Author: Franziska Meierhofer

Final Exhibition 2018!

We had a blast at the final exhibition 講咗/冇講 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN of this year’s TC programme! 31 young international artists presented their collaborative experiments whose overarching interest concerned expression beyond, beneath and between words. Much gratitude to everyone—from kids and students up to VIPs, grandpas and curious strangers—who cared to come over, share and experience our work. For more insight into the daily collaborations please check out our individual group portraits here and in case you want to learn more about the works themselves visit the groups’ own process documentation under Work > Hong Kong. Now, some impressions of a memorable evening…

Everyone has a story worth telling (Part 3/3)

A conversation in three parts with Professor Petula Sik Ying Ho, Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. Next to being an educator, Ho is an author, researcher and videographer specialised in gender and sexuality qualitative research and cross-cultural comparative studies. The interview was broadly based on Ho’s lecture for TC participants titled “Alternative Knowledge Processes for Transcultural Collaboration”.  Among numerous other activities, you also organised a project for female social activists making use of performance. The result was the display or, to some extent, reenactment of „the most empowered and injured moments in ten women’s public life“. What was your intention behind this project? For me, performative practice is yet another way of reaching out to a different audience. I believe that performance-based work is an important tool to disseminate research findings. It is a way of educating people and sharing the stories of Hong Kong women. The very first theatre performance I ever produced—titled Sex, Love and Hope: Ho Style and using much of the story material …

Everyone has a story worth telling (Part 2/3)

A conversation in three parts with Professor Petula Sik Ying Ho, Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. Next to being an educator, Ho is an author, researcher and videographer specialised in gender and sexuality qualitative research and cross-cultural comparative studies. The interview was broadly based on Ho’s lecture for TC participants titled “Alternative Knowledge Processes for Transcultural Collaboration”.  For the research project Be a Man you interviewed several middle-aged, middle-class men and talked to them about moral behaviour in intimate relationship. In how far did they react differently compared to the women you’ve talked to? Indeed, they behave differently and I already expected that. That is why I used another method to approach them. I wondered how I could create an environment where they’d feel more comfortable and natural than just one-on-one with a female researcher. Hence, I created the pair-stranger-interview and paired two guys that hadn’t known each other before. I wanted to see how they behave in a shared context like this, how they make sense …

Everyone has a story worth telling (Part 1/3)

A conversation in three parts with Professor Petula Sik Ying Ho, Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. Next to being an educator, Ho is an author, researcher and videographer specialised in gender and sexuality qualitative research and cross-cultural comparative studies. The interview was broadly based on Ho’s lecture for TC participants titled “Alternative Knowledge Processes for Transcultural Collaboration”.  Petula Sik Ying Ho, thank you so much for having me here in your office at HKU. I would like to base our conversation on three major projects that you introduced during your inspiring lecture for our programme. The first one will be the Second Spring project in the course of which you delved into the intimate lives, fantasies and desires of middle-aged Hong Kong housewives. How did you approach the research? Qualitative research is first and foremost about in-depth, ethnographic interviews. I’ve always used recorded interviews as a main research tool but at some point, I felt that video taping would broaden the work. Therefore, I hired a creative media …

A day with Yuanyang Bao, Peitao Chen, Wen Qing Kwek and Xiaoli Liu

For the third and last phase of this year’s programme, individual portraits of the current groups are published in order to give a glimpse into the day-to-day collaborations, convey the intensity of the work process and sketch the interplay between the individual and the collective. Today we present a conversation about the work of Yuanyang Bao (visual communication design), Peitao Chen (visual communication design), Wen Qing Kwek (fine arts/painting), Xiaoli Liu (intermedia art/curation) the result of which was presented in the final group exhibition 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on the 24th November 2018. For your third project you all went into a completely new artistic medium: performance. I would like to know more about how it felt for you expand your own fields and how you went about it. Kwek: It was indeed very different and I learnt a lot from the process. We basically started off from zero. As we all have a rather visual background we’re used to planning. But with performance, we realised, it’s helpful to plan less and rehearse more. …

A day with: Simona Bischof, Vivian Chan, Silas Kutschmann, Mei Ting Spencer Poon, Miley Mei Yan Wong, Sir Meng Yau

For the third and last phase of this year’s programme, individual portraits of the current groups are published in order to give a glimpse into the day-to-day collaborations, convey the intensity of the work process and sketch the interplay between the individual and the collective. Today we present a day in the work of Simona Bischof (art education), Vivian Chan (music/piano), Silas Kutschmann (music/pop), Mei Ting Spencer Poon (fine arts/video), Miley Mei Yan Wong (cinematic design/digital art) and Sir Meng Yau (fine arts) the result of which was presented in the final group exhibition 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on the 24th November 2018. This effervescent group whose members also happen to have built close friendships amongst each other in the course of the past four months found itself initially a bit divided as to what path to pursue: an installation or a performative project. It was not least for the friendships that some of them had hesitated asking themselves whether they should even work together and wondered whether their good relationships would withstand the …

A day with: Jiaming August Liao, Star Sijia Liu, Claudio Rainolter and Jingying Zhang

For the third and last phase of this year’s programme, individual portraits of the current groups are published in order to give a glimpse into the day-to-day collaborations, convey the intensity of the work process and sketch the interplay between the individual and the collective. Today we present a day in the work of Jiaming August Liao, Sijia Star Liu, Claudio Rainolter and Jingying Zhang the result of which was presented in the final group exhibition 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on the 24th November 2018. It’s already the third time in a row that Jiaming August Liao (Hong Kong based), Claudio Rainolter (Zurich based) and Jingying Zhang (Taipei based) decided to work together. Liu (Hong Kong based) has joined them only for this last project. She wanted to work in different constellations throughout the programme in order to gain a varied understanding of what transdisciplinary collaboration could look like. She says she’s learnt a lot from the experience, however, feels like most of it is going to reverberate for a while before she …

A day with: Keng Chen, Wen-Chi Liu, Nikolai Prawdzic, Dino Radoncic, Nathalie Stirnimann and Stefan Stojanovic

For the third and last phase of this year’s programme, individual portraits of the current groups are published in order to give a glimpse into the day-to-day collaborations, convey the intensity of the work process and sketch the interplay between the individual and the collective. Today we present a day in the work of Keng Chen (fine arts/performance), Wen-Chi Liu (writing/fine arts/performance), Nikolai Prawdzic (dramaturgy/theatre), Dino Radoncic (design/performance), Nathalie Stirnimann (fine arts/performance) and Stefan Stojanovic (fine arts/performance) the result of which will be presented in the final group exhibition 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on the 24th November 2018. It’s a warm and cloudy day and as I get ready for my afternoon with another one of the programme’s collaboration teams, a message by Keng Chen appears on my screen: „Can you go to 32D? We meet there to eat together.“ Of course I can. As soon as the elevator doors opens with a cheeky dingdong on the 32nd floor of our high-rise home in the Hung Hom area, I hear Nathalie Stirnimann’s warm …

A day with: Yu Rainie Liu, José Eduardo Yépez Pino and Xinyun Juliana Zhu

For the third and last phase of this year’s programme, individual portraits of the current groups are published in order to give a glimpse into the day-to-day collaborations, convey the intensity of the work process and sketch the interplay between the individual and the collective. Today we present a day in the work of Yu Rainie Liu (art management/theatre making), José Eduardo Yépez Pino (electroacoustic composition/guitar), Xinyun Juliana Zhu (choreography/dance) the result of which will be presented in the final group exhibition 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on the 24th November 2018. I visit the smallest of the collaboration groups on a mild and sunny afternoon in the campus’ spacious garden front (with the most stunning view onto the urban landscape). They’ve installed some sort of hyperdimensional spiderweb out of dark green ropes. Xinyun Juliana Zhu is lying perfectly still and face down on the grass with her body being held by the ropes, José Eduardo Yépez Pino is standing bent over his musical equipment working the mixer and Yu Rainie Liu alertly watches …

Transcultural Collaboration presents… 講咗/冇講 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN

Welcome to our final exhibition! 31 young international artists present their experiments whose overarching interest concerns expression beyond, beneath and between words. >> FB-EVENT The one-day happening conveys artistic strategies that deal with implicit and explicit expression. By creating spaces of ambiguity, gaps, cracks, traces and tensions, the entanglement of SPOKEN/UNSPOKEN poses an intriguing playground. One that turns out to be a fruitful prism through which a myriad of topics can be looked at, thought about and reflected. The group show will be followed by a dinner buffet and a closing party for the fun-loving folks. For the fourth year running, our international semester programme gathered graduate students from 7 art universities from East Asia and Europe and a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds. After 14 weeks of experiments with a collaborative approach—including a two-week exhibition at McaM Museum in Shanghai—the 31 participants of this year’s edition are proud to present the results of their third and final working phase here in Hong Kong. PROGRAMME 4.30PM WELCOME DRINK AT MAIN ENTRANCE 5.00PM FORBIDDEN FRUIT …

A day with: Florian Geisseler, Mengying Li, Joel Schoch and Anbang Wang

For the third and last phase of this year’s programme, individual portraits of the current groups are published in order to give a glimpse into the day-to-day collaborations, convey the intensity of the work process and sketch the interplay between the individual and the collective. Today we present a day in the work of Florian Geisseler (film), Mengying Li (photography/graphic design), Joel Schoch (music composition) and Anbang Wang (drama) the result of which will be presented in the final group exhibition 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on the 24th November 2018. On Baptist University’s Kai Tak Campus. I’m waiting on the grass-covered lot below the steep steps leading up to the premises’ main building and overgrown by the roots and branches of an old Banyan. Just a stone’s throw away is an eight-lane highway but up here one can hear the little sparrow-like birds who look like punks with their cocked feather helmets pointing from the head upwards. Sometimes a squirrel rustles through the shrubs and there is a remarkable amount of butterflies as …

A day with: Diego Kohn, Leonard So, Marco Spitzbarth & Ingjerd Ytterdal Holten

For the third and last phase of this year’s programme, individual portraits of the current groups are published in order to give a glimpse into the day-to-day collaborations, convey the intensity of the work process and sketch the interplay between the individual and the collective. Today we present a day in the work of Diego Kohn (composition/performance), Leonard Kai Fung So (fine arts/theory), Marco Spitzbarth (fine arts/digital art) and Ingjerd Ytterdal Holten (fine arts/painting) the result of which will be presented in the final group exhibition 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on the 24th November 2018. The foursome started off its collaboration with an unusually long and daring day hike up to Suicide Cliff that—as all of them affirmed later on—was a rocksolid base for their further group work. Since this physically and psychologically demanding take-off, they’ve developed on the work realised by three of them during the Shanghai phase. Mass Prey had dealt with the dominant, even spiritual role that mass consumerism has come to play in today’s society. For the running phase, …

Moods

Back in Hong Kong! For many of us, it feels more like home now. Communication is a bit easier. Getting around as well. Temperatures are mild. But more than that, it’s the establishing of daily rhythms that creates the feeling, eating at the same dumpling place again and the fact that streets, corners and spaces slowly interweave with our own stories. Last but not least, the continuous togetherness. Here we are again. All photos by Florian Geisseler.

Rooting in Hangzhou

Our partner departments at the China Academy of Art proved to be excellent hosts and did everything they could to give us a diverse insight into the school, the local culture and the surroundings. In the free time, many of us were eager to venture a bit out and into nature after the Shanghai countdown with all its taxi rides, online orders and endless concrete fly-over highways. All photos by Florian Geisseler.

说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN revisited

On October 20, a calm and cloudy Saturday afternoon in the former industrial area in the north of Shanghai saw more and more people gathering in front of an abandoned villa belonging to our partner and exhibition host Ming Contemporary Art Museum (McaM). 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN (20/10-4/11/2018) opened in the main foyer with a captivating sound performance created by José Eduardo Yepez Pino and Silas Kutschmann and some warm words of welcome by Nuria Krämer (curator and member of TC’s leading team). In the air were relief and excitement. The preceding days had resembled a true marathon as the artists had all been unfamiliar with the location and faced the challenge of appropriating the villa’s empty spaces and setting up their installations and performances within a very short period of time. The villa’s three floors including its patios, balconies and surrounding garden had been transformed and brought to life by the art works. The premises were brimming with curious visitors and a remarkable number of local students. The amount of cameras in use on …

Preparing Shanghai

The whole group went into full-on focus mode during the days preceding our exhibition opening and performance event 说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN and turned the villa into a 24h work zone. In those busy days, Max Hanisch’s portable espresso maker was a silent but reliable supporter of the cause. Here are some behind-the-scene shots. Photos by Florian Geisseler and Franziska Meierhofer.

Riding Shanghai

With poor (read: inexistent) Mandarin skills, moving around in Shanghai (as well as ordering food or asking for the toilet) is not exactly a piece of cake. Hadn’t it been for our Chinese colleagues who gracefully helped everyone navigate through the megalopolis: some of us would probably still roam its overwhelming vastness today–fairly lost on some six-lane road, trying to catch a cab without getting run over by an electro-scooter, and, of course, with an amazingly clueless look on their faces. All photos by Florian Geisseler.

How can we be true in art?

A conversation with Fu Liaoliao, head of the curatorial department of Ming Contemporary Art Museum (McaM)—our partner, host and unique exhibition space for SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN in Shanghai. McaM is currently the only institution in China that is primarily dedicated to performance and live-based art. BUILDING A NON-EXCLUSIVE AUDIENCE Fu Liaoliao, how did you become passionate about performance? It began when I was studying in Paris for the last year of my degree in Art Management. Next to my studies, I was working as a journalist for a Chinese art magazine and published several interviews and articles on Festival d’Avignon. At the festival and beyond, I watched a lot of theatre pieces and was intrigued by the immediate physical encounter that you experience in live-based work. Moreover, I’ve found the possibility for engaging more people through the use of performance art because of the relationships it fosters. So since I started to work for McaM in 2015, we’ve placed our focus on performance, dance and theatre-related work. Recently you held a lecture in Singapore titled …

Facing Shanghai

TC core team member and Shanghai local Zhao Chuan took the group on a break from the intensive preparation for Saturday’s exhibition at McaM and and provided an insight into the diversity of the local art scene from underground to big shot. Literally underground is AM Art Space‘s location downtown—the first station of our tour. There, the group had the privilege to meet four local artists: Yu Ji, Coca (Dai Jian Yong), Gao Jie and Wu Meng. In the afternoon, the group gathered at the museum of contemporary art PSA (Power Station of Art) for a guided tour through the current exhibition as well as a talk by Shi Hantao, chief coordinator of the 2018 Shanghai Biennale. Photos by Florian Geisseler and Franziska Meierhofer.

“It’s not about your own idea.”

A conversation with artists Mayumi Arai and Nina Willimann who met in the first edition of Transcultural Collaboration in 2015. Throughout the past three years and despite being based as far apart as Zurich and Tokyo, they have continued to work together and have evolved their research and practice by exploring several fields of interest making use of a myriad of artistic means in the context of residency programs around the world. On October 20, they will be part of the exhibition opening and performance day SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN taking place in McaM’s villa in Shanghai. FINDING COMMON GROUND Can you share the story of why you started to collaborate? Mayumi: It started with the Transcultural Collaboration programme of the year 2015 in Zurich. We had to present three topics of personal interest. One of mine was Folk Dance. Soon after, it turned out that Nina had herself been very involved with the topic. Nina: Yes, that was the first connection. Then we undertook a shared research on Swiss Folk dance and co-realized a video …

说了/ 没说 : SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN Shanghai Opening and Performances

Opening & Performances: 20 October 2018 2:00 – 6:00 pm Panel Talk: 21 October 2018 2:00 pm Exhibition: 21 October – 4 November 2018 Address: McaM – 436 East Yonghe Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai   We cordially invite to the opening of SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN on 20 October 2018 (Saturday) starting at 2:00 pm at McaM’s villa for a vibrant day full of performances and installations developed by 36 young international artists. Performances will be taking place at different time slots between 2pm and 5:30pm.   The performances and exhibition consider and display questions of language, cultural codes and artistic strategies dealing with implicit and explicit expression. By creating spaces of ambiguity, gaps and tensions, the entanglement of SPOKEN / UNSPOKEN poses a fundamental conundrum. To delve into their interrelatedness, it is key to move beyond a binary perception of the two aspects. This can be achieved by unveiling their coexistence in daily life, in different cultures and, lastly, in the arts themselves.   In the two-week exhibition, 36 artists will present their collaborative explorations of the spoken and unspoken, the tangible and intangible, as …

Rooftop Debates

Renowned Hong Kong artist and social activist Kacey Wong welcomed the group to a sunset debate at his rooftop studio on Aberdeen Island. The evening encompassed discussions around the strength of art works, the differences in life style, attitude and methods between artists and designers as well as the potentials, challenges and illusions around “artivism”, local real estate values and the philosophy of Hong Kong’s black kites who can easily be admired from Wong’s terrace. All photos by Florian Geisseler.

Streaming the Trace

A conversation with Ian Woo, painter and program lead of MA Fine Arts at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore, based on his lecture for the TC participants.  THE MYSTERIOUS IN THE ABSTRACT Ian, the last slide you showed in your lecture was Saint-Exupéry’s elephant eaten by a boa constrictor. Was it meant as a metaphor for your artistic practice? The elephant in the snake represents a possibility for the evolution of physical shape. By eating the elephant, the snake has become a dinosaur. This, to me, shows one of many possibilities of transformation that we can dream about. As artists, we play with contradictions and with the „what if“. Your lecture was titled „Streaming the Trace“. What’s your notion of trace and streaming? Streaming generally designates the electronic transportation of information. But if we think of it rather in relation to a person’s body and mind, it speaks about how we cannot help but behave in an interplay with the space that we are in. In a fast urban space like Hong Kong’s …

Flesh and Stone

How precarious are the human and organic bodies in the concrete body of the city? How does the human scale still apply in a metropolis of the 21st century? What kind of strategies are developed by individuals to move through its tireless traffic and large-scale infrastructure? And what are the correlations between anonymity and density? All photos by Florian Geisseler.

The Threshold of Arrivals

“I am like a blind man here”, Wang told me with half a smile on the first day of the program in Zurich, when I sat down next to him. He was referring to the language barriers being a challenge to finding one’s way around in an unfamiliar place. Despite Hong Kong’s sophistication in regards to urban design and management of the huge number of people navigating through the city day by day (with the MTR connecting everyone in a speed and efficiency that leave Zurich’s chugging tramways far behind) I can relate to his experience much better since we’ve arrived at Victoria Harbour. Of course, blindness is meant here as a metaphor for an experience of foreignness. Sight (or rather the limitation of it) forms only one level of this experience when being confronted for example with countless street signs, billboards and menus written in Cantonese or Mandarin only. Sight as well as hearing point to the receptive level of the experience of strangeness. New arrivals see without insight and they listen without understanding. They bring …

Typhoon Mangkhut

On September 16, while we patiently waited inside for the black rain and violent winds of typhoon Mangkhut to pass – talking, cooking, painting and unpacking instruments all day – many of Hong Kong’s buildings, roads and trees faced severe destruction. The authorities had issued Hurricane Signal 10 for this strongest of this year’s tropical cyclones. Many of us had never experienced a storm of such force. All photos by Florian Geisseler.