Hung Keung was first inspired by the change in Hong Kong’s public sentiments on the city’s handover in 1997, during which he studied in London (1996-1998) for a MA in Film and Video at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Though a Hong Kong native, being away from Hong Kong meant that Hung Keung was isolated and uninfluenced by the general political sentiments in his hometown. This allowed the artist to observe the turn of events from a bystanders point of view and this objectivity developed into a unique insight as many in Hong Kong expressed panic over the imminent handover openly through the media in 1996. Yet as the handover approached, these negative sentiments dissipated and were replaced with a surge of excitement and pride of being part of China again. These people proclaimed that they had a great love for China, but this sudden
change of opinion prompted the artist to question the genuineness and substantiality of this love. This 7 minute video work features ten odd multinational men kissing in front of the camera. They were given a simple instruction to express their love to those they cared for. The first 3 minutes of the work solely dedicates to a Tibetan monk whose kisses, as are the others, deliberately reversed, his expression of love is timid but with joy. After the monk, the artist emerges to his own performance, followed by other individuals he met during his studies from various backgrounds to show their love. The repetitive Chinese revolutionary song played in the background highlights the political questions that the artist wants to explore with the audience.
This work was exhibited in MOCA Shanghai in 2007 and garnered numerous awards, including Selected Works by Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards in 1997, Best of EMAP in the European Media Art Festival in 1998 and Best Short Ambient Video Award at the BBC British Film Festival in the same year. This work is currently exhibiting the first retrospective show of Hung Keung at Schoeni Art Gallery in Hong Kong.
This preview version is an extract of the work.
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