A screening bridging Hong Kong video artists and independent musicians of two generations
/ Anson Mak
/ Cheng Chi Hung
/ Choi Sai Ho aka S.T.
/ Ellen Pau / Ernest Fung / Fan Hung A
/ Forever Tarkovsky Club / Gregor Samsa
/ Hong Kong Complaints Choir
/ Mak Chi Hang
/ Mo Shun Yu
/ My Little Airport
/ Tam Tat Wah
/ Thickest Choi
/ VJ Ferrous
/ Wong Chi Fai
/ Yau Ching
Curator: Alvis Choi
Presented by Videotage
– Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia
– National Center for Contemporary Art (NCCA), St.Petersburg, Russia
– OFFicyna Szczecin, Szczecin 2016 – Culture’s Observatory, Poland
– Arad Art Museum, Arad, Romania
Experimentica, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, UK (2010)
Hope & Glory Forum Series, ArtisTree, Hong Kong (2010)
October Contemporary 2009, Videotage, Hong Kong (2009)
Seoul International New Media Festival, Seoul, Korea (2009)
Twenty years had passed. A new generation is born.
Twenty years ago, two historical events, the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the fall of the Berlin Wall both had its sociopolitical and economical significance. One is being acknowledged and will be celebrated next week for the 20th year anniversary, the other is deliberately forgotten and hidden. In 2009, the economic growth became the reason to forget and the reason to love our country. [20/20] is a collection of videos that depict the concern of the two generations with twenty years in between when they were/are both in their twenties.
[20/20] makes the connection between the two creative generations visible. The selected works, all addressing certain social and political issues in Hong Kong, reveal how some problems are still unsolved after twenty years of time. In the ’80s, the 20-somethings were growing up in a generation of historical torrent, their voices give witness to great changes of the era, also affecting the historical view of Hong Kong people regarding the series of historical figures such as “89”, “64”, “97” and “23”. Apart from having the courage to boldly express their views on social and political issues, artists of this generation such as Ellen Pau, Ernest Fung, Yau Ching have also created a unique visual language of expression through the publishing of their video works. All these have quietly influenced the younger generation.
Despite today’s youth growing up in an era of information explosion, often criticized by the society for being “politically apathetic” and “indifferent”, they have in fact always had their own social and political views brewing from within. Such representative works include Choi Sai Ho’s 2012 and Star, two works expressing his artistic stand on universal suffrage and the demolition of the old Star Ferry Pier; Complaints Choir of Hong Kong’s Complaint Song of Hong Kong – Kindly Rewinded Youtube Karaoke, which belts out a mountain of complaints shared by much of the public (including discontent about taxes, the West Kowloon Cultural District, education system etc.); and VJ Ferrous’ Policy Address, which humorously ridiculing the Chief Executive’s unsatisfactory performance at the Legislative Council during his Policy Address.
In Hong Kong, video was first employed as a sociopolitical tool, rather than for artistic expression. Here, one can see the influence and distinction between the two generations of work in terms of aesthetic and approach. The selected works not only recognize young people’s enthusiasm and purpose in social and political issues, but also reflect the significance of independent music in Hong Kong video art over the past two decades.
The completion year of the works ranges from 1990 to 2009. The oldest work in the compilation is a work by Ellen Pau, founder of Videotage, created in response to the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Works created in 2009 include Complaint Song of Hong Kong – Kindly Rewinded Youtube Karaoke; Donald Tsang, Please Die, a lo-tech video created by local band My Little Airport, reflecting vividly the public sentiment towards the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsangʼs point of view on the June 4th Incident; Reason to Protest, music video of a song by the acclaimed and now dismissed independent local band Forever Tarkovsky Club, released on 4 June 2009 to encourage Hongkongers to go for the annual protest rally on 1 July 2009.
Many selected videos in [20/20] are works that didnʼt have much chance to be seen. By presenting these works with the more recent video works – works that were produced in the last five years, I intended not only to juxtapose the two generations, but also to revive the older works in Videotageʼs archive. [20/20] fills in the 20-year gap; each work is a recording of what different generations think of social, cultural, as well as China-Hong Kong issues, from twenty years ago to today. It connects this sentiment that creates resonance, and presents a flow of style and approaches that maps out the development of Hong Kong video art.