The Malady of Death: Écrire et Lire is part of Yang’s ongoing project The Malady of Death. It consists of a staged reading in Cantonese of the novella by the same name, La Maladie de la mort, written by French novelist and playwright Marguerite Duras (1914–1996) and a published artist book with the first-ever traditional Chinese translation of the text.

La Maladie de la mort is a short, yet poignant story about learning how to love - the yearning and anguish involved in the quest for it and the perpetual impossibility of this desire. Duras’s literary style is simple, yet potent. She finds strength in not only the plain language of the written word, but also in the pauses between these words. In the author’s note at the end of the book, Duras writes about the possibility of filming or staging the story as a reading rather than a performance. Captivated by this notion, Yang was interested in translating the original French version into traditional Chinese and staging the reading performances in Cantonese, offering the Hong Kong audience the opportunity to experience the work in their native language for the very first time.

For our Mobile M+: Live Art commission, Yang invited two Hong Kong, female intellectuals, novelist Hon Lai-chu and academic and filmmaker Yau Ching, to read on separate evenings the Chinese translation, by literary scholar Dr. Sonia Au Ka-lai, in a stage setting directed by the artist.

Yang first realised The Malady of Death in 2010 during her residency at The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis and then at the Namsan Arts Centre in Seoul with a Korean translation of the story. In 2012, it was the opening event of Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany. Each unique presentation has featured a different female performer reading the novella on stage.

4 and 5 December 2015 (Friday and Saturday)

8 pm (The staged reading is approximately 75 minutes without intermission.)

Doors open at 7:30pm for check-in and seating. Guests are strongly suggested to arrive at least 15 minutes before show time. No intermission and late admission will not be allowed.

Theatre 2, Sunbeam Theatre (423 King’s Road, North Point)

Hon Lai-chu (Friday)
Yau Ching (Saturday)

Cantonese (with English subtitles)

This performance contains adult language of a sexual nature, and is not suitable for children and younger audience members. Audience discretion is advised.

Free admission. Limited capacity. First-come, first-served. 


(852)2200-0135 (Ms So),

Adverse Weather Arrangement:
Programme will be cancelled if a black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is still in force 2 hours before the event starts.

*The organiser reserves the right to change the programme and artists. All changes will be announced on the website.

In collaboration with:
Styling Direction: Grace Lam
Hair and Makeup: Ko and Hitomi Hasegawa, Rakkaus Company Ltd.
Clothes by NEHERA


Haegue Yang (Korean, born 1971)

©Studio Haegue Yang

Haegue Yang received a BFA from Seoul National University, South Korea, in 1994 and an MFA from Städelschule Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1999. Her earlier works tell highly sensory, abstract narratives through large-scale installations composed of normally mundane electric items, such as venetian blinds, heaters, industrial fans, and spotlights. With each component activated—oscillating fans, glaring beams of light, a heater’s gust of hot air—Yang creates a choreographed environment for the senses. Her more recent works focus on performance making beyond a white cube space. For our Mobile M+: Live Art commission, Yang has created the most recent version of her ongoing project The Malady of Death accompanied by a limited edition artist book. She represented Korea at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 and participated in Documenta 13 in 2012. Her numerous awards include the Baloîse Prize from Art Basel in 2008 and the Cremer Prize from the Westfälisches Landesmuseum in Münster, Germany, in 2005. Yang currently lives and works in Seoul and Berlin.


Hon Lai-chu (Hong Kong, born 1978)

Hon Lai-chu is a Hong Kong author of several novels, including Body-sewing and The Border of Centrifugation. She won the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature for fiction with her short story anthology Silent Creature in 2004. Her 2006 novel Kite Family, first published as a novella, won the New Writer’s Novella first prize from Taiwan’s Unitas Literary Association; in 2008, the extended version was selected by Taiwanese newspaper China Times as a Book of the Year. Kite Family, and her latest work, Grey Flower, were Top 10 Chinese Novels Worldwide for the years 2008 and 2009 respectively. She recently published a short story collection, Losing Caves.

Yau Ching (Hong Kong, born 1966)

A graduate in Studio Art from the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York, Yau Ching received her PhD in Media Arts from Royal Holloway College, University of London. A former Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at Hong Kong Lingnan University, she has authored more than 10 books. Her award-winning film/video works have been shown at venues including Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris; Museum of Modern Art in New York, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, among others, and broadcast in North America, Europe and Japan. As a poet, filmmaker and scholar, Yau Ching has received grants including from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, Asian Cultural Council Arts Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Montalvo Artists’ Fellowship and Japan Foundation Artist-in-residence. She is a 2016 Research Fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan.

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