This project is part of wen yau's on-going Painting like an Artist series in which the artist starts from zero and acquires painting skills from various artists in Hong Kong. For the 2-year durational project After One Hundred at Oi!, she did a plein-air each month in the neighbourhood area within North Point district where she had been living since childhood.
By using the painting techniques learnt from other artists and drawing a place in North Point suggested by them, wen yau intends to re-observe the community where she finds familiar. Local neighbours and friends will be openly invited to join the plein air every month, and to encounter art in everyday life settings. The paintings she made during the 2 years not only convey stories or memories of people about these local places, but also present a survey on Hong Kong painters of different styles as well as her exploration of painting as an art form itself.
- a mediated performance, exploring power relationship in authority and linguistic politics, mixed media (2010)
The performance took place in the Guangzhou Live 10 festival in December 2010, a few days right after the award presentation of Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo. This project is inspired by Chinese Government’s fierce reaction to the issue and censorship of the press and the Internet from which related stories have been all wiped off.
On the other hand, this performance was responding the ‘Support Cantonese’ movement which took place in Guangzhou in Summer 2010. The movement followed a sharp public backlash against a controversial proposal to replace Cantonese with Putonghua in local TV channels.
The performance was situated in a classroom setting. To start the language class, I acted like a teacher greeting the class and a slide of ‘Let’s speak Cantonese 學好廣東話’ was projected on the wall in front of the audience. Basing on the statement by Liu Xiaobo (I have no enemies: my final statement) which was read in the trial before his imprisonment and at the Nobel Award Ceremony, I created a ‘clean’ version by leaving blank all the social-political related or sensitive words including Liu’s name in the article, for example, the title then read ‘I have ██████████: my █████ statement’. While computer-aid programme was reading loud the ‘clean’ statement sentence by sentence in Cantonese, I filled in the blanks with various kinds of Cantonese foul languages printed on a series of flashcard. Members of audience were all excited by speaking foul languages openly and raised their hands to join my reading, and I instructed the audience, who all acted like naughty students in the class, to each throw water bombs after reading their flashcard. The wall with the statement projected was first splashed by red paint and later on by white paint filled in the water bombs.
Finally, the mess in situ was commanded to resume order after the whole statement was read. The music of the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony was played and the award announcement was made by the recording with Liu’s name wiped off. I left a copy of the ‘clean’ statement together with the flashcards on an empty chair in the middle of the audience and walked out while all the audience were staying solemnly.
This performance played around with the idea of authority, linguistic politics and power relationship involved. Since Liu’s statement has been wiped off from the mass media which were all state-owned, people could have limited access to or knowledge of it. The shock was maximized when members of audience realized the statement that they abused was Liu’s and changed their attitude immediately from a causal and playful one to serious one, but the abuse we made were, like the red paint remained on the wall, not being able to be covered by the white after all.
The overwhelming celebration of the 10th anniversary Hong Kong's Handover to China in 2007 inspired me to start this series of work which attempts to explore my national identity and the kind of nationalism imposed on Hongkongers as Chinese after the transfer of sovereignty.
Each work is performed together with a video made from mixed news footage from the media in Hong Kong and the cities where the performance takes place: an alternative civil education lesson at a time.
布拉格有一幅「連儂牆」，於金鐘也有一幅，而且兩幅牆的意義相若。眼見行人天橋那邊也有橫額寫著歌曲「Imagine」的歌詞「You may say I am a dreamer but I am not the only one」，相信很多人對約翰‧連儂 (John Lennon)並不陌生。「我記得第一天建立這幅牆時只有數張至十多張便利貼 (post-it note)，現在已漫延到一整幅牆。」魂游回憶當天幫忙建立「連儂牆香港」的情景。大家會在便利貼上寫上對普選及「雨傘運動」的感想或期望，然後貼在牆上。由於格式都很統一，所以在視覺上營造出震撼的場面。據說，「連儂牆香港」是由一位讀藝術的學生發起的，發起者及群眾猶如無名英雄一樣，大家是平等的、無名的參與者，這亦是「社會式參與的藝術」的精神。