Thing beyond Things, a work by Ng Ka Chun, shows how ordinary, everyday objects can be transformed through imagination to reveal the relationship between objects and daily life. Ng believes imagination is the best ‘tool’, and his works are simple yet powerful manifestations of the ways in which he responds to and transforms things. Perhaps this is ‘the usefulness of uselessness’ posited by Zhuangzi, which transcends the functional dimension of objects to create new values and meanings that lie beyond conventional standards.

Ng uses limited resources and tools to stimulate creativity, and employs games to encourage students to break away from their preconceptions of tools. Students also put the concept of ‘thinking with your hands’ into practice, feeling the attributes of objects through tactile experience in order to discover the objects’ substance and the ways they can be remodelled. M+ Rover showcases the fruits of their creative collaboration on campus and in the community. Thing beyond Things is like a reference work that contains the wisdom and experiences of its many contributors. It reminds us to draw on what has come before to open up new possibilities, and to respond to or transform the limitations of things with creativity.