“Hotel rooms,” British playwright Tom Stoppard wrote, “inhabit a separate moral universe”. If travel removes us from our daily lives, the hotel as a makeshift home ad interim situates us at the liminal space between the familiar and the unknown, the public and the private, comfort and vulnerability, discovery and escape. Taking the site of the hotel as a point of departure, the exhibition “FOUND IN TRANSLATION” is envisioned as a sequel to Sophia Coppola’s notable 2003 comedy-drama film, “Lost in Translation” and explores the seduction of anonymity, the hotel as a physical and social space, transgressing boundaries, and chance connection.

The anonymity of a hotel bar or lobby offers tantalizing possibilities and parallel worlds; simultaneously, forbidden memories lurk beneath the glittering, pristine surfaces. Beckoning us into some of Hong Kong’s most storied institutions, Cynthia Talmadge’s meticulously crafted sand paintings of vintage hotel stationery—by turns primly ordered and carelessly strewn—speak to unwritten love letters, hastily scribbled phone numbers, or tales of precarious expeditions. One guest’s special trip (a honeymoon, or a 40th birthday) is another’s begrudged layover: Kevin Zucker’s Twelve Cities recount voyages past, with each chiseled destination marking discrete moments in place and time.

Kevin Reinhardt’s crisp, minimal canvases delineate the primness of hotel architecture as well as the narrative of privacy; behind tightly drawn blinds sits a retired suit, newly off-duty after a long day of meetings. Nearby, Kayode Ojo’s precariously assembled sculptures radiate complicated charisma, alluding to artifice and aspirational glamor, while sculptures by Christopher Ho and David Roy present geometric forms embodying distinct energies and personalities. A series of works by Laurie Simmons interrogate the aesthetics of upper-class leisure, while Jo Messer’s luscious, bodily brushwork reveals the sensuous undertones coursing through the exhibition, finally rupturing the language of innuendo.

Delving into the multifaceted aspects of human experience, “FOUND IN TRANSLATION” invites viewers to ponder and reflect upon the profound and fluid intersections of travel, cross-cultural encounter, and personal connection. The exhibition runs from July 7 to August 25, 2023.