Month: November 2016

Mimi Brown

Spring Workshop founder Mimi Brown discusses three of her favourite works from her collection. Yuk King Tan’s Rocket – Measures of Censorship (2015) is an actual rocket, though she has temporarily removed its engine so that a hapless admirer can’t accidentally set it off. Years ago, while living in Germany, Tan honed her craft in a rocket society where she shot rockets fixed with cameras into the sky, in contravention of post-war laws against aerial surveillance. Tan has long been interested in censorship and ideas surrounding who gets to speak and to see in society, and her rocket is ornamented with excerpts from texts by critical theorists Slavoj Žižek and Julia Kristeva that wrangle with this topic. She placed the most pessimistic quotations at the rocket’s base and the most hopeful at its tip, super-imposing her own argument via this reordering, and demonstrating how similar left- and right-wing dialogue and propaganda can be. With the intense focus of a rice-writer, Tan pencilled the excerpts onto the rocket in a tiny hand using no magnification, nestling …

Hong Kong Dance Company

Reveries of the Red Chamber Aug 5 – 7, 2016 By Nicolette Wong With its interplay between dance, music, drama and multimedia, Hong Kong Dance Company’s Reveries of the Red Chamber makes an ambitious attempt at exploring the possibilities of reinterpreting classic literature in experimental dance – and presents a stage experience at once novel and demanding for the audience. Reveries of the Red Chamber consists of three independent works that form a loose dialogue on Cao Xueqin’s 18th-century Chinese literary opus Dream of the Red Chamber. In The Enigma of a Stone by theatre director Ho Ying-fung, the improvised ensemble dance embodies the dynamic of physical theatre. On the futile search for truth in the “Village of Falsehood”, the dancers collide with each other in movements of growing frenzy, while the narrator, The Village Elder, played by Andy Ng, taunts the performers with a spontaneous monologue that borders on wailing. The drama is expansive, escalating and then splintering across the stage, and this expansiveness could make it challenging for some audience members to stay …

Broken histories, bright futures: Ernest Chang and the Blue House.

By Margot Mottaz Photographer Ernest Chang and the Blue House share more than addresses along Stone Nullah Lane in Wanchai: they both overcame troubled pasts that could have cost them their existence. The former has emerged stronger and ever more tenacious after recovering from drug addiction, but the latter is still in the process of making a full recovery. The story begins in the 1920s, when a four-storey tenement building, or tong lau, was erected at 72 Stone Nullah Lane, replacing what was once the district’s first hospital. Over the years it housed a martial-arts school run by a former pupil of kung fu master Wong Fei-hung, and then an osteopathy clinic, always with a few residential units on the upper floors. Accidentally painted royal blue during maintenance in the 1990s by workers who only had the Water Supplies Department’s blue paint to hand, the building was named accordingly. Today, though temporarily moved for the duration of the renovation, a charity shop and an exhibition space, House of Stories, occupy the ground floor, while eight families live upstairs. …

Maria Taniguchi

Solo show. By Margot Mottaz Philippine artist Maria Taniguchi estimates that she has painted a few hundred thousand bricks since 2008, when she started her ongoing series of untitled brick paintings. Shown alongside a fountain installation at Galerie Perrotin this winter in the artist’s first solo show in Hong Kong, these minimal, solemn paintings have become Taniguchi’s signature pieces, through which her practice – video, sculpture, pottery and installation – is often understood. Large in format (on average 250 x 120cm) and repetitive in design, the paintings consist of small graphite rectangles carefully filled with black acrylic paint. The result might look mechanical but each brick has been painted individually in a laborious operation. The bricks, uneven in tone, with some darker than others depending on the ratio of paint to water, form abstract patterns that reflect the artist’s hand. Still, the series’ overall uniformity purposely belies Taniguchi’s labour-intensive, time-consuming efforts. This is perhaps a subdued comment on the undervaluation of manual labour in our post-industrial, globalised world, a topical subject in her homeland and …