Wed, Jan 30 2013 As part of Moderation(s), the year-long
collaboration in 2013 between Witte de With, Rotterdam, and Spring Workshop, Hong Kong,
curators-in-residence Latitudes have invited artist Ho Sin Tung to develop a day-long tour of Hong Kong retelling
the city and artistic concerns through personal itineraries and
2013, Heman Chong, Ho Sin Tung, Hong Kong, Incidents of Travel, Moderations, Spring Workshop, tour, Witte de With
Ho Sin Tung's tour of Hong Kong revisits shooting spots (which
are still accesible) from her video "Folie à deux" (2011), in which people read aloud their favorite passages with their back to
the camera at the spots they chose. Through her reading-and-listening
relationship with her readers, intimate and unique memories are created
in the locations.
To complement the tour, please check the twitter and facebook and soundcloud posts via storify.
Follow on Twitter: #IncidentsOfTravel #Moderations
'Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong'
by Ho Sin Tung
29 January 2013
In 2011, I made a video called
“Folie à deux” (trailer here), named after a psychological term describing “a
condition in which symptoms of a mental disorder, such as the same
delusional beliefs or ideas, occur simultaneously in two individuals who
share a close relationship or association”. The video is a simple
depiction of 17 people reading aloud from a passage from their favourite
book with their back to the camera, at different indoor and outdoor
locations chosen by each reader.
I know many people read, but
only a few read books in a more personal way. The 17 people in “Folie à
deux” were carefully selected as I sensed something “passionate” about
them and their reading habits. Despite being a friend of the readers, I
have never really discussed literature with them.
The places in
which the readers chose to read are significant to each, and some
locations I am unfamiliar with. However, through filming, listening to
their reading, staring at their backs and spending some time with them
before and after filming , stories and memories of the places are
created. The video gets its name because, through reading, readers
unwittingly unburden themselves - you can even see their fragility at
that moment - and I am part of it.
I intend to re-visit each
location (marked in this map) and by revisiting, I hope to re-tell the stories of each reader
and the books they chose. Most of the places included in the trip are
actually art spaces and artists’ studio. But through their stories, each
place becomes less general and more intimate.
Meeting in Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong.
Cho Yun Kei, a favourite noodle spot in Sin Tung's family, and a very popular destination in Tai Po and beyond.
Breakfast in Tai Po.
The framers Sin Tung works with in Tai Po.
Tai Po chatting. Artist Ho Sin Tung with Mimi Brown of Spring and Max Andrews of Latitudes.
Observing a school where kids are practicing percussion instruments for Chinese New Year. Listen to the field recording here. Photo: Spring Workshop.
Amazing family-run bean curd shop "Grandma Tofu Pudding" in Tai Po.
Delightful Tai Po treats: warm bean curd flower (also called "soya bean custard" / "bean curd dessert" / "bean curd jelly") at "Grandma Tofu Pudding".
Beautiful greens in Tai Po Market.
At Lo Wu station, mainlanders openly smuggle things like baby milk powder from Hong Kong.
Sheung Shui dialogues: "...and that? What is it? / Hmmm, I don't know... / it seems difficult to eat! / Do you think it's sweet or salty? / It looks more like an offering or maybe used for New Year decoration / I think they look like Wallace & Gromit-like fruit!
Observing our surroundings while queuing up for lunch. Photo: Spring Workshop.
Across the street from the lunch break in Sheung Shui.
Lunch break: Pinneaple bun, a soft bun with sugar on top and a slice of butter inside.
Recurrent in the Hong Kong shopping landscape: foldable chairs and tables for sale.
Sheung Shui citizen amongst noodles and eggs.
Nam Sang Wai, New Territories, Hong
Reader: Wong Wai Yin
Book: "Thomas the Obscure" by
Wong Wai Yin is a Hong Kong artist
married to Kwan Sheung Chi, also an artist. They are well known for
their collaborative work, including a long performance
piece,“Everything Goes Wrong for the Poor Couple”. Their work
often references literature and they have a wonderful selection of
books in their home bookshelf.
Wong Wai Yin brought me to Nam Sang Wai,
a place I had never previously visited, and where they had their
wedding photographs taken. There has been great discussion over the
years about developing the wetland area of Nam San Wai - one of the
most beautiful areas in Hong Kong attracting many film directors,
“photographers” and their “models”.
Near where we filmed Wong Wai Yin
reading, another couple was also taking wedding photos. These things
reoccur over and over again in the grassy fields!
Exploring Nam Sang Wai wetlands. Photo: Spring Workshop.
Abandoned house in Nam Sang Wai.
For the unwanted visitors, a "scare cormorant" at Nam Sang Wai wetlands.
Abandoned house, favourite spot for Hong Kong TV drama kidnapping scenes.
From here, Sin Tung filmed Wong Wai Yin segment in the video "Folie à deux".
A busy wedding photo location indeed!
ACO, Foo Tak Building, Wan Chai
Reader: Li João Ye Chun
Book: "Slam Dunk" by Takehiko
The owner of the Fuk Tak Building in
Wan Chai offers cheap rent to some Hong Kong artists. There is also
an English bookshop called ACO on the first floor; not just a
bookshop but also a multi-use space for meetings, screenings, and
João is a former work colleague whom I
admire and is now studying for a PhD in Berlin. He is very left wing
and intelligent, but never in an intimidating way. I expected him to
read something very academic, but rather than choosing a writer like
Kant or Hegel, he picked a Japanese comic book that he liked as a
boy. It’s a comic book about basketball.
He chose the last basketball match in the comic, and read aloud the
count down of the match’s final seconds: 2 seconds, 0.8 seconds,
0.1 seconds, 0 seconds…
He chose something from pop culture and
found a philosophical aspect to it.
Outside Hong Kong Arts Centre
Reader: Alice Ho
Book: "Cry, the Beloved Country"
by Alan Paton
Alice has worked for the Goethe Institute in Hong Kong for many years. I first met her while
ACO bookstore. Photo: Spring Workshop.
She is a very energetic person and full of stories,
I had a really good time working with her. The book has always reminded her of her
While reading, a nearby street musician
– unexpectedly - played sad music.
Alice Ho from the Goethe Institute.
Crab buns dinner at "The 369 Shanghai Restaurant" in Wan Chai.
Ho Sin Tung (1986, Hong Kong) graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Chinese University in Hong Kong. She is
currently a full-time artist and has a studio located in Fotan, Hong
Kong. Sin Tung’s recent work predominantly uses pencil, graphite and watercolour in combination with found and ready-made images – such as stickers, maps, charts, rubber-stamps and timelines. These are reinterpreted to narrate stories of places, relationships and periods of time often within a considered, objective historical setting.
Her most recent exhibitions include “Hong Kong Inter-vivos Film Festival” in
Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong (2012), “You Are Running A Business Called
None Of My Business” in Abu Dhabi Art Fair (2011), “Folie à duex” in
Experimenta, Hong Kong (2011) and “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” in Hanart
TZ Gallery, Hong Kong (2010). She also participated in group shows like
“Hong Kong Eye” in Saatchi Gallery, London (2012), “The 9th Shanghai
Biennale” in the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (2012), “Octopus”
in Hanina Contemporary, Tel Aviv, Israel (2011), “Urban Utopia : if and
only if” in Goethe Institute, Hong Kong (2011), “Drawing Out
Conversation : Taipei” in Nanhai Gallery, Taipei (2010).
More information via Hanart TZ Gallery, Kong Kong.
Soundscapes of "Incidents of Travel";
Storify "Incidents of Travel";
Flickr album of the four tours of "Incidents of Travel";
'Incidents of travel' tour with Nadim Abbas on 19 January 2013;
'Incidents of Travel' tour with Yuk King Tan on 24 January 2013;
'Incidents of Travel' tour with Samson Young on 7 February 2013.
All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.