Fo Tan Factories

Edible installation
Dark chocolate, toasted almonds, rice krispies, cornflakes, street map

Fotan is one of the few remaining industrial areas of Hong Kong, but is also known for its thriving art community that has taken over the industrial spaces as studios after industrial activities moved to mainland China. Some light manufacturing and production – often food, dim sum or baked goods – are still carried out in the high-rise blocks. As one wanders through, odours of grease and metal are punctuated by scents of roast meat or freshly baked rolls, truly an olfactory combination that relates to the identity and character of Fotan.

Fotan Factories is an installation that solidifies that essence in a sweet treat. All the industrial buildings are rebuilt in chocolate forms as a 3D scale model of the area. They are solid blocks as their original counterparts, but crunchy with a smooth taste of dark chocolate when eaten.

Encouraged to purchase the factories one by one – visitors turned into ephemeral property tycoons. Property speculation has become troublesome in Fotan, as increasingly, investors speculate with property in the name of profit while the art community struggles to sustain their lives as rent and property prices rocket. In the meantime, at least for a moment or two, these Fotan Factories sugar-coat the issue and allow a deferral of reality as they melt in our mouths.

Taste Mapping

Edible installation
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate with hazelnuts, chocolate with strawberry yoghurt, white chocolate, chocolate with raisins, chocolate with cocoa nibs

One of the most commonly eaten foods, chocolate is made from cocoa beans, grown mostly in the tropics, while much of the production takes place elsewhere. Hence, there exists an entire range of chocolate with various flavours and fillings, only limited by the imagination, to cater to the tastes of consumers across the world

Most chocolate aficionados will swear by their favourite brand when asked which of them is the tastiest, but is there a difference between the products of one company or country to another? We broke up a collection of chocolate bars and assembled them into continents and landmasses, charting the countries of origin of different types of store-bought chocolate, creating an edible tasting board that visitors were invited to try.

Stripped from their elaborate packaging, it became almost impossible to discern the different chocolates from each other.

Everything with Chocolate

Chocolate in its most familiar form is the chocolate bar—the sweet, milky confection of our childhoods. Originally consumed as a frothy, bitter drink with spices such as chilli, or used for savoury dishes, it was only from the 16th century onwards that it was paired with sugar, milk and vanilla. With history as our muse, we imagined how chocolate could be used in different ways, from a pomelo salad to a chocolate risotto, on fish and in a mousse. Creating an experimental menu using chocolate as an ingredient for all the courses, we titillated the taste buds of our intrepid diners.

----- Menu -----

Sparkling Taste of Dark Chocolate

Spicy Pomelos Accompanied by Cocoa and Nuts

Creamy Pumpkin with White Chocolate Brittle

Pearl Rice with Dark Chocolate and Chili, Baby Asparagus and Parmesan Cheese

Bocourti on Vanilla Foam with Cherry Tomatoes

Ying and Yang—Delicacy of White and Dark Chocolates

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the schokoladen

An exhibition of and about chocolate.

Cornelia Erdmann (Hong Kong/Germany) and Brendan Goh (Singapore) create impressions of flavour, image and memory out of the sweet delicacy, bringing a sense of wonder to the everyday activity of eating through engaging the senses.

Food and art are usually categorised as separate things. This exhibition, however, invites you to re-imagine the possibilities that exist between the two. Consuming something, in this case whether art or food, is about feeding the body and mind, but why not do both at the same time? Through this process, one can experience art with different senses—sight, smell, taste, touch and sound, and indulge but also reflect about issues of eating and living as one sees, tastes, consumes and finally expels art.

Cornelia Erdmann(香港/德國)和Brendan Goh(新加坡)以味覺、形象與及對甜品的愛 好,由每一日我們都會做的事̶̶吃,之中帶來新的體驗與感覺。

藝術和飲食素來被視為不 同的範疇,在這個展覽裡,我們邀請你想象兩者之間的可能性。其實,消化與吸收,無論是 藝術抑或食物,也是為了填肚/腦,那為何不同時進行?泥人計劃今次就讓大家能透過視 覺、嗅覺、觸感和聲音去感受藝術。既是一種誘惑放縱也是一個反思̶̶食與生活的課題: 看、嘗、消化,到最後排走。
Conceptualized and created by / 創作於
Cornelia Erdmann and Brendan Goh

Sat 8 Jan—Sun 16 Jan 2011

Wah Luen Industrial Centre
Block B, 16/F Unit 18
15-21 Wong Chuk Yeung Street
Fo Tan, Hong Kong SAR


laiyanPROJECTS is a creative platform that fuses art and design within its practice, covering projects ranging from public art to graphic design, from creative production to art curation. laiyanPROJECTS hosts exhibitions on a regular basis.

泥人計劃有限公司是一個揉合設計及藝術於一身的創作平台,由公眾藝術到平面設 計,由藝術製作到策展。泥人計劃定期舉辦不同的展覽。

Photography / 摄影與照片編輯
Sonjia Yu Gar Wai

Special thanks / 特別感謝
Peter Benz
Jelena Radovic

In conjunction with / 與合辦組織
The Fotanian OpenStudios 2011