Surprises abound within the dedicated apartment in Wong Chuk Hang that Alan Lau keeps for his burgeoning art collection. Asked to demonstrate Lyota Yagi’s LP-playing Vinyl (Moon River), Lau heads to his freezer to remove an ice mold of the classic 1961 Matthews-Mancini recording. When he sets it on the turntable and drops the needle, the ice ‘record’ emits a watery warble as it spins and melts. Elsewhere, a video produced by Cao Fei for her fictive digital metropolis RMB City unspools on an LCD screen. ‘I was actually nominated as mayor of RMB City,’ Lau casually reveals, an outgrowth of the collaborative online conversations that shaped the project.
As an executive at a tech company, innovation is Lau’s business, and during this tour of his collection, the concept of technology takes on an expansive definition, from written, text-based works by Xu Bing and Danh Vo to inventive musical installations by Haegue Yang and Anri Sala to signal works of the digital era by Jon Rafman and Camille Henrot. Lau’s art collection provides him a necessary lens through which to view technology’s effect on society – ‘the human element,’ he says.
Direction and edit: Benny Woo Production: Sarah P. Hanson and Jeanne-Salomé Rochat for Art Basel