Here are three of my art action series: “Public art of private listening", “Slow walking in public space" and “Artistic Labour: Winner takes All" lecture performance. They are all highly site-specific actions targeting the particular capital formation or political power. Though working to negotiate with the politics, my works are engaging with the individuals than an amplifier for political ideas nor to address the people as a collective. I truly believe emancipation is not by enlightenment but a re-distribution of the sensible. Therefore, bodily intimacy (sound & movement) and meditative moment are the usual practice in my art/ action.
Public act of private hearing:“Book burning”
I burned books several times in 2007 often at sites where social actions were taking place. The action is anti-monumentality.
Collective action or occupy are often very “time consuming", participants do not know when the police would enforce clearance. This makes the experience of time very awkward- you want to save the place, but you are perpetually in wait (for police enforcement). Peoples’ emotion are retarded as well as hyperactive at the same time. Apart from solidarity, I do concern each participant as individual person how they’d relate his/herself to the whole thing. I hope to provide an alternative way for people to have an intimate engagement with the place. So I would choose a book that is related to the place and invite participants, one at each time, to come to a quiet corner and let me read one page of the book to him/her. Afterward, I would burn the book leaf into ashes and return it to the participant as a memorial of the moment that we’ve spent together at the place, that probably would be soon demolished by the government.
(2007.04.22 | reading My City by Sai-sai, a novelty in the 1970s that marks the modernization of Hong Kong city| The Queen’s Pier, Central, Hong Kong| demolished in 2007.07 for a new highway.)
(2007.08.01| The night before the police cleared the occupying site where people were gathering there to demand for the preservation of the pier which is historically important to the colonial rule. )
(“Basic Law is Burning"| 2007.06.09| at C & G Apartment | After the Chinese Central Government declared that Hong Kong does not has the right to interpret the basic law.)
Slow Walking in the City
(2008, slow walking at the Times Square. The giant shopping mall
was privatizing the public space by employing private police and spatial devices to discourage free use of the space. )
Artistic Labour: Winner Takes All
Lecture performance | 2013.05.22 | At the exhibition booth of the Asian Art Archive, Art Basel Hong Kong
This is a more recent event which is directly related to my Ph.D thesis. In 2013 the Art Basel opened its first Hong Kong edition. Since than the local cultural landscape drastically globalized. Numerous art economists paraphrase artist’s career with gambler, both are devoted themselves to a game that winner takes all. So I invited my artists friends to play mah-jong game (a Chinese game) with USD at the entrance to the exhibition hall. At the same time, I gave a lecture to explain the characteristics of art labour.
(Participating Hong Kong artists: ger Choi, Chow Chun Fai, Chow Yiu Fai, Carmen Ho, Ho Sin Tung, Anson Mak, Samson Young |Special thanks: Wilson Shieh, Chui Pui Chee, Yan Buto, Trista Ma| Photography: Kin Kwok)