Benjamin Hao Lap Yan

Blue Wash, 2021


Benjamin Hao Lap Yan uses the art form as a means of intervening in an already existing social, environmental or otherwise modeled system. In doing so, he focuses on revealing the fundamental position of culture in the process of perceiving and understanding social and natural conditioning and relationships. The artist’s artworks often refer to the methodology and visuality of various important fields and areas of human activity, such as cartography, botanical illustration, agricultural production, urban infrastructure, etc. In this way, Benjamin

Hao Lap Yan attempts to disrupt and challenge dominant and often power-based narratives in order to weaken the destructive tendency towards a simplistic perception of surrounding reality based on assumptions and communicative manipulations. By maintaining an open approach to the complexity of the world and of art, the artist is able to develop individual projects in a way that responds directly to the subject matter and offers the audience a closer experience of the concept based on the establishment of a specific relation. In the Blue Wash project, Benjamin Hao Lap Yan has focused on the use of classical technology associated with

the cultivation of a specific agricultural crop, handicraft production, clothing and folk fashion traditions and folkloric representation. Indigo dyeing was once a practice in various cultures and regions that served to connect with nature.Industrialisation, however, has gradually changed production methods and transformed indigo from an individual product into a commodity, while the sourcing of the materials necessary for its production has become less direct and subjectivised. Blue, once a rare and precious natural pigment, has since been used to cover traces of dirt and grime. As part of the implementation of the Blue Wash project, Benjamin Hao Lap Yan invited art and culture professionals and residents of Lai Chi Wo village to discuss and also participate in the subsequent workshop. As part of this collaboration, each participant contributed to the common activity by transforming an old garment into an object full of meaning through indigo dyeing and wax resist drawing, while its creation was accompanied by a process of self-discovery and reflection on the labor.

Benjamin Hao Lap Yan with contribution by Michal Koleček