Hong Kong Program: Exodus of nowhere. Episode one
3 Apr, 2014 (Thu.) 7pm – 9pm
After the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China, the identity of the people of Hong Kong has grown stronger. A lot of small groups and organisations have sprung up and are proposing policy changes (Leung 31). A growing number of Hong Kong artists are choosing to engage in social issues by expanding their art practices into the public sphere since the Star Ferry Pier (2006) and Queen’s Pier (2007) movements (Leung 38) . This has become an important feature of Hong Kong Art since the handover (Lau). Some artists are not just making political art but are also involving communities during the production process to generate more impact.
“Exodus of nowhere. Episode one” is one of the examples. It addresses the immigration issue in the pre-1997 period, and many people still find the issue inspiring, as conflicts among people of different origins are still a major issue in Hong Kong and in the world. The process of video production is democratic and it involves ordinary people. A reflective approach has been adopted to explore the socially migration issue. The artists’ own family histories have also been traced. The artistic experimentation of style has provided room for imagination. The work is critical and touching and has successfully brought an awareness of the issue. The interaction between the audience and the artists after screening is also important, as it leads the viewers to have further understanding and discussion of the issue.
Lau, Kin Wah. “本土與當代 – 後後九七的香港社會與藝術行動” [“Local and contemporary – post-post-1997 Hong Kong society and artistic action”], mMK on arts, culture and politics. Web 14 Oct. 2012. <http://minimuseumvonkaspar.blogspot.com>.
Leung, Po Shan. “Nation-State, Locality and the Marketplace: The Multiple Art Worlds in Hong Kong.” Hong Kong Eye: Contemporary Hong Kong Art. Ed. Chang Tsong-Zung & Serenella Ciclitira. Italy: Sk Editore, 2012. 31-43. Print.
Curator: Phoebe Chingying MAN
Exodus of nowhere is a series of works concerning the relationships between the grassroots people and borders. Episode one would be screened in this video festival.
Prologue: capital globalization adores the free global flows and connections, declaring that we are living in a world without borders. However, the so-called “free flow” only belongs to capital agglomeration, the flow is far less easy on and free for the grassroots people. The flow for grassroots always comes along with numerous barriers and casualties. Ethnic conflicts have led to an infinite number of tragedies in history. Unfortunately, tragedies seem to have repeated themselves, over and over again. Can this spell ever be broken? The three people who made this film are trying to find a trace, by looking into small family histories and grand narration of human migration.
The water is wide: recently conflicts evolving around issues of “migration” and “locality” have been furious in Hong Kong. It seems that these two can only be to a pair of confrontation. “The water is wide” tells the story of the very first of these serious conflicts, which involves the right of abode of children of Hong Kong citizens who were born in Mainland China before the 1997 handover. At the 14th anniversary of the National People’s Conference the Basic Law regarding the right of abode was interpreted. We look back at this story and seek a standing point for a human being.