Crazy Counting at Hong Kong Pavilion! (Round 2)

tags 分類: , , , 17 Jul 2015

Hello everyone! Here comes “Crazy Count” again! Last time we talk about the number of audience who would read carefully the curatorial statement before getting inside the exhibition. Most of them prefer to go in the pavilion directly. This time we try to look into something different. Let’s begin with a simple question again.


What would you see as your first impression when you go to see our exhibition?

(a) a title board full of text
(b) a clean space, such as a plain grey wall at the main entrance
(c) an endless darkness in the front
(d) a friendly greeting from the reception
(e) all of the above answers


Yes. The answer is (e). We always love a neat and tidy reception area, as if it is a chamber that will prepare you for the coming scared journey. The space calms your soul down, and prepares you to let your inner voice emerge while you are in the exhibition. Nothing should disturb you. Paradoxically, the reception is also one of the fancy area that will provide you with a warm and friendly welcome. Therefore, this time I have decided to look into the interaction among audience and receptionist.


The topic of this “Crazy Count” is that how many audience will say Hello/Hi/Ciao/Buon Giorno*/Smile at the receptionist? After visiting, how many of them will say Goodbye/Ciao/Grazie*/Thank you to us?

* “Buon Giorno” means good day and “Grazie” means thanks you in Italian.

Same as before, I randomly picked 3 days in early July for the count. Here comes the result:

1 Jul (Wed) 10am – 6pm 
Total number of “crazy” head count of the day: 299
Number of audience that says hi:  113 (37.8%)
Number of audience that says bye: 73 (24.4%)


2 Jul (Thu) 10am – 6pm 
Total number of “crazy” head count of the day: 245
Number of audience that says hi: 103 (42.0%)
Number of audience that says bye: 72 (29.4%)


3 Jul (Fri) 10am – 8pm 
Total number of “crazy” head count of the day: 330
Number of audience that says hi: 102 (30.9%)
Number of audience that says bye: 57 (17.3%)


Again there are limitations for this counting process, such that you know I cannot count during my one-hour lunch break, or any other ad-hoc times when I am called away. According to the above mentioned figures, you may find some of my key observations as below.
(1) Over 1/3 of audience (30.9% – 42%) is willing to say hello to the receptionist, while around 1/4 audience (17.3% – 29.4%) will say goodbye or thank you.
(2) Audience response are not defined by any age groups or nationality. Despite different in background, audience tend to give similar response.
(3) When in pairs/groups, if one of the audience has been giving response to you, the other(s) will just ignore you.

Basically the majority of the audience will just walk pass you, even if you greeted them. However, despite the tendency, there are the few rare cases where they will look back and return the greetings. Sometimes I will feel frustrated at the coldness and lack of response from the audience. To comfort myself, I’d think that they perhaps have a very clear purpose to come in and that they are too eager to visit the show. 


Comparatively speaking, non-asian visitors are much more willing to share their feeling or comments with the receptionists after their visit. Even if it is just a simple, “Great job!”, your sharing or questions will turn the receptionist’s duty much more interesting. At the same time, it also acknowledges the effort of the exhibition team, because it proves that the artwork or the exhibition arouse the audience’s interest and attention. Personally, I love to interact with the person-in-charge during my own visits to the Venice exhibition. You will also discover something new during your discussions. Though not every one of them would actively engage in a conversation with you, any form of engagement could make your art appreciation experience more brilliant than you’d have expected.  


Arts is always a great tool to inspire and stimulate emotions, sometimes, it can even challenge your logic mind. I strongly think that it is necessary to establish a corner in an exhibition for the audience to express their immediate feeling and response. With the same effect, any interaction with receptionist can also provide another psychological channel for such instant expression. More importantly, the interaction acts as a quick reinforcement of your experience. Unless you really love or have prior knowledge of that artist or artwork , after getting home and cooling down, time will dim your memory and you may forget the emotional response you had experienced. And that’s why I think it is vital to make reflections right after the exhibition visit. Sometimes we might feel too shy to share and express our personal views, but there are many different ways to show your response. Why not have a go next time and chat with us about how you feel about the show?


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