N: Yes, just like what you(Linlin) said, you are an expert in documentary film-making and you just mentioned how your program lead you the way to become a filmmaker. I think that is the power of education and a chance for self- exploration. Sometimes it is an inspirational for you to find yourself.

So is there any future projects you are working on that’s also able to share with us?

M: Well, at the moment, not really. But I really feel very grateful in a way because I wasn’t expecting so many people really showed up.  And also for the past two weeks, I have been missing so many messages from a lot of people like literally across different cultures. And people were even sending me messages from China, saying ‘Oh, we heard that the exhibition was a huge success.’ or ‘The opening is very great.’ And they even compare us to some other galleries which I won’t name them.

It’s like this exhibition is one of the best across the years of such kind and it leads me to thinking about that (future plan). As Tiderip is a brand kind of new and old at the same time. I founded it two years ago in Shanghai but literally started from last year. Now, I have pretty much moved to London full time, I was always trying to figure out how to bridge UK and China in a way. Also, since Linlin joined Tiderip this year, we are also trying to become more experimental. To bring film, and production into the broader art discussion.

L: Just yesterday, we were talking about that maybe we should do it again and what we can do next year. Our concept will always be how we can set up a new world and use different venues to create an exhibition, how we can combine the artwork into different kind of new world or even rule the venue. Maybe one day we will be at factories or I don’t know… we should start planning from today.

M:Until we find another cool venue like this, we will definitely spread the news, ‘Everybody heads inside.’

N: So we should stay tuned for your next announcement.

以下內容摘自策展人Marjorier Ding(丁琪)、Linlin Zhu(朱琳琳)、Elena Shkvarkina以及香港語言學院董事總經理Natalie的對談,她們深入探討了此次展覽的主題並揭示了其背後的策展理念與創意。

N:這次展覽「The Brink」由21位藝術家作品構成,橫跨雕塑、繪畫、影片放映和行為表演。我是Natalie,是香港語言學院的董事總經理,也是這次展覽的贊助商之一。今天我們得以聚集所有三位策展人,共同探討她們的策展方法、她們想要傳達的信息以及她們所面臨的挑戰。最重要的是,她們是如何成功地舉辦如此出色和令人印象深刻的展覽的。我們可以從Marj開始。請問為什麼這個展覽的名字為「The Brink」?

M:這其實是一個非常有趣的故事。我們在最開始展覽選址時就提出了需要場地具有一定獨特調性的考量。但後來在展覽主題的選擇我們其實有過一些爭論:是選擇「往暗中去」還是「The Brink」?但最終我們選擇了「The Brink」,因為這實際上是英語中非常常見的表達方式,意味著處於某種邊緣狀態。這座建築,值得一提的是,來自維多利亞時代,至少有一百年的歷史。在這段時間內,英國發生了工業革命,在此地曾經存在著一個工廠。在過去的某個時刻,這座建築被下令拆除,因為顯然它不再符合這個社區現代化的特色。但很多人們站出來反對,不僅因為它承載了如此多的歷史,它實際上是英國兩百年來所發生的一切的立體展示。從我們的角度來看,我們希望我們的展覽也能反映出相同的精神。當你第一眼看到這座建築以及裡面發生的事情時,你可能會覺得它身處一種即將崩塌的狀態。但作為藝術家,作為一群創作者,我們能做些什麼來保留這種精神呢?我們覺得哪怕只是將這個場所改造成一個短時展覽也有其藝術空間改造價值。因此我們覺得「The Brink」是最能反映我們試圖表達的一切的詞彙。







E:我認為整個展覽的佈置以及藝術家的選擇已經在一定程度上表達了自身的觀點。其中許多與動物權利有關,與動物的生活以及自然生活有聯繫,以及我們如何失去了與之的聯繫。特別是在這個時期,重新建立我們與他者的聯繫非常重要。包括放映計劃,它真正激發了對動物生活的同理心,也反映了這種人造場所、這些地方對自然的影響以及我們如何將它們變成對自然和社會更有意義、更有幫助的東西。當然,在行為表演中也有有關環境意識的表達,像Katrin Spranger許多作品中對消費主義的探討,以及Ross也是如此。我們還談到了精神層面的連結,比如Pía和Anna,他們令人驚嘆地將觀眾注意力引入了我們不太認識的日常。因此,這一切都是關於將自己心態擺正,深呼吸,並通過藝術以及通過藝術家重新建立和自我的聯繫。

M:我想在這裡舉另一個藝術家的例子,她就是Alex Young,你可以在那個房間里看到她以烏鴉形式呈現的藝術品。我之所以想提到她,主要是因為在我們的第一次會面中,她幾乎放棄了藝術,因為她患有癲癇病,這意味著她需要終身服用藥物來控制自己。在這兩件藝術品中並不太明顯,但我曾去她在RCA的另一次展覽上看到過,她將一些自己服用的藥物製成模型,放在她的作品旁邊,之後,我和她進行了長時間的交談。她說,每當她做雕塑時,這也是對她自己的一次療癒之旅。這就是為什麼每當她捏陶土時,她都在製作和愈合的過程中自我治癒。她希望向觀眾展示自己的這一面,即當她被自己的作品包圍時所獲得的療癒效果,這對她來說也是這次展覽最大的收穫。













Photos by Zhiwu Zhu
Edited 編輯 x Rinka Fan, Michelle Yu


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