Get a handle on Hong Kong, a city defined by humidity and upturned by political downpour just a few years ago.

The ominous title of this upcoming exhibition of works created by an array of Hong Kong locals is a foreboding one, alluding to the sharp shift in natural forces in the moments before a ferocious deluge. The air pressure shifts, the humidity skyrockets, and you can almost taste the imminent storm.

Before the Rain, hosted by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and featuring artists such as Luke Ching and Sarah Lai, hinges around works using created and found media to tell the story of a nation demanding to shape its own future while protecting its past.

The artworks tell the story of the city of Hong Kong in the time leading up to the political and civil unrest of 2014, when peaceful, pro-democratic protests took over the streets of the island state. Sampson Wong, artist and artistic leader of the Umbrella Movement, has transformed the exhibition entrance into a barrage of multimedia messages, including blogs, videos, tweets, and images from the time in question in order to fully immerse the visitor in nuances of the rapid shift in the socio-political climate. And that's just the first work.

Image: Luke Ching, 150 Lost Items, 2014, mixed media, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist and GALLERY EXIT, Hong Kong.

Published on January 16, 2017 by James Whitton

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