Ideas of time and duration, questioning the futility and fruits of human endeavour were addressed by leading contemporary artists through a series of daily on-site performances with challenging examination of the exhaustive state of perpetual busy-ness and the act of counting down.
Art Central’s Performance Programme is held in Partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, interrupting the hum of the art fair with performances by internationally acclaimed artists.
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 presented I am tired with you – a piece that is fundamentally anchored in the traditions of print-making. The artist opened 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, audience members were 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 formed a palimpsest of mark-making on the painted surface, creating a collective mind map of the audiences’ thoughts on the subject.
The Authentic Quality: HK
Expanding on a previous project, Korean artist Minja Gu was commissioned to set up a restaurant-cum-exhibition-cum-relational aesthetics project in the art fair, where she adopted 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 sought to mimic contorted media and commercial imagery in pursuit of perfection – an act that takes much longer than the prescribed two minutes. Having never travelled to Hong Kong, Gu used the cooking platform to understand the unfamiliar ingredients, politics and processes of the city.
Care Disfigurements (flowers)
Sydney-based Samoan writer and performer Brian Fuata was commissioned to present his signature ‘ghost’ performance – a living series that considers the images of ghosts through a durational performance. An actor and artist, Fuata infuses deadpan humour with performance routines, combining bed sheets and mineral water in a clever cocktail that travels through the entire emotional, artistic and entertainment spectrum. The performance traversed the fair, engaging with works from booth to booth, providing visual stimuli for his evolving poetry.
Siu Lan Ko
New Territories Old Territories
Canada-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 transition period, 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.
About 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art fosters excellence and innovation in contemporary Asian and Australian culture through research, documentation, development, discussion and presentation of contemporary visual art. Operating since 1996 from a base in Sydney, Australia, 4A’s aim is to ensure contemporary visual art plays a central role in understanding the dynamic relationship between Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
4A has a distinctive approach to addressing Australia’s cultural diversity through a dynamic program including local and international exhibitions, public programs, workshops, seminars, symposiums and community activities. These have been recognised locally and internationally as having raised awareness of Asian-Australian art and culture and Australia’s place in the Asia-Pacific region.