PERFORMANCE X 4A
Entering the fifth year of partnership with Art Central, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Sydney) returns in 2019 with a curated performance programme featuring four interactive and live works by leading contemporary artists from across the Asia-Pacific region.
Ideas of time and duration, questioning the futility and fruits of human endeavour are all addressed by leading contemporary artists through a series of daily on-site performances, interrupting the hum of the fair, with challenging examination of the exhaustive state of perpetual busy-ness and the act of counting down. The participating artists are: Bettina Fung (Hong Kong/United Kingdom), Brian Fuata (Australia), Minja Gu (Korea) and Siu Lan Ko (Hong Kong/ Canada).
I am tired with you
Best known for her performative drawing practice that invites collaboration from the audience, Hong Kong born British-Chinese artist Bettina Fung will present I am tired with you – a piece that is fundamentally anchored in the traditions of print-making. The artist opens the performance with a plate filled with heavy-duty pigment before layering a piece of paper on top. As the paper adheres to the paint, members of the audience are invited to play the role of the printing press by writing, walking and conversing about a contemporary culture of busyness, sharing their reflections on fatigue and labour relations, while simultaneously contemplating possibilities of “non-doing”. Each of these audience interventions forms a palimpsest of mark making on the painted surface, creating a collective mind map of the audiences’ thoughts on the subject.
Expanding on a previous project, Korean artist Minja Gu has been commissioned to set up a restaurant-cum-exhibition-cum-relational aesthetics project in an art fair setting, where she adopts the persona of a cooking infomercial personality, using the ubiquitous two-minute noodle packet as a tool to prompt conversational exchange about food culture and societal pressure to conform. Through the performance, the artist seeks to mimic contorted media and commercial imagery in a pursuit of perfection – an act that takes much longer than the prescribed two minutes. Having never travelled to Hong Kong, Gu will use this cooking platform to understand the unfamiliar ingredients, politics and processes of the city – something which she hopes fellow sympathisers at the fair will help her navigate.
Sydney-based Samoan, writer and performer Brian Fuata has been commissioned to present his signature ‘ghost’ performance – a living series that considers the images of ghosts through a durational performance. Both an actor and artist, Fuata infuses dead pan humour with performance routines, combining bed sheets and mineral water in a clever cocktail that travels through the entire emotional, artistic and entertainment spectrum. This performance will traverse the fair, engaging with works from booth to booth, providing visual stimuli for his evolving poetry.
Siu Lan Ko
New Territories Old Territories
Canadian-based Hong Kong artist Siu Lan Ko creates text-based installations and durational performances that examine ideas of space, geography and nationhood. Drawing inspiration from cylindrical prayer wheels found in temples, the work, both a performance piece and an interactive sculpture, takes the format of three large spindles, each printed with words that describe the political trajectory of Hong Kong. As audiences interact with them, they form evolving sentences that reflect the continuously developing relationship between Hong Kong and China; “Hong Kong is Hong Kong”, “Hong Kong is China”, “Hong Kong isn’t China”, “China is Hong Kong”. Reflecting on Hong Kong’s 50-year period of transition, Siu Lan Ko invites Hong Kong performance artists to activate the installation with her in innovative ways that test the boundaries of duration, politics and performance. Visitors will also be invited to turn the spindles and consider their ideas of Hong Kong, now and into the future.