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The Style Sheet: In relation to your work ‘Shaved Ice’, my mind immediately jumps to Hong Kong’s verticality. We spend endless time in elevators, on escalators and up high in buildings here. When bringing it to Hong Kong, was this something that you thought about in particular?

Jim Lambie: The initial installation of ‘Shaved Ice’ did speak particularly to the verticality of a built space, a room in a gallery, or a home, or a building. However, I felt that with the open space of Pacific Place and Hong Kong’s geographical position as a main port harbor that the ‘anchors’ for the work — or plinths if you wish — could be adjusted by shaving a wedge off, thus creating a slanted profile, which may suggest a mast gently swaying while anchored in the harbour. Sat atop the floor work ‘The Strokes’ which visually rolls, moves and undulates much like the surface of water, I thought that these two works gave something more specific to the idea of Pacific Place. Even the name Pacific Place has a textured influence on how the work could be read.

Is the relationship between your work and the city in which it’s exhibited an important factor for you? Has there ever been a place that brought out an unexpected quality in your work?

I am always surprised by how much the work can respond to its location. It’s surprising how universal some objects are. A ladder for instance, a chair, a table. I always love to visit the flea markets and junk shops of a city, this is where I find the its real language — the stuff people have lived with or live with on a day-to-day basis.

To me, the show’s title, Spiral Scratch, suggests the interruption of a flow of movement. And yet your works, in particular The Strokes, have an all-encompassing, continual aspect to them. Can you share with us your thought process behind choosing the title?

The title comes from an EP vinyl record by a British band called the Buzzcocks. It’s the first ever self-released, self-funded without any help from a record company album released by a band. At that time this was very unique and revolutionary. The DIY nature and release of the EP was an exercise in the demystification of the record-making process. For example, its title was taken from the music being recorded literally as a spiral scratch on each side of the vinyl. Rather than suggesting an interruption of sorts, the Spiral Scratch on a vinyl record is a continuous flow from the outer edge to the centre.

Do you think Hong Kong has a rhythm? What influences do you think your work might take on if you worked here instead of Glasgow?

I imagine most cities have a surface rhythm. Routine and repetitiveness is something which prevents confusion and collision. Cities mainly have to work in timeframes. As someone once said, it stops everything from happening all at once.

Could you tell us about your studio format? What is the process like for you from idea to Conception — how do you orchestrate such immense, all-encompassing environments?

Many works start as small sketched ideas, or maquettes. There is no ‘big idea’ at the beginning. Sometimes an idea grows in scale, but the initial works are usually found in smaller sculptures and sketches. The floor, for instance, came from using tape to bind small objects together. At that time, I was asked to do my first solo exhibition at Transmission Gallery in Glasgow. After much thought about the materials I had on hand, I decided to use the tape as way of filling the entire exhibition floor space, both filling the space and emptying the space at the same time.

Can you tell us about Glasgow’s art scene and the community there? What have you been able to observe about the art scene in Hong Kong?

Glasgow has had a very vibrant music and art scene for as long as I can remember. However, I believe that it has grown and expanded in a very positive way over the last five or so years and the interest in contemporary art could not be healthier now that it has a much more international flavour, with many students from abroad now studying and exhibiting in Glasgow. I must admit that my knowledge of the Hong Kong art scene is limited, however, I do recognise a more expanded contemporary approach to collecting and a refreshingly positive approach to new, contemporary work being exhibited and appreciated.

Are there any artists and/or writers that you’re influenced by at the moment?

There are many artists and writers who interest and influence me for many different reasons. To cherry pick a couple seems impossible. However, a couple of major influences going back to my art school days have been the artist David Hammons and the writer Don DeLillo.

What’s next for you?

I’ve just installed a solo show of new work at Konrad Fischer gallery in Dusseldorf. Then, in addition to this installation at Pacific Place, I have some work represented at Art Basel Hong Kong by Sadie Coles HQ and The Modern Institute. Then, in May I have a solo exhibition with Franco Noero Gallery in Turin, Italy.

What challenges did you face with the space in Pacific Place? Were there specific issues that you had to take into consideration?

The biggest challenge was scale and accessibility. As with any public space, one has to take into consideration the day-to-day functionality of such a public space and negotiate this with as little impact on the natural ebb and flow of its daily use as possible.

What do you expect or hope the public's interaction with it will be?

The installation is such an immersive experience that it will be interesting to hear the response to the work. For the general public, I would hope that it would generate conversation, that people communicate with each other, discuss and converse. Art has this fantastic capacity to get people talking and debating their own responses to the work. This can only be a good thing in my view.