《2013年12月至2014年3月的床下底放映會之回顧與感想》
'Review on the series of “Under The Bed” Screenings
from Dec 2013 to Mar 2014'

Please roll down for the English version

撰文:張嘉莉
By: Clara CHEUNG
1.4.2014


最近因創作緣故,翻看一些舊刊物。讀到1993年5月27日的星島日報副刊之「文藝氣象」的一篇文章:《由是想到…… 香港藝術的歷史夢》[1]。文章作者提到他去聽當年的藝術政策檢討的研論會,並講述其友人說,有關的政策檢討被形容為史無前例,實是誤會,其實在七十年代也有前人做過。可是,大家都忙於創新,十分善忘。書寫香港藝術歷史對於當時的作者來說只能是夢想。

二十年後的今天,形勢確有轉變:2005年有由內地作者朱琦書寫而不獲香港藝術界喜愛的《香港美術史》,另外本地近年也多了學者研究香港藝術的近代史,亞洲藝術文獻庫積極整全和分享亞洲地區的藝術文獻,而且也與香港藝術館合作,推動香港藝術歷史的書寫。但另一邊廂,資訊量之多也是史無前例,善忘的人也只會更加善忘。

有歷史的書寫,也不等於不會忘記,而忘記,也是有篩選地發生。

記憶體中,總會隱藏著一些好久不會打開,但捨不得完全刪除的東西。重點是,究竟在集體或個人的記憶體中之負空間是怎麼模樣?又,這負空間是如何被構成的?

C&G的「床下底」系列正是嘗試在黑洞中尋寶。

自去年12月,C&G在每月的第二個星期五黃昏(7-8:30pm)均舉辦「床下底」放映會,邀請視覺藝術家放映已擱置床下底的短片/ 錄像作品。至今,已辦了四次,參與的藝術家分別有鄧國騫、關尚智、馮美華及林嵐。除了錄像放映,還設有不少於半小時的討論環節。不同的「床下底」,都有不同的韻味,而因應不同藝術家的選材放映,觀眾也會被引進不同的思考和討論空間。

2013年12月,在C&G第一次舉辦的「床下底」放映會中,鄧國騫把「床下底」翻轉後,在放映會中公開了不少絕版珍藏的錄像作品(當中包括甜蜜的唱情歌片段)。他表示由於器材關係,他一般都會是有計劃地拍片,故較少即興的錄像作品。事實上,他上回展示的片段大都與他的身體有關,有不少更是他的行為之記錄,當中包括記錄他為自己設定許多顛覆常規的規條,例如:如何長期顛覆作息的時間與空間、如何雕琢自己的身體(用指甲箝為自己脫墨)等等。

在1月份邀請的是近年有較多錄像創作的藝術家:關尚智,他分享了十多年前與周俊輝合作舉辦的「周關聯喪」藝術展覽的記錄片段。當中在「周關聯喪」結束後他倆燒毀所有展覽品的一幕,從未公開播放,也連周俊輝本人亦未看過。影片播放後,C&G問及周關今天回顧時的感受,關尚智表示當年有機會與友人共同創作,確是十分難得。當時,因二人既是同學,又共同分享工作室,有很多時間共處、討論創作理念,故才有機會孕育出這合作作品。另一方面,這種充滿實驗性的創作方式,其實已很難在今天他的創作中找到。縱使討論同一議題,但由於藝術家本身對不同元素的拿捏技巧均會愈趨精準,作品的呈現總會跟從前的有很大差別。

2月14日情人節晚上,我們十分榮幸能邀請到藝術家馮美華(May FUNG),抽空在這與我們分享其「床下底」影片。出身自電影與錄像背景的馮美華,所展示的,明顯與修讀視藝出身的鄧國騫和關尚智有所不同。前兩者主要是使用錄像為記錄的媒介,而後者則是以錄像為創作的媒介,當中更有戲劇的元素。當天,她首先播出1999年製作的「灰姑娘與乞丐王子」(42分鐘),及後再播出3套較短的錄像作品(「花飛年華」(2001 年 7 分鐘)、「城市影象」(1990 年 10 分鐘)、「她說為何是我」(1989 年 9 分鐘))。

放映後,觀眾都十分踴躍提問,希望了解藝術家當時的創作心境。例如:在「灰」一片中,問及有關聲音的編排、運用陜少空間作背景的緣故、她當時是如何導演的、 她對片中常出現的周恩來、毛澤東、昂山素姖的看法,以及當年如何開始搜尋及運用不同的歷史影片作為創作元素等。感謝May Fung當天很有耐性地,縱使超時,仍與觀眾分享其創作歷程。當中, 分享到她於創作早期(70年代)已決心不用電視的剪接方式、討論有關“慾望”“著迷”的狀態,分享對周恩來的欣賞、談及其遇上一位一拍即合的演員等等。 對於觀眾來說,最高興是聽到言詞間,馮美華有可能會再做錄像創作。[2]

至於3月份放映會中,林嵐播出的短片也可說是以記錄為主,但也包括她的創作前以錄像作為草圖的錄像日記:短片分別是有關(1)1998年中文大學藝術系畢業展開幕暨頒獎典禮、(2) 記錄她在中文大學修讀碩士課程的創作及 (3) 兩段有關她於2007年時在紐約和加拿大駐場時的錄像日記和創作記錄。

林嵐分享到不少藝術朋友都大概認識她07年時在紐約駐場的作品[3],但對其創作前的思緒以及背後的體驗均未必清楚。她當時的作品是在紐約褔州人聚居的地方屹立的林則徐雕像加上一霓虹燈光環,名為《誰是英雄?》。而她放映的「錄像草圖」(video sketch),也就記錄了她在這小社區的見聞。「錄像草圖」沒有明顯的敍事脈絡,雖有兩小節是訪問在紐約的華人及福州人,不過其中一段因受訪者的福州口音,一般本地觀眾也未必聽得懂。但見拍攝人特意找尋有關褔州的符號,也感覺到那林則徐雕像產生的視覺烙印。再經林嵐解釋,就更了解到這雕像在她作品中之複雜寓意。原來林則徐像是於1997年開始正式被樹立在這社區,與鴉片戰爭、香港回歸都有關係。林嵐指出當時創作的其中一個動機是「要讓他們知道有福州人是做藝術家的。」生於褔州的她,有點像是在異鄉尋根。她說在紐約的褔州社區,比起現在的褔州更加「褔州」,或者說是更像那個她所認識的、七、八十年代時的褔州。而《誰是英雄?》這作品最終得以完成,實是有賴當地的褔州鄉里幫忙。英雄是誰?各有解讀。

另一齣關於林嵐在加國駐村的短片,也與「根」有關。短片紀錄了林嵐在樹木博物館(Tree Museum)的野外,把在大樹蔭下的小樹苗移植至,另一塊早前被其他駐村藝術家為了創作而移平的土地。林嵐強調要把小樹苗及它的鄰居一起移植,才是最好,而整個過程中,她的策展人都有指導與幫忙。移植的過程令她感同身受,想起自身從故鄉福州移居來港的一段經歷。 作品或許表面上只關注與環境、保育、批判藝術家濫用其身份和權力,但這壓根兒是很個人的故事。林嵐未有訴說其藝術可帶給觀眾甚麼甚麼,但十分肯定在藝術創作的過程中得著不少。她甚至認定她的許多作品其實都是「自私」的。以「自私」來形容,也許有點負面,但藝術家全情投入創作的每一細節,把其情感完全的注入,每每是造就動人作品之重要元素。

除了分享個人創作的駐腳,林嵐播出的1998年中大畢業暨頒獎典禮,也帶起現場觀眾一段有關本土藝術生態發展的討論,從「想當年」討論到當年藝術系畢業生的出路,與今日狀況的比較等。林嵐慨嘆,正當大家都在追寫50至70年代的香港藝術歷史時,80至90年代的一段也是令人擔憂的。

總體來說,鄧國騫的「床下底」片段既憂鬱、深沉,又充滿甜思,在日常生活空間裡出其不意地去推動觀眾反思,而「周關聯喪」記錄片則以嘻笑怒罵的形式,測試當代藝術展覽形式的底線、反諷藝術體制。馮美華的分享帶領觀眾細味“慾望” 和“著迷”的狀態,及回想八九十年代的創作環境。林嵐展示她以錄像作草圖,記錄自己創作前的思考過程,在漂泊迷茫中順勢而行。

4月11日,C & G「床下底」放映會邀請到畢業於廣州美術學院的年輕香港藝術家:黃榮臻,讓我們比較一下,在國內接受寫實藝術風格薰陶的年輕藝術家之「床下底」影片,又會否有另一番韻味!? (4月放映會 詳情﹣﹣https://www.facebook.com/events/627530080656275/


林嵐在2014年3月「床下底」放映會展示影片。 "Under the Bed" Screening with Jaffa Lam in Mar,2014.





馮美華在2014年2月「床下底」放映會展示影片。 "Under the Bed" Screening with May FUNG in Feb,2014.




關尚智在2014年1月「床下底」放映會展示影片。 "Under the Bed" Screening with KWAN Sheung Chi in Jan,2014.







"Review on the series of 'Under The Bed' Screenings from Dec 2013 to Mar 2014"

Due to an art project, I recently had a chance to go through many old newspapers, and found a Chinese article dated 27th May, 1993 from Sing Tao News. Its title can be literally translated as, “From here to … the dream of Hong Kong Art History.” [1] The writer of this article went to a seminar reviewing Hong Kong Art Policy in 1993, and heard from a friend that it was a mistake to claim this kind of discussion was absolutely revolutionary. According to this friend, this had been done in the 1970s also. Being too busy to renovate, everyone easily forgot about everything though. To have Hong Kong art history written was a like dream to this writer in 1993.

Twenty years after, our situation is a bit different. In 2005, a mainland writer, Zhu Qi published “Hong Kong Art History,” despite the fact that it did not earn much applause from Hong Kong artists. In the meanwhile, more and more local academics conduct research projects about Hong Kong art history in the modern and contemporary periods. Asia Art Archive (AAA) has done a lot of works on archiving and sharing contemporary art materials in the Asian region, and also has launched a Hong Kong art history pilot project, in collaboration with The Hong Kong Museum of Modern Art. However, on the other hand, the amount of information being generated nowadays is incomparable from the past. Those who tend to forget easily would basically forget even faster.

To have our history being written does not automatically suggest that we do not forget, and to forget certainly involves a selective process.

Certain elements in our memory would always sit idle, but never get deleted. The most interesting is to see how these elements in our individual or collective memory’s negative space look like, and how such negative space is formulated.

The “Under The Bed” series of C&G is a treasure hunt in the dark hole.

Since last December, C&G has launched an “Under The Bed” screening session on the 2nd Friday evening every month at 7pm. We have invited visual artists to show video works they made long time ago, but, for various reasons, have not been shown in public. In the previous four months, participating artists include TANG Kwok Hin, KWAN Sheung Chi, May FUNG and Jaffa LAM. After screening is a 30-minute discussion and sharing session. Different artists would have very different selection for their “Under The Bed” screening, and, therefore, also generate different kinds of atmosphere for contemplation and discussion.

In December, 2013, during the first "Under the Bed" screening, artist, TANG Kwok Hin, turned over his bed and brought to us a series of precious video works of his (including video of himself singing a love song). TANG said he usually would plan in advance for shooting, since he did not have smart phone until recently. In fact, many of the videos shown in the screening are about his body, with the artist's presence in the video. For example, there are video documentations about how the artist reverts his body clock, how he swaps spaces for resting and working, how he sculpts his body by removing a mole on his arm etc.

On the Valentine’s evening, we were very happy to have May FUNG sharing her previous works with us. With her film and video art background, May FUNG showed video works that were quite different from TANG and KWAN in the previous two sessions. While the works by TANG and KWAN mainly used video for documentation, FUNG’s treated video more as a creative medium itself. Some of her works even involve actresses and theatre elements. Four videos were shown in a roll in February’s screening. The first one was “When Cinderella meets the Prince and Pauper” from 1999 (42 mins). Then she showed 3 shorter pieces: an interview of the first Hong Kong female taxi driver from 2001 (7 mins), and two older pieces from 1990 and 1989 addressing the social issues, the history and identity of Hong Kong with her artistic languages.

Audience had many questions for the artist afterward. All were eager to learn about how these video pieces were made back then. Some questions were about the technical arrangement of sounds, while other asked about the usage of narrow space and various historical footages in the video, about how May directed or interacted with the actress, and about her opinion of the historical figures in her video: Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Aung San Suu Kyi. After all, everyone wishes May FUNG will make more new video pieces in the near future! (For anyone interested, here is a Chinese review by LEUNG Po Shan about two screenings in Hong Kong in February by May Fung and Ming Wong: [2].

In March, videos shown by Jaffa Lam are mainly documentaries also, including her video diary, which was considered as her sketches before her art projects: (1) a short clip from the opening ceremony of the graduation show of Chinese University’s Art Department in 1998, (2) a clip showing her works when she was studying MFA, (3) and two video dairy and documentation of her residency in New York and Canada in 2007.

In January 2014, we invited KWAN Sheung Chi, who has made many video artworks recently, to share the video documentation of the joint art exhibit of CHOW Chun Fai and himself: "Joint Funeral of Chow & Kwan" from more than a decade ago. Part of the video about the two artists burning all the exhibited works in end of the exhibit was never shown before, and not even watched by CHOW Chun Fai himself. After the screening, C&G asks the two artists' feelings nowadays when reviewing this collaborative work. KWAN says it was a precious opportunity to work with CHOW. The two were classmates and shared the same studio back then. Therefore, they could spend a lot of time together discussing thoughts about art and even making art together. In fact, the experimental style appeared in that art exhibit would be difficult to re-appear in their art-works nowadays. Addressing the same issue, the artists nowadays, with more sophisticated techniques, would of course develop artworks quite differently.

Many of Jaffa’s friends probably know about her art project during her residency in New York. However, not many would know about the process behind and how this concept evolved at the first place. Jaffa’s work, titled “Who is the hero?”, was to add a neon light halo for the memorial sculpture of LIN Zexu in the Fuzhou community in New York city. Her “video sketch” documented what she observed and heard in this small community. There was not a straightforward narrative throughout the video, but audience can sense that the artist was constantly searching for signs about Fuzhou and the sculpture of LIN Zexu generated an important visual impact. Jaffa further explained that this sculpture was established in 1997 in this community, and was related to the Opium war and the handover of Hong Kong. One of the objectives of this project for Jaffa, who was born in Fuzhou, was to let the community realize that there are Fuzhou people working as artists. Instead of the current Fuzhou in Mainland China, New York’s Fuzhou community feels more like “Fuzhou” to Jaffa, since this community has kept many cultural signs from the 70’s and 80’s Fuzhou. The realization of “Who is the hero?” relied on the help from this community. In the end, the question “Who is the hero?” remains to be an open questions for different readers to decipher.

Another video shared by Jaffa was from her residency in the “Tree Museum” in Canada. It was also a reflection of her “root.” Her project was to transplant some tree seedlings, which were originally growing under the big trees’ shade, to a bare land. Ironically, the existence of this bare land was due to an art project by another artist in residence. Jaffa emphasized the neighbors of the seedlings also must be moved together. This transplanting process, more or less, was a reflection of her migration to Hong Kong. Jaffa said that most audience often refers her artworks as commentaries to environmental issues. However, the urgency for her art-making is mostly about herself. She is not sure if she can help bring out any messages through her works, but she is certain that she has learnt and earned a lot through the making of art.

Besides the footnotes of her artworks, Jaffa LAM also showed video form from 1998 at Chinese University’s Art Department. It in turn brought up many issues about contemporary art ecology in Hong Kong. While the history from the 50s to 70s is being written at the moment, the stories from the 80s and 90s also need to be studied closely.

Overall speaking, TANG Kwok Hin's "Under the Bed" video series is in a more depressing and darker mood. His works tend to surprise viewers in a normal daily life setting and generate the contemplation space thereafter. The video documentation from "Joint Funeral of Chow & Kwan," on the other hand, uses a more sarcastic, dark humor to probe questions about the art institution and test the boundary of art exhibition system. May FUNG’s sharing led audience to contemplate on “desire,” “addiction,” and also the atmosphere for art-making in the 80s and 90s. Jaffa’s sketches, on the other hand, interestingly show the thinking process of an artist and how she follow the “way” during this process.

On April 11, 2014, “Under The Bed” screening will invite a young Hong Kong artist graduated from Guanzhou’s Art Academy: Wayne WONG. Every time when a different artist participates in this “Under The Bed” screening, different direction for appreciation and discussion appears. With a different academic background (comparatively more realistic and technical training in art-making), what kind video works would Wayne WONG has “under his bed”? For more information of April's screening, please check out﹣﹣https://www.facebook.com/events/627530080656275/

註/Footnote:

[1] 感謝科技及有心的研究人員,這篇文章可在網上瀏覽:/This news article can be found online at this archive: http://hklitpub.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/pdf/newspaper/75/1993/S930527b.pdf

[2]如有興趣了解更多May Fung 當天分享的重點,也歡迎看看梁寶山的文章:「香港藝壇床下底與星光:馮美華舊片與 Ming Wong 星球大戲」/An article in Chinese by LEUNG Po Shan comparing the two screenings by May FUNG and Ming WONG ( http://thehousenews.com/art/香港藝壇床下底與星光-馮美華舊片與-ming-wong-星球大戲/ )。

[3] 2007年林嵐獲得亞洲文化協會(ACC)的資助到紐約駐場,作品可在林嵐的網站瀏覽/ in 2007, Jaffa LAM earned a grant from Asian Cultural Council for a residency in New York. The artwork she made during her stay can be browsed here: http://www.jaffalam.net/past_project/neon/hero.php



鄧國騫在2013年12月「床下底」放映會展示影片。 "Under the Bed" Screening with TANG Kwok Hin in Dec,2013.
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