The Unlimited Quality of Limited Space

NGAI Chung Hong, Angus

Stratagems in Architecture: Hong Kong in Venice - Biennale Architettura 2016

Stratagems in Architecture: Hong Kong in Venice - Biennale Architettura 2016

The 20th Stratagem: Disturb the water and catch the fish
The Unlimited Quality of Limited Space

Extreme living conditions of high density have been imposing great pressure on daily life and created non-stop argument between government policies and citizens’ expectation. It leads to social laceration which may possibly originate in distorted living created by extreme capitalist visions. The distortion manipulates our concept of time and space which keep us urging for achieving new extreme in both physical and mental, especially those who have lower income.
For instance, a usual bedroom for partitioned space ( 板間房 ) of low income people is about 1900mm x 1500mm, which is a basic unit for the purpose of sleeping, as well as a measurement of social status and stages of life for the middle class. In high-rise residential tower, habitant concerns how smart they could extend 500mm of the bed from bay window and re-level it with a storage platform at 500mm(H). Those living adaption for sleeping on “bay window” is a commonplace of family scenes and has become a “bedroom norm” of a blessed family. Since Hong Kong people are too adaptive for confined space and used to create flexible solutions, they kept overcoming problems and adjusting solutions in different period of time for tackling difficult circumstances imposed to them, in the meanwhile, we seem to have forgotten the inherent quality of living which we deserve.

The installation extracts the concept of partitioned space of low income people and turns it into a new partitioned spatial concept which can separate and integrate spaces to create an unlimited quality. Partitions can collapse and open up space for interaction. Local wisdom can be seen from the vibrant streetscape in Hong Kong which find great possibilities from limited space Sometimes, the interactive scenes show certain spatial beauty as same as a poem, which create great imagination with limited words and spatial setting. Could you experience the wisdom of poetic space within the limited space of 2.75 sqm? It may be a new dimension facing the problem of limitation, expanding our imagination and giving unlimited quality for such limitation facing by high density living.


  • Title: The Unlimited Quality of Limited Space
  • Creator: NGAI Chung Hong, Angus

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