A guerilla project worked out in an abandoned building in Yau Tong in Kowloon, Hong Kong, in 2012. This large old shipping warehouse was to be divided into various installations, 14 rooms over 3 floors. The project discussed British colonial history at the time of the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the formation of Hong Kong itself. The title refers to the 13 factories, a trade district in Guangzhou in the mid 19th century.
The project was developed and a group of enthusiastic volunteers were ready for action as materials were prepared. It was to be installed over a number of days in secret, to be advertised covertly and anonymously.
Sadly, only days before the project was to be initiated, developers tore the building down! Well, being the project was completely illegal we hadn’t thought to ask them when the end would come…
It then found a possible home, this time on government land, set for 2013 but this was turned down by the government. Then Birch attempted to realise the project in New York in an established art venue in Chelsea to open in 2014. After months of discussion, it was rejected.
A new space came up, the old post office at Penn Station, the show was set for September 2015 but more drama halted the project after much effort and planning.
As if by magic, as the post office option dissolved, another space became a possibility, 23 Wall Street, the old JP Morgan headquarters. Birch committed and the show construction began offsite ready for an opening in April 2016.
Just weeks before the opening, another drama ensued delaying the opening. The venue however was not able to accommodate the delay and could not allow the show to go ahead on a new timeline.
Persistence is the key to these things, and finally The 14th Factory may finally be realised but now in Los Angeles, set to open January 2016…..fingers crossed we can take this whole section off the failures page very soon!