All posts filed under: Blog 2015

Transcultural Collaboration 2015

New Graduate-Level Educational Format in the Arts based in Hong Kong: Transcultural Collaboration 2015 A project of Zurich University of the Arts, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, City University of Hong Kong/School of Creative Media, China Academy of Art/School of Intermedia Art/Hangzhou and Taipei National University of the Arts In 2015 we are launching a pioneering transcultural and cross-disciplinary educational format called “Transcultural Collaboration” for graduate students of all art and design disciplines. Selected students from the involved partner institutions will have the possibility to study for one semester within this specific program, which will be based mainly in Hong Kong. General Content „Transcultural Collaboration“ The basis of the project is the need for a discussion and understanding of “globalization” and its emerging questions and issues. It is obvious that globalization is not only about expanding production, consumption and communication, but also implies the problems and potentials of differentiation and distinction, of provoking otherness, of different forms of cultural evolution and blending, or of influencing power structures. The programme has two central characteristics that …

Lecture Björn Beneditz – Deichkind

Deichkind is one of the most successful German hip-hop collectives. They have created a very unique hip-hop language and stage appearance and celebrate very consequently a particular approach, where they use elements of improvisation, overstatement and appropriation. Björn Beneditz one of the scenographic directors showed us their artistic process from 2000 till today and gave us an impression on the bands artistic strategies.

Lecture Eisa Jocson

Eisa Jocson is interested in the particular body language of male and female pool- and striptease dancers. The artist-dancer searches with her very precise choreographies the fine lines in between male or female connotations and stereotypes. In her lecture she gave us an insight in her artistic work.

Getting old in Hong Kong

To explore a culture one can start with the question about local people growing older and the way they are treated by their surrounding. Our group, consisting of Mayumi ARAI, SUN Shih-Ting and Tobias Fandel, was seeking for some impressions about this matter by interviewing various elderly people in the streets, inside a retirement home, on a cemetery, in a park and even in a taxi.

Gestures of Waiting

Note what you see and hear, using your own disciplinary method and the ones of your group members. In the end, everyone will have a couple of observations, noted in both professional and amateur ways.
All group members analysed the material together and determined one aspect of the material as a focus/topic for the next steps. This topic is “gestures of waiting”.


Our research on humor started in an excessive demand by the city itself. As we tried to find something humorous in a metropole that seems to be driven by anything else than that we were confronted with the idea of creating our own funny moments.
So we used escalators. The wrong way. We bought a lot of Bananas and an Eggplant. Carried them through the streets, took photos with ‚em. Watching how people react, exploring what the banana does to us, how the eggplant makes us feel.

The Great Pretender

Exploring the stylish side of Zürich we visited places like the „Letten“, „Idaplatz“ and „Bullingerplatz“ to interview people about their reasons for being there, their opinions on different looks and corresponding prejudices on people around them. To our surprise it turned out that many of the interviewed people criticized their environment and didn’t openly identify themselves directly with their style nor the place. It seemed like they were just pretending to be as they were by chance.

The Hidden and Essential Women of HK

With more than 300,00 foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, Their Roles in Households have far-reaching social, economical and cultural impact. We set out into the streets of Hong Kong to speak with them and Their Employment agencies. Behind a veil of a seemingly undervalued lab class, we discovered a convoluted situation did grapples with many elusive social issues.

Time. On Benches.

Starting from the topics streetlife, empty spaces and public space, we find out that: „The biggest crime in Zurich is sitting on a bench doing nothing“. We wondered what people do on benches and how long they’re staying there. So we filmed benches in different places.
Questions that came along were: Are you waiting or spending your time? Who has a lot of time? Are you the audience or an actor when sitting on a bench?

Galoppe…Kreuz…legs up!

In the frame of our research we made a series of experiments in deconstructing the formal elements of Swiss dance we had learned. This procedure revealed to us, how much Swiss dance – often used for the representation of swiss national identity – has always been inspired by foreign cultures, as it is actually hugely constructed by steps borrowed from German, Austrian, Eastern European dances.

Transcultural Encounters, Transnational Feminisms: Women Media Activists and the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong

Lecturer by Gina Marchetti
Professor at the Department of Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement, calling for a more open procedure for vetting candidates for its first exercise in universal suffrage in the election of its Chief Executive in 2017, does not have an explicit “feminist” agenda. However, initial research shows that over fifty percent of participants in the movement are female. Although underrepresented in visible leadership roles and in media reports on the demonstrations, women have played an essential part in all aspects of the movement. Moreover, they suffered from sexual harassment by counter-demonstrators intent on intimidating them and infringing on their right to public assembly. …

The Objectification of a Summer in Zurich

It was quite a surprise for chinese students that swimming being such an important part in everyday life of people in Zurich. We focused on objects that relate to swimming culture in Zurich.
The research material consists of a lot of photographies of objects lying around at Zurichs swimming spots and sounds recorded from some of the spots. The group decided to use the form of short looping film to exhibit the outcome of the researching topic.

It’s hard to dig a hole

„It’s hard to dig a hole. We wanted to dig a hole. As a common experience with people we don’t know. So we did. We had a hard job. The ground was much harder than expected, fast as stone. The first impressions : excitement, we are at night, on this huge place that belongs to us for a while, shouting, energy, desire, impatience.

The lights of the city surrounded us.
The place is a special art place.
It’s hard to dig a hole.

Cosmopolitan Rhapsody – Transcultural Tendencies in the Music Video Genre

Lecture by Prof. Jörg Scheller
Curator and Head of BA Photography, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland

In 1995, Lev Manovich wrote: „The genre of music video has been a laboratory“. While Manovich dealt with music videos as a „constantly expanding textbook for digital cinema“, this talk will focus on transcultural aesthetics, symbols, and narratives in the audiovisual laboratories of pop culture – from sophisticated to decidedly non-sophisticated ones, from underground to mainstream, from American heavy metal to Ghanaian gospel porn rap. In place of an overview, the genre itself, this hybrid of various media – film, music, text –, will be portrayed as a genius loci for transculturality.

Transculturality in the Arts

Lecture by Roger M. Buergel
Curator; Curator Documenta 12, Director Johan Jacobs Museum Zurich

The migration of form
Certain things can be regarded as prisms in which the world reveals itself in the play of their global refractions. Seventeenth-century Persian ceramics, for instance, which imitate Chinese porcelain. Or the „Black Madonnas“ that travelled to Haiti with Polish mercenaries at the end of the 18th century.
Objects like these need to be regarded in a way that places less emphasis on their discreteness than on their place in the design of things: they are parts of a historical and political network of relations. This relational network – a tableau comprising colonial wars, Oriental fantasies, a genuine love of special items and trading monopolies – has still to be examined in depth.

Artist – Subject – Politics

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Jörg Huber

Cultural Theory
One of the most unsettling challenge in the experience of transculturality is the task of self-awareness. As a consequence quite a number of fundamental questions and problems arise concerning the terms and phenomenon of the individual, subject, person, artist or author… in the context of global politics. The lecture will expose some aspects and questions as “the subject between west and east”; “the self and identity”; “the individual, power and politics”; “the artist as a migrant” etc.