Symbiosis 2. 0 at Hong Kong Art Week

Prague Art Week and the Consulate General of the Czech  Republic in Hong Kong are pleased to present Symbiosis 2.0, an exhibition taking place from 24 to 29 March at the Hong Kong Arts Center as part of the VIP programme ART BASEL Hong Kong 2023 and Hong Kong Art Week.

The exhibition of contemporary Czech art will be accompanied by two other Czech exhibitions CZECH IN – World-Renowned Glass Innovations from Czechia, prepared by Czech centers and complemented by a free exhibition project Monsters by Czech company Lasvit, which has become the main partner of the event taking place under the title Czech Days in Hong Kong.

Take a look at photos from the opening and guided tours.


Representing 12 contemporary Czech artists. The artists were selected in direct collaboration with five Prague galleries Lucie Drdova Gallery, hunt kastner, Kvalitář, Polansky Gallery, Berlinska Model and Double Q gallery based Hong Kong.



Jakub Choma

Barbora Kleinhamplová

Martin Kohout

Alena Kotzmannová

Václav Kopecký

Kateřina Ondrušková

Jiří Matějů

Jiří Skála

Jiří Thýn

Miroslava Večeřová

Monika Žáková


 Symbiosis 2.0 

What exactly does an autonomous individual mean in na ture or in the universe? Where does one organism end and  another begin? Organisms can never be understood in  isolation, for they are a set of active agents that make up our  environment and which are studied by the science of ecology.  The extent to which some living forms can coexist is perfectly  illustrated by an organism that covers more than 8 % of the  globe – the lichen. This organism and its unique concept of  survival is the loose inspiration and leitmotif for the entire con cept of the exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. 

We are gigantic colonies of symbiotic genes* 

Lichens have been the subject of heated scientific debate  since the nineteenth century, and they continue to confound  our notions of identity to this day. A lichen is a symbiotic  community formed by a fungus (a mycobiont) and an algae  or cyanobacteria (a photobiont). Thanks to their relationship,  the two counterparts can live in places where neither could  survive alone. It is a beneficial and fortifying parasitism. The  entire system of operation of this organism even contradicts  Darwin’s theory that species arise by growing away from  each other so that their evolutionary lineages branch out like  the crowns of trees. In this case they have run together. 

Symbiotic partners rapping metabolic songs 

For the study of lichens, an entirely new terminology had  to be invented, and so in 1877 the German botanist Albert  Frank coined the term SYMBIOSIS, which would not bur den the described relationship of two or more entities in an  organism with preconceived notions. Thus, a new biologi cal principle emerged from the study of lichens. Evolution  is not competition and conflict. Evolution is not a football  match or a war in which one side tries to defeat the other:  lichens, by confirming the hypothesis of duality, thus crea ted a basic model example of positive cooperation not only  between species but also between kingdoms. 

The whole is much more than the sum of its parts 

Many inhabitants of our ecosystem still think only in terms  of “me or them,” with surveys showing that up to a third of  the people on the planet do not cooperate with others. Of  

course, lichens also have their destructive mechanisms –  for example, through etching they can eat away at the sto ne or concrete on which they grow. But after they die, they  decompose and form the first soil in the new environment,  and it is thanks to them, for example, that minerals can en ter the metabolisms of living beings. Most of the minerals in  our bodies have in fact probably passed through lichens at  some point. The art of cooperation – of proximity to stran gers – based on coexistence in a particular environment is  therefore always ultimately constructive and strengthens,  among other things, the dynamic resistance of all living  things, their so-called resilience. 

In his book Down to Earth, Bruno Latour remarks: “We  must agree to define a dwelling place as that on which  a terrestrial depends for its survival, while asking what other  terrestrials also depend on it?” 

Sources: *Richard Dawkins, Merlin Sheldrake: Entangled Life;  

Bruno Latour: Down to Earth 


Photographer: YC Kwan 

Curated by Richard Bakeš

Symbiosis 2.0 is a loose continuation of the Co-Exist exhibition that was realized at the Prague House in Brussels.