artist's statement | the hong kong agent

a r t i s t ' s · s t a t e m e n t

the hong kong agent project was originally conceived by anthropologist dr phillip mar and myself. inspired by the success of our 1997 sound work hong kong: city in between, we decided to revisit the city on the 10 year anniversary of its so called reunification with china. in 2007 i spent seven months living on hong kong island. i was the fortunate recipient of two artist residencies (australia-china council & asialink). my mission? apply my skills as a media artist and producer to create a multi form art work that could reflect and perhaps even provide insights into hong kong society ten years after its reunification with china.

assuming the role of a poet – anthropologist - flaneur, i set out to experience the city. to my surprise i found myself profoundly affected by my encounters with its people and spaces. even though i was constantly exhilarated by the pervasive vitality of the place - at least once a day a seemingly banal situation would trigger in me an inexplicable sense of melancholy. these two elements imbue the work.

while in hong kong i met and worked with many local artists, scholars, writers and activists. i gave seminars about my works at several universities and was provided with a student intern to help realise my project. i like to work directly with material i collect in the field. however in this project i also created ‘set-pieces’ in which i manufactured an alternative hybrid version of actual events, using professional or non-professional actors. i even managed to insert myself into the work. so the work is simultaneously autobiography, documentary and fiction.