Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises

Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises

Isaac Chong Wai

2 June (Sat) | 3:30-5:00pm
3 June (Sun) | 12:00-1:00pm

DETAIL
99 Sajadah Merah

99 Sajadah Merah

Tisna Sanjaya

1 June (Fri) | 7:30-9:00pm
3 June (Sun) | 4:30-5:30pm

DETAIL
My Hong Kong Friends

My Hong Kong Friends

Duan Yingmei

2 June (Sat) | 12:00-1:30pm
3 June (Sun) | 1:30-2:30pm

DETAIL
Cleansing Service

Cleansing Service

River Lin

1 June (Fri) | 7:30-10:00pm
2 June (Sat) | 12:00-5:00pm
3 June (Sun) | 12:00-5:30pm

DETAIL

wen yau

A Drop and Two Dots: Everything Must Go! (Homage to All Peaceful Revolutionaries)

2 June (Sat), 2:00-3:00pm

In this newly commissioned performance, wen yau examines the value of owning and belonging to one’s land. Property in Hong Kong is among the most expensive and sought after in the world, and the performance encourages the public to consider how the commodity of their city is evaluated, using the site of the West Kowloon Cultural District as the primary focus. Drawing from both the history of this reclaimed terrain and what it currently represents, wen yau builds a collection of natural and found objects from the West Kowloon construction project and allows the public to view, value, and bid on these items during a performance reminiscent of a property expo. Instead of residential models and floor plans, elements from the land are displayed for consideration, including discarded architectural materials, one square foot of soil, and detritus from the M+ building, the Xiqu Centre, the Promenade, and the Nursery Park. Each of these ‘pieces of property’is accompanied by a certificate detailing where it was extracted, its original intended purpose, the date of its collection, and its estimated value. By displaying these goods throughout the gallery in the manner of a performative auction and inviting the audience to participate, wen yau challenges how both property and cultural values are established and asks, given the realities of Hong Kong’s current market structures, can these pieces of land ever really belong to us?

wen yau

wen yau is a cross-disciplinary artist and researcher who has focused her career in performance art, often confronting issues of cultural difference, authenticity, and social relationships. By intervening in public, she directly addresses pressing contemporary concerns with her body and voice, and has developed a unique artistic language drawn from her strong desire for social change and justice. Her internationally performed and exhibited works, including the Civil Left/ Right series (2007–), the Homage to All Peaceful Revolutionaries series (2015–), and the co-initiated projects Talkover/Handover (2007) and Talkover/Handover 2.0 (2017), are deeply rooted in their local, immediate contexts. As an artist and researcher, wen yau conducted the pioneering project Hong Kong Performance Art Research from 2005 to 2006 and co-founded Woofer Ten, a local art space advocating social practice. wen yau received a Fulbright fellowship as a visiting scholar of Performance Studies at Northwestern University from 2015 to 2016 and recently completed her PhD on performative practice in postcolonial Hong Kong art and activism at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University.
  


Isaac Chong Wai

Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises 

2 June (Sat), 3:30-5:00pm
3 June (Sun), 12:00-1:00pm


Isaac Chong Wai takes the history of protests—through its repetitive expressions and actions—as a point of departure in this newly commissioned performance. Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises is a continuation of Chong’s investigation into imagined futures and how, through certain movements and postures, past ideology can be interpreted and improved upon by future generations. Chong’s research into police training exercises around the world also questions the development of these actions and their intended use: are they meant as a first line of defence, or a last resort? Chong and a group of performers enact choreographed sets of movements based on past altercations at protest sites and training exercises taught at police academies, but at greatly reduced speeds. These acts are transformed into something new when drastically slowed down; aggressive posturing and the collision of bodies become poetic, gentle caresses. The slowness suspends time and changes the dimensions of reality, shifting perceptions of both viewer and performer so that the gestures are no longer seen as threatening, but rather as healing and comforting. Through such abstract and distorted motions, Chong asks whether beauty can be found in confrontation, and if such beauty can lead to reconciliation.

Isaac Chong Wai

Isaac Chong Wai works across a range of media, including live performance, video, photography, and site-specific installation, and considers the interplay between the collective and the individual, the politics of time and space, and real and imagined futures. His works often engage with other performers, with whom Chong performs,to allow for further interrogation of notions of the social and unified body. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts from the Academy of Visual Art at Hong Kong Baptist University. His work was included in recent exhibitions at the Stiftung Brandenburger Tor and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in 2017; the Bauhaus-Museum, Weimar, and the Gwangju Media Art Festival in 2016; and the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art in 2014. Chong was selected for the Burger Collection Artist Scholarship Program in 2016 and the Bauhaus Essentials awards in 2014 and 2015.
 


Tisna Sanjaya

99 Sajadah Merah

1 June (Fri), 7:30-9:00pm
3 June (Sun), 4:30-5:30pm


99 Sajadah Merah is the continuation of Sanjaya’s ongoing social practice of seeking and encouraging peace and tolerance. Translated as '99 Red Prayer Rugs', this performance is imbued with elements of ritual, taking its inspiration from the Quranic verse, 'For you is your religion and for me is mine’. Sanjaya invites the audience to collaborate with him, as is common in his practice, to help paint the prayer rugs with his body using indigenous elements: a diverse range of spices, mud, and charcoal that can be found in Hong Kong and the artist’s native Indonesia. The artist and performers traverse the sprawling installation in a collective form of art making to consider the need for cooperation in society. Whilst elegantly simple in concept, the intricate execution can be read as a complex collaboration through choreographed movements and gestures, with Sanjaya transforming this performance into acts of both gratitude and prayer.

Tisna Sanjaya

Tisna Sanjaya is a prominent artist from Indonesia whose body of work encompasses paintings, etchings, performances, installations, and public projects that reflect upon the local ecology of village communities. Strongly believing in using his art as a social practice, Sanjaya is committed to creating works that highlight the daily injustices affecting his country, especially the environmental destruction caused by large businesses and the government. Recently, he initiated collective performances with people from various provinces in Indonesia to better connect his art to societal concerns. He graduated from the Institut Teknologi Bandung (the Bandung Institute of Technology) in 1986 and pursued his postgraduate studies at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (Braunschweig University of Art) in 1998. In 2011, he obtained a PhD from the Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta. His works have been exhibited and performed locally and abroad, including at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in 2015; the 5th Gwangju Biennale in 2004; and the Indonesia Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. In addition to his own art practice, Sanjaya teaches at the Institut Teknologi Bandung and founded the local art space Imah Budaya Cigondewah. In 2014, he received the Anugerah Adhikarya Seni Rupa award from Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.
 


Duan Yingmei

My Hong Kong Friends

2 June (Sat), 12:00-1:30pm
3 June (Sun), 1:30-2:30pm


Unfolding as a personal journey through time and space, My Hong Kong Friends invites audiences to follow and interact with Duan through the gallery and experience a world conjured from her fantastical imagination. Prior to the performance, Duan engaged with several residents of Hong Kong over WeChat, asking them to share with her their most prized possessions and to offer personal anecdotes about the objects. These shared stories then become sources of inspiration for Duan as she imbues each of the objects with a tale, full of purpose and meaning. They are installed throughout the exhibition space, and as she leads the audience to each object, she places handwritten labels that tell the histories of their past and present, and that propose future histories. Treated as sculptures, the seemingly mundane materials are activated by Duan’s singular attention as she gently holds them, sings about them, and even encourages the audience to handle them. The memories of the items are held between the objects, the artist, and the audience through this collective act.

Duan Yingmei

For the past eighteen years, Duan Yingmei has made the live presence of her body the core of her practice, exploring universal human instincts such as fear, desire, loneliness, and joy through gestures and social interactions. She employs elements of fantasy and storytelling in her performances to investigate and understand personal and everyday experiences. Her use of sound, videos, and installations further develops situational experiments that examine conventional social behaviours, and her desire to make connections with others inspires works that include the audience in hopes that they will recognise parts of themselves through her performances. Duan began her artistic studies in painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, but soon joined the group of avant-garde artists of Beijing East Village, who gained renown for the extreme use of their bodies in the 1990s. She contributed to several iconic works, such as the seminal piece To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain, considered to be one of the first collective performance art works in the history of Chinese contemporary art. In 2000, Duan left China to attend the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (Braunschweig University of Art) and studied under the pioneering performance artist Marina Abramovic and the filmmaker and action artist Christoph Schlingensief, both of whom remain strong inspirations for her. Duan has participated in numerous international exhibitions and festivals, including Performance at Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland in 2015, the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, the Lilith Performance Studio in Sweden in 2011, the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, and exhibitions curated by Marina Abramovic at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2005.
 


River Lin

Cleansing Service 

1 June (Fri), 7:30-10:00pm
2 June (Sat), 12:00-5:00pm
3 June (Sun), 12:00-5:30pm


Equal parts confessional, washroom, and baptism, Cleansing Service invites audience members to remove traces of dirt, guilt, regret, and remnants of the day in a shared act of purification with Lin. In a room containing rows of water bottles labelled with different words, Lin encourages visitors to enter the space individually and choose a bottle with the word that is the most personal or connected to them. He then proceeds to converse with the visitor and transforms the water, with its historic symbolism in healing and cleansing rites, into a transcendent exchange of atonement. Through this intimate performance of washing and absolving, Cleansing Service examines the relationship between the body and ritual, and bridges the sacred with the everyday.

River Lin

River Lin is a performance and visual artist whose work includes choreography, one-on-one performances, and live installations. Using his body as his primary medium, Lin engages with his audience to investigate notions of intimacy, time, and everyday rituals. He constantly seeks new encounters with others to consider how the body initiates intentions and activates meaning in both private and public settings. Lin also draws inspiration from historical narratives in visual art, theatre, and dance to offer new interpretations and understandings. He received his Master of Arts in Performing Arts at the National Taiwan University of Arts in 2010 and has since performed at exhibitions and festivals, including the ArtTrend International Performance Art Festival in Tainan in 2017; the Taipei Biennial and the DanzInc Festival in Singapore, both in 2016; and Rapid Pulse in Chicago in 2015, to name a few. Lin recently co-founded and curated the Asia Discovers Asia Meeting for Contemporary Performance (ADAM), a project that builds a network of dialogue, collaboration, and exchange between artists in Asia.