(9 November 2015, Hong Kong) M+, Hong Kong’s future museum for 20th and 21st century visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, will present Mobile M+: Live Art, a series of cross-disciplinary public performance art events and exhibitions taking place at 8 different locations around the city which aim at exploring aspects of ‘liveness’ in contemporary art.
Mobile M+: Live Art, the 9th project in the acclaimed series prior to the opening of M+ in 2019, expands the definition of the work of art from a static object to a situation, where the main medium is the artist or performer’s body and looks to voice, breath, movement and physical effort as channels of artistic expression. Set across multiple sites in Hong Kong and spread over 17 days from 4 to 20 December, the show will include 10 artists of different generations from Hong Kong and South China, as well as Korea, Singapore and the United States.
“Mobile M+: Live Art will not only challenge the conventional practices of both exhibition and performance, but also reflects the increasingly boundary-crossing, multidisciplinary practices of contemporary artists, who have long expanded their art making beyond galleries and exhibition halls into theatrical stages and public spaces,” said Doryun Chong, Chief Curator for M+ and Co-curator for this exhibition.
Scattered throughout Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, live events and exhibition displays will be embedded in diverse neighbourhoods. Encompassing staged performances in a theatre setting, outdoor actions and interventions as well as displays of artworks doubling as performance documentation, Mobile M+: Live Art will feature a wide assortment of works dating from the mid-1990s to the present day (See Annex I for programme details).
Patty Chang (American, born 1972): Configurations
Chang’s groundbreaking performances from the late 1990s diverge from other endurance-oriented actions in part due to her unique attention to the technologies that preserve the work. Her live performances make explicit use of the recorded image and consider the perspective and presence of a viewer. In addition to her video works, Mobile M+: Live Art will debut her new lecture performance Configurations in Connecting Space, North Point.
Hu Xiangqian (Chinese, born 1983): Middle Aged Artist
Acclaimed for delivering performances with a distinctly personal, sometimes absurd, yet oft-times amusing edge, Hu’s contributions to Mobile M+: Live Art include a performative monologue and the screening of his multi-layered collaboration Reconstructing Michelangelo (2015) wherein Hu spent months imparting knowledge and advice to his assistant about how to think, act, walk, and talk like a contemporary performance artist.
Ming Wong (Singaporean, born 1971): Looking at the Stars
The latest chapter in Wong’s ongoing research into the realms of Cantonese opera and science fiction, Looking at the Stars explores the meeting of cinema, theatre, gender representation, and the intricate dance between language and translation, drawing inspiration from Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) to tell a new kind of story.
Haegue Yang (Korean, born 1971): The Malady of Death: Écrire et Lire
A staged reading in Cantonese of the novella La maladie de la mort, written by French novelist and playwright Marguerite Duras (1914–1996), and an artist book featuring the first-ever traditional Chinese translation of the text. Novelist Hon Lai-chu and academic and filmmaker Yau Ching will recite the text on separate occasions.
Lin Yilin (Chinese, born 1964): Twenty
In this new work, Lin Yilin references the Basic Law as a cornerstone of Hong Kong’s present system. Pages of the Basic Law have been woven into a massive rope, the centrepiece in a publicly staged tug-of-war. Like many of Lin’s works, Twenty hints at political uncertainties while adopting a playful and light-hearted attitude.
Eiko Otake (Tokyo, born 1952): A Body in Hong Kong
In a continuation of her larger project A Body in Places, Japanese-American artist Eiko Otake presents A Body in Hong Kong – a series of multiple outdoor performances throughout the city, in which she responds directly to the unique characteristics of Hong Kong.
John Cage (American, 1912–1992): Writings through the Essay: On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1987).
The only installation work by American artist and composer John Cage, Writings through the Essay: On the Duty of Civil Disobedience creates an all-enveloping perceptual and spatial experience in which the audience interacts with recorded voices, lights according to instructions generated by the Chinese divination classic I-Ching (Book of Changes), and a daily-changing arrangement of six chairs.
Frog King Kwok (aka Kwok Mang Ho) (Hong Kong, born 1947) and Eiko Otake (Tokyo, born 1952)
In this site-specific installation, legendary Hong Kong artist Frog King Kwok reinterprets his major works from the mid-to-late 1970s. Complementing the installation is a haunting slideshow of images of dancer Eiko Otake, taken during her A Body in Fukushima performances.
Live Art: 1995 – 2015 includes Patty Chang (American, born 1972), Hu Xiangqian (Chinese, born 1983), Lin Yilin (Chinese, born 1964), Pak Sheung Chuen (Hong Kong, born 1977) and Young Hay (Hong Kong, born 1963)
Bringing together five artists from Hong Kong, southern China, and the United States, this group exhibition features a variety of works exploring the relationship between performance and documentation – including video documentation, photography, and text-based instructions. With pieces spanning three decades, from 1995 to 2015, the exhibition shows how these works cross the divide between art and documentation and offer new ways of interpreting the relationship between the live event and the presentation of recorded acts and gestures.
Pauline J. Yao, Curator of Visual Arts of M+ and co-curator of this exhibition said, ”What unifies this group of performers is their affinity for foregrounding the body as a channel or mode of expression which can produce endlessly proliferating sets of meanings.”
“While the artist’s body has become an integral and significant medium of artmaking for contemporary artists as well as an engine of artmaking in the region, there is also a growing attention towards Live Art in museums around the world,” said Dr Lars Nittve, Executive Director of M+. “As the museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, M+ plays a pivotal role in offering audiences the unique experience of viewing and appreciating Live Art, which is also an indispensable component of our M+ Collection.”
Mobile M+: Live Art will be complemented by a range of exhibition tours, talks and workshops (See Annex II). Visit www.weskowloon.hk/liveart for more details of the programme and public education sessions.