New/Alternative Art Space- Green Wave Art
莫昭如 Augustine MOK Chiu Yu
at 6:08pm on 24th August 2018
1. 有關中國人權律師的展覽和講座Talk and Exhibition related to Human Rights Lawyers in China
2. 香港獨立樂手每月一次的音樂會The Monthly concert with Hong Kong''s independent musicians
3. 參觀展覽的人在藝術空間閒談People attending an Exhibition chatting in the Artspace
4. 菲律賓藝術家Bert Monterona主持的竹筆畫工作坊Workshop on bamboo stick painting facilitated by Filipino artist Bert Monterona
5. 碧波押門外掛著的裝置藝術品: 中國夢Installation view of "The China Dream" outside Green Wave Art (Night)
All photos: Green Wave Art
(Please scroll down for English version)
兩年半前，社區文化發展中心（CCCD）開始在上海街404號經營一個叫做碧波押的藝術空間。CCCD的成員實際上在12年前已經開始注意到在上海街404號地舖畫廊／藝術空間。（當然，這個地舖作為一個畫廊／藝術空間的歷史超過12年！）我們認識的廖淑嫻（Alice Liu）和她的合作伙伴從2006年到2010年在這個藝術空間工作了4年。頭兩年由教育學院（今是教育大學）主持，然後由Alice及其朋友創立的404小組策劃。她們把那些日子的活動做了很好的記錄，仍然可以從互聯網上看到。我在這裡特別想提及Alice Liu這位動畫家／策展人。當藝術發展局要把地方交托Wooferten活化廳管理的時候，Alice去了冰島唸書，她獲得了另一個學位並且一位如意郎君。然後，她在冰島北部的一個名叫Olafsfjordur的小鎮裡開辦和經營了一個名為Listhus的機構。這個機構推行國際藝術交流，開放給世界各地的藝術家駐場創作，舉行藝術節，多年來吸引了不少的香港藝術家和世界其他地區的藝術家進駐哩！
2013年的競投除了活化廳和CCCD之外，只有一個其他競標者。結果藝發局選擇了CCCD。這引起了鋒，Roland, Vangi和其他活化廳的朋友的不滿。他們認為社區藝術需要多年的持續工作，而4年的時間太短了。此外，活化廳的工作亦得到了非常積極的評價。他們最後佔據了上海街空間以表明自己的觀點。 CCCD其實很同意活化廳的朋友的想法。我們也指出，應該有更多的空間讓團體推行社區藝術活動，甚至乎每個屋邨都應有預留給社區藝術團體進駐服務的空間(像社會服務團體一樣）。
它更名為Green Wave Art（GWA）。（GWA的中文是碧波押。碧意味著綠色，但廣東話讀法是big，大也。Wave的意思是波濤，但廣東話的俚語中波也可作乳房的解釋，Art英文意思是藝術，但讀音似押及壓。）我們覺得碧波押這個名字很適合，因為上海街404號周圍有很多性工作者站立和流連的。碧波押所在地區附近有按摩院和舞廳林立。於是我們也在上海街和咸美頓街的交界安裝了一個“中國夢”的粉紅色霓虹燈標誌，作為碧波押的裝置藝術品。
如果你看看碧波押的面書帳戶https://www.facebook.com/greenwaveart/，頁頂總是有一幅相，相中有Joseph Beuys約瑟夫·博伊斯（他和背後的一群人都拿著一根桿子）。約瑟夫·博伊斯的文化實踐影響深遠，他的名言是“每個人都是一個藝術家，一個自由的人，被呼喚去參與改變和重塑我們生活的條件，思想和社會結構 - 這些事情都影響著我們的生活。”他這句話深深影響著我們的思想和實踐。
兩年半下來，我們的願景當然尚未實現。我們同意活化廳的觀點，即社區藝術發展需要持久的努力和深耕。（這種看法似乎對藝術發展局的決策者產生了一定的影響 - 這使我們能夠不需競投下獲得第三年的續約。不過我們已經獲知了新的招標安排。藝術發展局會在2019年1月底之前再次公開招標）。
我們舉辦了一些口碑不錯的展覽。”種子炸彈”展覽探討香港東北的情況 - 雖然展品主要是由關注社會的藝術家創作，但展覽開展了與油麻地街坊的對話，我們因此為街坊安排了一個香港東北巴士之旅，一個音樂工作坊和一個餃子工作坊。另外一個是雄仔叔叔故事的彩色“插圖”的展覽，“插圖”是藝術家王建衡的作品。王建衡在展覽期間搜集了街坊的故事，他最後又將故事繪成圖畫送贈給街坊。油麻地街坊駱家驄參加了碧波押的一次展覽，並告訴策展人三木有關他手繪的首日封。三木決定把駱的作品複印（原件太珍貴了）展出。由於碧波押的空間非常有限，我們把駱的作品（他畫超過了10,000多個首日封）分3期展出，每期長約兩週。另外一次，我們將另一個區的街坊 -深水埗 - 介紹給油麻地的街坊。深水埗布料市場／棚仔面對清拆。我們參加了保衛棚仔的運動。我們組織了一個設計比賽，使用棚仔的布料來創造時尚，設計的服裝在碧波押展出 - 類似於早期的”種子炸彈”的展覽，我們試圖令跨區域的街坊互相理解和團結。
我們的展覽經常涉及與香港和中國的社會和政治。在過去2年半的時間裡，藝術家應邀在碧波押展示他們的作品，反思六四，七一和兩傘運動（包括6月4日的漫畫展，6月4日我不想記住的事情,相連展等）。事實上可以這樣說，這些都是活化廳開展的活動的延續，包括幾十個人聯合單車巡遊，提醒人們1989年的北京民運。在 18年的七八月，碧波押舉辦了一個叫“濤”的展覽，以紀念劉曉波逝世週年。而 “家源”這個項目是應邀的攝影師免費為公眾拍攝全家福照片。碧波押在連續幾個星期日變成為一家舊的照相舖，居住在油麻地的街坊當天可以連同一家人來免費拍攝全家福家庭照片。這些照片在展出後會免費送給被攝者。“家源”這個項目更應邀到深圳展出，獲得好評之餘，更有深圳藝術家嘗試找資助在深圳進行同樣的計劃。我們還與深圳的藝術家進行深化的交流,把他們的一些作品帶到香港展覽，特別是那些我們認為對社區藝術的內容和形式有重大參考價值的作品。（這個叫“居民項目”的展覽是我們引以為傲的）。
透過邀請Sanjay Bantawa尼泊爾畫家從加德滿都來港在碧波押開畫展，我們試圖聯繫油尖旺區的尼泊爾人。雖然這個展覽和其他一系列活動(舞蹈工作坊，有關Gurkha兵的電影，講座和音樂會等等) 成功地吸引了尼泊爾社區 - 但卻未能吸引非尼泊爾人的街坊融入。另外一次，我們邀請著名的菲律賓棉蘭老壁畫家Bert Monterona在碧波押舉辦他的香港第三個展覽（暨竹筆畫工作坊）。我們跟Bert的認識接近15年，Bert以前的展覽吸引了很多菲律賓人。今次卻少了很多。除了宣傳可能不足，油麻地會不會是菲律賓人較少踏足的地點? 總結經驗，我們需要更努力/多的資源才能使碧波押更具包容性和吸引。碧波押主辦了佐頓油麻地文化旅遊，由尼泊爾社會工作者Kaz帶領，吸引了許多參加者。Kaz帶團員到尼泊爾人的印度教和佛教寺廟和商店（珠寶，理髮店，餐館）參觀，近距離接觸尼泊爾人。可能更多這樣的活動能夠讓香港的尼泊爾人和非尼泊爾人互相認識多一點點吧。英國表演藝術家Bill Aitchison是一位專業的文化旅遊專家，我們為他在碧波押組織了文化旅遊工作坊。另一方面，Naiverty Lamily一家 : 丈夫，妻子和孩子，是一個旅行家庭...... 他們在碧波押共同創造藝術。展示了他們的藝術作品，包括在加爾各答的紅燈區製作的電影。他們分享了他們的故事，同時也分享了印度奶茶。
它也有劇場。當碧波押開始時，第一個月的實驗是把它營造成一個小劇場空間。我與戲劇團體好戲量建立了夥伴關係，上演了三人劇目：吉蒂與死人頭。隨後在碧波押出現的劇場不算太多。但青少年愛滋病機構在國際愛滋病日舉辦了兩場演出。還有劉蘭茜的第二個獨腳戲“徒勞”; “我是藝術管理人”首演了“我原來是一條魚”，第四屆Butoh Butoh Festival也在店面預演了“舞踏深水埗”。碧波押推出的令人難忘的作品之一是2016年6月7日滾動劇場的新版本。（活化廳於1989年6月7日在碧街上進行了一場街頭表演有如前述，新版本引進了尼泊爾的民主鬥爭和魚丸革命)。
碧波押還有音樂。在過去的兩年，每個月的第3個星期六晚上9點至凌晨，就是擔櫈仔藍調之夜Blues // DamDangZai Blues-Nite ...... 參加的音樂家有Bill，Yank，Neil，Wilson，Osbert，老B，史家宜等(還有其他人)，在其他日子裡，街坊帶著他們自己的樂器演唱披頭士的歌，好輕鬆的自由地唱歌彈奏。社區音樂家Peter Moser以及Ashok Kumar等人都喜歡在碧波押與香港音樂家和街坊一起即興。
碧波押有行為藝術。很難想像一個從Joseph Beuys中汲取靈感的團隊，碧波押的活動中沒有行為藝術。事實上，兩年多來，畫廊接待了許多海外行為藝術家，並組織了許多行為藝術活動和交流，包括了四位波蘭行為藝術家 Waldemar Tatarczuk, Przemyslaw Branas, Anna Kalwajtys, Janusz Baldyga 和來自各地的Tamar Raban (以色列)，Ernesto Levy (阿根廷) Beate Linne (德國)，Rokko Juhasz (斯洛凡尼亞)，Victor Martinez和Icetrip (阿根廷)等。他們在碧波押內外，甚至在廟街廣場和尖沙咀文化中心外進行行為藝術表演。他們舉辦工作坊，協助培訓香港新銳的行為藝術家，他們也參與研討會，到大學介紹行為藝術。碧波押為香港的行為藝術作出了一定的貢獻。
The Story of Green Wave Art
by Augustine MOK Chiu Yu
Before the Centre for Community Cultural Development (CCCD) started to run the Shanghai Street Artspace at 404 of the same street two and a half years ago, members of the CCCD had actually begun to notice the shopfront turned gallery 12 years ago. (Of course the history went even further.) Alice Liu and her collaborators ran the arts space for 4 years from 2006 -2010. The first two years were under the auspices of the Institute of Education(now University) and then subsequently by the 404 group founded by Alice Liu and her friends. The happenings in those days were actually well documented and are still retrievable from the internet. But I would like to mention Alice Liu, a video and animation artist with admiration not just because they ran the space with passion and with very little money (from the Arts Development Council) but because when Alice''s group had to concede the place to Wooferten, Alice herself went to study in Iceland. She got another degree and married. Then she ran a place called Listhus in a small town called Olafsfjordur in Northern Iceland. Listhus because a famous international place of art exchange, residency and arts festivals that attracted over the years tens of Hong Kong artists and other parts of the world taking up artist residency there.
Wooferten was of course the group (10 Hong Kong artists originally) that succeeded Alice et al running the artspace. Wooferten''s artists were innovative, rebellious, political, naughty, anti-establishment and yet community oriented in their approach. The Shanghai Street Artspace became even more better known and we, apart from being appreciating and interested watchers of the goings on at Wooferten, actually ran some of our performance art activities at the Artspace and its vicinity with the support of Wooferten. Some of us also took part in their street play, June 4th Mobile Theatre , which took the audience from Pitt Street to Nathan Road and then Shanghai Street. The play''s content is about a riot around Pitt Street that led Sze To Wah and his gang calling off support of the General Strike in support of the democracy movement in Beijing which was cracked down. Many of the activities of Wooferten were memorable and the space also spontaneously became one where young people converged to meet and discuss" Whither Hong Kong?". (People interested in the 6 Years of Wooferten should read the two published volumes of the activities recorded and the thoughts and reflections of the organizers.)
CCCD was interested in running such a space because of two main reasons: firstly as a community arts organization, CCCD was asked by NGO groups in Sham Shui Po to coordinate art activities and community arts training with funding from the Sham Shui Po District Council. It was also asked to help manage a small gallery of 200 square ft. on the 2nd floor of the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre with exhibitions of the art works of members of the 14 groups separately in turn. It would be meaningful to compare this experience with the running of a single space in a district.
Secondly, as Wooferten was finishing its second two year contract (Wooferten had been running the artspace for almost 4 years), we thought that based on the usual practice of the ADC, Wooferten probably would not be given a third chance/contract to run the 5th and the 6th year. So there was a belief that the ADC probably would want to bring in another group and being highly respectful of what Wooferten did and wanting to continue to keep and sustain the Wooferten spirit at the Shanghai Street Artspace, we submitted a bid for running the space for the next two years. We believed that if Wooferten were to go, then we would be a most suitable group to run it.
So we submitted our bid. In addition to Wooferten there was only one other bidder. And as it turned out, the ADC would not allow Wooferten to run another term and instead commissioned CCCD. This generated a furious and angry response from Fung, Roland, Vangi and others who were running the Wooferten. They argued that community arts required years of continued work and 4 years is just too short. Besides the work of Wooferten had been very positively evaluated. They began to occupy the space to make their point. And CCCD really agreed with our friends of Wooferten. We also pointed out too that there should be more space (perhaps one in every housing estate and similar to social service organization) for groups to run community arts activities.
But in the years 2014 and 2015, the core members of Wooferten and its kaifong committee had to sustain their activities without the financial support of ADC and it was extremely challenging. Eventually, Wooferten officially, maybe reluctantly moved out of 404 of Shanghai Street...
And ADC invited CCCD to take over 404 Shanghai Street Artspace and we agreed to take it up.
Meanwhile the Sham Shui Po NGO project experienced a severe cut of budget by the DAB dominated District Council and the running of the "project" fell into the hands of a pro Beijing women''s group with rich resources. But soon, the NGO groups decided not to continue as the interference of "Saiwan" became too obvious.
So what was the curatorial policy of CCCD which renamed the Artspace as Green Wave Art. (GWA) (The Chinese of GWA is 碧波押. 碧means green, but in Cantonese the sound is Big. 波means wave but the sound of the Cantonese is ball which can mean something like a football or basketball but in Cantonese slang it means bosoms. 押 in Cantonese sounds like Art but it means a pawnshop and it also has the same sound as 壓 meaning press.) We felt that the name of the place suited the shopfront which is situated in an area with quite a few sex workers standing around and massage parlours and dance halls nearby. Not only that, we installed a pink reddish neon sign with the characters "The China Dream" around the corner of Shanghai Street and Hamilton Street beneath which the sex workers would stand. That has been a permanent installation work of the GWA.
What then is the curatorial direction of The GWA?
If you look at our facebook account https://www.facebook.com/greenwaveart/ , for a long time now, we always have a banner where one finds Joseph Beuys holding a pole together with a crowd behind him. Joseph Beuys'' is certainly a great influence and his famous quote is "Every human being is an artist, a freedom being called to participate in transforming and reshaping the conditions, thinking and structures that inform our lives." is a guideline to our practice.
For the Shanghai Street Artspace, we are to make arts accessible to the residents around Shanghai Street Artspace as a fundamental and sustainable component of a higher quality of life. We believe that the residents are not only consumers of art activities but also creators of various arts. The art activities are of a high quality in conception and delivery involving good and competent artists and artist facilitators as well as residents around the Artspace. Our programme will provide a full range art experiences and to develop and conserve identity and heritage, to promote diversity and dialogue among cultures and generally increasing the cultural capacity of the people of the district.
Two and a half years have passed by since the establishment of GWA and our vision are yet to be realized of course. We agree with our predecessor Wooferten that community arts development is a long lasting endeavour. (And it seems that this view has somewhat affected the policy makers at the ADC - which has allowed us to run the Artspace for a third year without an open bid. However, we have been informed of a new tender arrangement for open bidding once again before the end of January 2019).
So what has GWA been doing over the past 2 and a half years?
It is correct to say that GWA is primarily an art gallery but we want to offer the participants a whole range of exhibitions, performances or workshops in different art forms including visual arts, theatre, dance, performance art, theatre, films etc. The key curator(s) were Mr. Chen Hsi Sen and Au Yeung Tung (who soon joined ) who worked with a team of advisors.
So the exhibition gallery opens from Tuesday to Sunday at 1pm - 8pm.
The exhibitions have been varied:
We had quite a few successful exhibitions which engaged other residents of Yaumati - "While We Were Sleeping" an exhibition of the Situation in the North East of Hong Kong - while the exhibits were mainly created by socially concerned artists, the dialogue with kaifongs led to a bus tour for them to Hong Kong''s North East, a music workshop and a dumpling workshop. There was also the exhibition of the colourful "illustrations" of Uncle Hung''s stories whereas actually the artist Wong Kin Hang would collect stories from the Kaifongs for which Wong would create pictures as gifts to the storytelling Kaifongs. Lok Ka Chung, resident of Yaumati, came into one of GWA''s exhibitions and told curator Sanmu about his hand drawn first days covers. His works were then photocopied (as the originals were too precious) and exhibited. As the space of GWA is really limited, the works of Lok (only part of the 10,000 plus he drew) were exhibited by 3 instalments each lasting for 2 weeks. Then on one occasion, we introduced kaifongs of another District – i.e. Sham Shui Po to the ones at Yaumati. Paang Tsai, the cloth market of Sham Shui Po was to be demolished and vacated. We became the supporters to defend Paang Tsai and the movement to reallocate. We organized a design competition to use cloth of Paang Tsai to create fashion and the designed costumes were exhibited at GWA. Similar to the earlier "While We Were Sleeping" project, it was an attempt to bring cross district understanding and solidarity.
Our exhibitions often touched on social and political issues related to Hong Kong and China. There were exhibitions in June/July & September over the past 2 and a half years where artists reflected on June 4th, July 1st and the Umbrella Movement (including the June 4th Comic Exhibition, the Thing I don''t Want to Remember about June 4th). These in a sense were continuation of the activities undertaken by Wooferten, including a bicycle ride for a couple of dozen people to remind people about 1989 Beijing. Presently as this report is written, there is the exhibition "Waves" to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Liu Xiao Bo. "Home of the Source" is a project involving photographers taking family photos for family for free - where GWA became an old fashioned photographic studio to which many Hong Kong families, in the older days, had a photo taken at the studio once a year or on some special occasion. Families residing in the Yaumati district were encouraged to come into the studio on Sundays and had the family photos taken. They would then be exhibited and the photos would be given to the family for free. We took the exhibition to Shenzhen where it was appreciated and some artists then are applying for funds to do something similar. We also brought some of the works of our Shenzhen friends Hong Kong particularly those we consider to have significant implications on what is and how we do community art. This exhibition was named “Residents Project" and we are rather proud of it. (Not all of the exhibitions at GWA were curated by ourselves. Sometimes we are just venue partners. As the our space is in an "old area" readily accessible, some groups chose our space for their exhibitions e.g. the Arts Creation Project of the Elderly run by the Community Art Network and activities like Cha: The Asian Literary Journal for reading and poetry recital. NGOs e.g. Tung Wah Groups of Hospitals etc. also used our space for their exhibitions. (While we cannot charge a rental for the use of the space, we are able to ask for an administration fee which is almost the only source of income for the Artspace apart from the subsidy from the Arts Development Council.) Likewise groups of artists would also be requesting the use of the space for exhibitions - here we would consider the merit of each individual case. We have helped materializing a group exhibition of old bicycles collected and another one Wahayeah Sketch Group whose members went around different places in the urban area to sketch old and heritage buildings of Hong Kong. On the other hand, Flying Pig, a female artist fond of the Yaumati District, decided to draw one hundred residents/characters she met in the area and her drawings were exhibited for the kaifongs to come and identify themselves.
We are concerned with China and we are friends of some Chinese artists. A recent well reported exhibition is "In the Court" by Liu Wei Wei and his friends - the Chinese Human Rights lawyer Xia Lin was prosecuted in court with some framed up charges but none of his friends was able to be a public witness of the court case. So Liu Wei Wei interviewed one of the six people witnessing the court proceedings. Then he made sketches from his impression. And Liu further asked his artist friends to draw on the basis of his description and their response and impression. What was exhibited in Hong Kong were outputs from the internet and not the original. The exhibition can be viewed aesthetically but at the same time the artists and the human rights lawyers were given opportunity to voice out their concern with the legal system in China today. Some specially came to Hong Kong to participate in a public talk.
We have no lack of overseas artists exhibiting, workshopping and performing at GWA.
Sanjay Bantawa’s(a famous Nepali artist) exhibition was staged as an attempt to engage the Nepali residents in the Yautsimmong district. While that was successfully engaging the Nepali community - with not just an exhibition of a famous artist from Nepal using wheelchair but a series of other events like dance workshops, film about the Gurkhas, talks and music concert etc. not many local non-Nepalis joined. Meanwhile the famous Mindanoan (Southern Philippines) mural artist Bert Monterona had his 3rd exhibition (cum an innovative Bamboo Stick workshop) in Hong Kong at the Shanghai Street Artspace - which attracted an audience with not so many Filipinos. We realise that apart from the publicity and the location, it will take much more effort/resources to make GWA more inclusive and integrative. A recent GWA organized tour of the Jordan/Yaumati district led by Nepali social worker Kaz however managed to attract many locals who were taken to the Hindu and Buddhist temples and shops (goldsmith, hairdresser, eatery) and maybe more of these tours would be the way to bring the local Chinese and the Nepalis together. Bill Aitchison, British dramatist who specialized among other things, was a cultural tour specialist with whom we organized a couple of cultural tour workshops. On the other hand the Naiverty Lamily family, husband, wife and children, is a travelling family...which together create art. They showed their art works including films made in Kolkata''s red light district. They shared their stories and at the same time masala tea.
As explained earlier, Green Wave Art is not just a gallery.
There is theatre. Indeed when Green Wave Art first started, the first month was actually used for an experiment - ie. using it as a small theatre space. A partnership was set up with theatre group FMTheatre Power which staged it 3 person show : Kitty and the Hunter. Subsequently not a whole lot of theatre happened that Green Wave Art but Teen Aids decided to stage two shows around International Aids Day. Nancy Liu had her second solo performance " All in Vain"; "I am Art Management" staged the premiere of " I am a Fish" and the 4th Butoh Butoh Festival staged fragment of its show " Butoh Interpretation of Sham Shui Po" also at the shopfront. One of the memorable productions presented by GWA was a new version of June 4th Mobile Theatre in 2016 (Wooferten had done a street performance exploring the riots at Pitt Street on 7th June 1989, which is a block away from GWA) - the new version incorporated our concern with the fight for democracy in Nepal and the Fishball Revolution.
There is music. Regularly for almost two years, there is the Blues // DamDangZai Blues-Nite beginning at 9 pm ( till well after midnight) on the 3rd Saturday of every month ...with alternative musician known by Bill, Yank, Neil, Wilson, Osbert, Old B, Sze Ka Yan, Dave, Elton many of whom are multi-discipline artists. Then the kaifongs will be coming along on other days bringing their own musical instruments singing the Beatles and such like freely in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. Peter Moser, community musician, regular visitor of Hong Kong and Ashok Kumar and others enjoyed their jamming with local musicians and kaifongs.
There is performance art. As a group that drew inspiration from Joseph Beuys, it is hard to imagine that GWA would not be involved in Performance Art one way or the other. In fact over the 2 and a half years, the gallery hosted many overseas performance artists and organized many performance art activities and exchanges, notably the visit of four Polish performance artists: Waldemar Tatarczuk, Przemyslaw Branas, Anna Kalwajtys, Janusz Baldyga, Tamar Raban (Israel), Ernesto Levy (Argentina) and Beate Linne (Germany), Rokko Juhasz (Slovenia), Victor Martinez and Icetrip (Argentina) etc. They performed inside and outside of GWA and even at the Temple Street Garden and outside the Cultural Centre at Tsim Sha Tsui. Their workshops helped to train artists in Hong Kong who would also perform after the workshops. GWA contributed definitely to the vigour of the performance art scene in Hong Kong .
There is film. Over the past year and a half, Green Wave Art teamed up with groups promoting independent films (Hong Kong, China and elsewhere) to show films regularly on Friday evenings. It is dubbed the Film Autonomous Region and is co-organized by Green Wave Art, Chinese Independent Documentary Lab, Ying E Chi, Visible Record, Cinezen and Li Xianting Film Fund.
Many independent films have difficulties in exposure in China today films covering the anti-rightist movement and the fates of the rightists, the Cultural Revolution, stories about poverty, young people, environmental deterioration etc. Local films include various efforts in documenting the Umbrella Revolution, local personalities in Yaumati etc. Recent films shown are The Hungry Report of Rights Lee Sing Jiu (by Tse Yi Bun 2012), A Documentary of A Filmless Festival, We the Workers!, Jiabiangou Elegy: Life and Death of the Rightists, 709 Fellows and its sequel etc.- the small gallery was almost always full. GWA is the place for independent films in Hong Kong.
And then there is storytelling and poetry reading and publication launch. Storytelling is a gathering initiated and facilitated by Uncle Hung, in the evening of the last Friday of every month - he tells stories about Yaumati or other places or things gone by and he is very good at facilitating everyone to tell one''s story. Taking place at Green Wave Art originally, lately it has moved out to a Hawker''s stall run by Michael Leung, an artist, at Hamilton Street across the road from Green Wave Art. The storytelling in the open resembles the old days when Uncle Hung was living in Sham Shui Po listening to the travelling storytellers.
There were also interesting publication launches where apart from presenting a new book, e.g. the announcement of Uncle Hung’s publications would be accompanied by the reading of his poetry and also performance art in response to his books. Likewise, Wong Bik Wan’s new book about Lo Kay’s Death would be eliciting music from Kung Chi Shing and friends.
Reflections: For a casual onlooker, the multifarious activities that have taken place at GWA seem to be flying off at different tangent. However, whatever we did, we never lost sight of art and community (Yaumati). Our activities taken as a whole, should be seen as an endeavour to introduce different arts to the Yaumati community, to provide opportunities for the kaifongs to participate, not just as consumers but also as creators of arts themselves. They are not shown just one form of art. It is hoped that they see the lot. We also try to discover the artists already there. We promote participation by running workshops and will continue to run more to engage more kaifongs. We have already kaifongs who are interested in what we try to do but we need plenty more. We will attract more of them to come. We will build on what we already achieved. We look forward to the day that all the kaifongs do arts and they take control of the management of the Artspace. We can do it. But frankly I don''t know how long it will take particularly when we get only half a million dollars to run the shopfront annually. And then ADC might want to give the space to another group to run in the next open bid.