"Unreal City Estate" is a project where people get together and create "an imaginary city" that could exist alongside the real city we live in today.
Parks, rooftops, roads and vacant space around the neighborhoods are divided into small sections.
Each section will be put out on lease for people who are contributing to help create the "unreal city". Our 'imagination' is the 'money' in the 'unreal city'- people are required to pay with their unique vision to transform the sections that they are going to use,which become the most important part of they project. There will be a lot of exchange of conversation between the "real" and the 'imaginary'. "Unreal City Estate" requires terms and conditions that functions the same way as the real estate-promoting properties.
Through the process of negotiation and signing a contract with the residents we finally establish 'unreal city'-a 'model city'- on the section we decide on. The desirable outcome would be to have a fluid situation where people can adapt and adopt the environment when creating the space. The creation of the 'unreal city' within the real city makes us realize the possible situations and events that could already have existed in our everyday lives, but never thought of doing or make it happen.
The purpose of "Unreal City Estate" is not just to build a city. The process of 'editing' our realities with our 'imagination' plays the most significant part of this project.
The George Fraser Gallery, operated by the University of Auckland and transformed into UNREAL CITY ESTATE, was originally a horse stable. The adjacent Albert Park, dotted with large trees as if in a forest, was a place of relaxation for students and city residents. Some of the gardens and sculptures in the park are in English style, which is related to the history of the park where the British army stationed when New Zealand was a direct colony. The gallery used to be a stable for war horses. I was also told that it was an important place for the Maori people to view the stars.
The public spaces that we use nowadays are layer upon layer of invisible layers left behind by this great history. We may just be lying on top of the big history. I wanted to create a new layer on top of it with "imagination" born from the small history of each individual living today.
Period : 9 June - 5 July 2015 Location : George Fraser Gallery, Albert Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Curated by Sara Black
Special thanks : Aya Yamashita and Kelly Carmichael
Project member (Agents of UNREAL CITY ESTATE): Anh Tran, Bella Sun, Chan Wi Ching, Christine Huang, David Zhang, Eason Xu, Jun Kitazawa, Kathryn Aucamp, Kit Jiang, Mandy Chan, Mano Pihema, Sara Black, Wade Wu
Supported by : Auckland University, Arts Counsil England, British Arts Counsil