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Voices Seen, Images Heard
Voices Seen, Images Heard
Voices Seen, Images Heard
Voices Seen, Images Heard
Voices Seen, Images Heard

Voices Seen, Images Heard

B&W & Color
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A historian, also an interdisciplinary artist, engages in a self-dialogue of how to write the history of her city, Hong Kong. Drilling the disparate mines of sights and sounds, she re-examines the power and limitation of ocular epistemology, which favors visual perception as the dominant form of knowing. As she ploughs her way through the scanty and homogenous visual documents available, she re-imagines a city that has a precarious history of struggling to hold onto its look or preserve its architectural integrity at the mercy of real estate development. In response, she re-constructs a visual essay that is also a collage of lost surfaces and shadowy fragments of past existence. Her meditation leaves open the potential meanings of each of the sight-and-sound fragments that seem to have spoken to her as she asks how feasible it is to access the past.
Cited works:
Archive footage permitted by Getty Image – footage by Bollenbacher-Berge and Hongkong Government public service announcements and newsreels.

Vintage still photos are paid Xeroxed copies of original stills at the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Government’s Public Records.

Found feature-length motion pictures include:
Hong Kong Nights (E. Mason HOPPER, 1934 , USA)
The Imp 凶榜 (aka Xiong bang; Dennis YU, 1981 , Hong Kong)
Visible Secret 幽靈人間 (aka Youling renjian; Ann HUI, 2001 , Hong Kong)
The Eye 見鬼 (aka Gin gwai; Oxide PANG, Danny PANY, 2002 , Hong Kong)
Chungking Express 重慶森林 (WONG Kar-wai, 1994 , Hong Kong)
All of a Sudden 驚變 Herman YAU, 1996 , Hong Kong)
Blossom in Rainy May 五月雨中花 (QIN Jian, 1960 , Hong Kong)

about the artist /

Linda Chiu-han LAI, Associate Professor in Intermedia Arts at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media (SCM), is a research-based interdisciplinary artist. After completing her Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at New York University, she has sought meaningful connective extension to other relevant artistic and theoretical endeavors. She persists in artistic creation as the practice of theory. A critical researcher on the History of Everyday Life, her works focus on historiography, visual and auto-ethnography, urbanity and popular culture. Her teaching revolves around the criticality of micro/meta narrativity. She has also designed, at SCM, Hong Kong’s first courses in generative art & literature at the university level. She founded HK-based new media art group the Writing Machine Collective (2004) and has completed 5 major group exhibitions on questions of computational thinking and contemporary art. Though broadly known for her videography in the international art venues, she creates in different artistic mediums to turn art-making into criticism, history-writing, gaming and voyages of discovery. Her digital and non-digital works have been shown in key venues in many cities in Europe, Asia and the US, including the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Open City London Documentary Festival, LOOP Barcelona, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the Fourth State of Water (CoCA, Torun, Poland), Women Make Waves Film Festival (Taipei), International Centre (New Delhi), and the various Experimental Film/Video Festivals in Seoul (EXiS), Taipei (EXiT), Macao (EXiM), Kuala Lumpur (KLEX) and Hong Kong (HKEX). Lai considers herself a montage artist: to her, images are intensely rich perceptual surfaces that defy the binary division of representation and abstraction. Many of her works also deploy the notion of an archive and self-archiving, including her recent work “1906-1989-2012: Guangzhou-Hongkong-Shanghai-Anji,” commissioned for the 9th Shanghai Biennale 2012 at the Power Station of Contemporary Art, which is also a piece of experimental history playing with childhood memory, the use of everyday objects and folk material, the postal history of Hong Kong and family stories. Lai seeks for intermedia moments and modes of connectivity, be it conjugation, modulation, combinatorial logic, or permutation… Floating Projects is her recent experiment on modes of sustainability in art-making and artists’ associations.

vmac archived / artworks from the artist


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