Performance x 4A
27 March 2018 -
01 April 2018
Art Central Hong Kong
9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong
9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong
Building upon its critically acclaimed performance programme, Australia’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) returns to Art Central with a series of interactive and live works that address contemporary concerns of excess and dispossession. In an era characterised by polarities, and expansive disparity across societies, the pervasive sense of tension informs the thematic of the programme. Showcasing leading contemporary artists from across the Asia-Pacific region, the works respond directly to global unease through a series of daily on-site performances. Participating artists include: Caroline Garcia (Australia), FJ Kunting (Indonesia), Sam Lo (Singapore) as well as artist duo Sampson Wong & Lam Chi Fai (Hong Kong).
About the Artists and their Artworks:
Sampson Wong and Lam Chi Fai’s new media installation, Pavilion for our living, contemplates the housing crisis currently affecting Hong Kong citizens. The installation invites participants to experience the micro-apartments that many Hong Kong citizens call home. Temporarily simulating one of these apartments within the art fair environs, the exhibition space becomes one of containment. Once inside the simulated space the viewer gains access to audio interviews with micro-apartment dwellers on how they navigate these literal spaces, along with the problems attached to living inside one of these homes.
Caroline Garcia’s The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures, references the seminal performances of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco. Garcia’s work interrogates the anthropological phenomenon of the ‘ethnographic exhibition’, which has placed subaltern bodies on display in museums, zoos, circuses and theatres throughout history . Garcia develops and builds upon this concept in The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures where the artist’s cis-female, coloured body is encased within a vitrine, confronting degrees of politicisation, as her cultural identity and gender is put on show. The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures is a museographic dance installation that presents auto-ethnographic portraits of Garcia, bringing forth her Filipino ancestry. She engages in a durational dance ritual using a Nintendo Wii to examine the neocolonisation of popular culture and cultural tourism. Through repetition, this performance brings into question an individual’s stamina when facing expectations of cultural competence and visibility.
TALK and Goal: Strong Relationship, but first, talk! are two durational performances by Indonesian artist FJ Kunting. TALK is a durational exercise in the resistance of excess. The artist explores the struggle and the fight for his voice to be heard. Tethered to a contraption of tools and pipes he attempts to speak, however his speech is reduced to bubbles that, over time, envelop him. As exhaustion nears, the futility of his effort becomes apparent with the artist ceasing to struggle and the bubbles slowly disappear. In Kunting’s second performance, Goal: Strong Relationship, but first, talk, language remains the heart of all communication. Kunting examines the ebb and flow of conversation as two figures, faceless except for a spout, appear in a wordless discussion. Talk is reduced to a bubble exchange, with each figure conversing through a stream of bubbles. While infinitely playful, these performances reveal patterns of conversation, exchange and balance in relationships.
Top image: Courtesy of the Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center, image credit: Mick Bello