Take a Seat is an exhibition mounted at Chun Shek Estate, Hong Kong. The exhibition explores a ubiquitous symbol of housing estate public life – the humble bench. Benches are often crafted to reflect the architectural language of their estate. Their designs make use of robust materials and vibrant colours. While benches naturally serve as dignified places for resting, they also play a role in the design and structure of the civic realm and signify the public’s right to public space. The installation, placed in the atrium of the Chun Shek Shopping Centre, comprises a bench and an exhibition display stand. The bench, which draws inspiration from other housing estates, substitutes four benches displaced during a recent renovation of the atrium, re-introducing a lost public amenity. The exhibit serves to re-assert the public’s claim to the space, if only temporarily.
Take a Seat is part two of a three-part research initiative on Hong Kong public housing estate amenities. The research is in collaboration with architectural photographer, Kris Provoost and will be published in book format in 2024.