Burning Issues
David Jager

NOW Magazine. Vol. 29, No. 16, 16 December 2009

[Excerpt] Will Kwan’s studiedly neutral displays of objects are like thin layers of ice through which the palpable tension of global financial meltdown can be felt. Mapping the fallout of the present recession through the use of ordinary objects, the neat displays in the show Multi-Lateral point to the shadow economies and hidden costs concealed beneath the high-gloss lustre of late capitalism. In Clocks That Do Not Tell Time, a grid of clocks is arrayed in customary airport or hotel-lobby formation. Name tags of the usual 15 global centres – London, New York, Hong Kong – are replaced by the likes of Sonapur, a slum housing over 150,000 mostly illegal workers building Dubai’s towers; Wilmington, a U.S. corporate tax haven; and Delft, the Ikea headquarters where the clocks were designed. Each tag marks a hot spot for double-dealing, technological innovation or worker exploitation that rarely makes headlines.

Full text available at NOW Magazine.