Taking ‘to dream (發夢)’ – an expression used for the Hong Kong movement referring to going on the streets – as the title for the work, the collective invites the audience to follow their journey through the past few months: they display traces of their search in Hong Kong. They worked with interviews taken and material collected, as well as a fictional film essay concerning the future of the city in crisis. In order to overcome the distance between Hong Kong and Zurich, the work involves live performances such as moving Lennon TVs live-streaming the movement and a tea corner that invites people to talk directly with members of the group.
Boudai12 has expanded from seven to nine members upon the start of Zurich phrase and was all physically present in the city of Zurich during the preparation for the final presentation. The huge group continued to work on their structure and creative strategies with the same fluidity of ‘be water’, the spirit of the movement itself, all essentially bonded and tied, to – as well as due to – the Hong Kong protest movement.
Clashed with distinct positions, Boudai12 came up with three separate projects to start off with and members flowed from one project to another whenever there was work needed to be done. One was a film titled Isle of Tears (2019) compiled of mostly clips of media coverage of the event framed by a science-fiction narrative of original script. It was intended to be shown at the cinema with a post-screening panel discussion with the aim to receive feedback from the audience;
Another was action and performance. Among the several planned, some executed and some not. One key performance was that of the ‘Lennon TV intervention’ that took place in midst of the Shared Campus Opening event, in which three performers in black-bloc outfit wearing TVs live-streaming the Hong Kong protest on the streets. As opposed to one having the remote controller over a screen, the screen comes to one’s vision and has the control over what one sees;
Last was the live installation at the centre of a main hallway, where exhibition walls in a messy formation were set up as barricades interrupting a common route, referring to how the elements of the protest scene in Hong Kong had become a landscape that was representing and at the same time devouring the city. Furthermore, the barricade-installation was designed to be in a blue-dye spotlight every ten minutes, putting the performers as well as visitors who wandered in into a kind of trance.
Despite having physically repositioned to the city of Zurich, the group was very much in the middle of the movement, a place where intelligible communication seemed rather ineffective. Between politics and art, between fiction and reality, between collective and individual, between right and wrong, before self and others, where did Boudai12 stand? where did each of the members stand? – What is respect? What are the restrictions? What is personal? How do we know? What is democracy? Where is love? Whose story? Where is the dialogue? What is art in times like this? Where do we go from here? – One needs distance to be able to see clearly, but distance was not an option for the moment, at least not for Boudai12.
Boudai12 is a collective exploring the possibilites of the political future, political engagement and the aesthetics of social movements. They were brought together by a shared drive to search for a deeper understanding of what has been happening in the exceptional political situation in Hong Kong. In times like this, solidarity becomes more important than individual expression, thus the group attempts to merge their distinct perspectives into a collective coherence.