Event Recap: "Perspectives on Exchange - Sharing Session with Lawman, Lam Tung Pang, and Yeung Yang"
On October 22nd, three Hong Kong ACC fellows in the visual arts: Lawman, Lam Tung Pang, and Yeung Yang shared about their respective experiences in the U.S. at the ACC Hong Kong office.
Yang, a curator and founder of Hong Kong's only organisation dedicated to sound art, began her talk with a lively account of the places and people that she had come across during her 6 weeks in New York, categorised by Yang as 'sightings', 'soundings' and 'bouncings'. She explained that the purpose of her ACC trip was to contextualise her practice within the wider network of other arts practitioners who are operating in her field and to take the space and time to step back and evaluate her work in a more critical manner. Her approach was not to dive headfirst into the arts of New York, however. Yang decided to take a more serendipitous course instead, and she drew extraordinary inspiration from ordinary sights and artistic happenings on the streets of the city.
A combination of ACC's recommendations and arrangements, her residency program at ISCP, as well as Yang's personal explorations put her in contact with a diverse range of passionate arts professionals, including noted curators such as Barbara London from MoMA, David Rothenburg - the author of "Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise", and Stephen Vitiello - a visual and sound artist to name but just a few. Yang expressed that she particularly relished having the luxury of time and opportunity to discuss in great depth with these fellow arts practitioners from diverse backgrounds, which is something that is difficult to do in Hong Kong with the pressures of a busy working life.
As an active artist, writer, and founding member of the non-profit arts organisation, Woofer Ten, Lawman's ACC trip was focused on researching arts organisations in the U.S. as a comparative study for his experiences in Hong Kong. For his talk, Lawman shared about his findings from the U.S. and presented on a selection of arts organisations that he found to be particularly intriguing in terms of their focus, operation, and funding, including Materials for the Arts, the International Studio and Curatorial Program, Drawing Center, and Art in General. For example, Lawman introduced the audience to Materials for the Arts, a non-profit organisation that provides used items to artists for reuse and repurposing in their artwork by taking items donated by individuals and companies and redistributing it at their center. Beyond redistribution, however, Lawman shared about their diverse programs which expands their vision and spreads the message of creative reuse to people of all ages across the local community. The organisation is financially supported by individual donors and an independent but affiliated non-profit organisation, Friends of Materials for the Arts. Lawman posed the question to the audience: can a similar organisation be established and run this way in Hong Kong?
With the opportunity to discuss with members of the respective arts organisations and immerse himself into the New York arts scene, Lawman derived a great deal of insight from his exchanges, and expressed that the trip provided him with a rich source of inspiration for his future work in Hong Kong. Lawman noted that the challenge ahead is to find a way to assimilate these experiences with the particular context of Hong Kong, but he hopes to begin by stimulating new conversations amongst the art circle in order to begin new kinds of arts organisations in the local context.
Lam Tung Pang
Lam Tung Pang, one of Hong Kong's most noted mixed media artists spent three and a half months in the U.S. to research Asian art collections in U.S. museums. The time abroad was also an invaluable opportunity for Tung Pang to refresh himself with new creative ideas and perspectives after a concentrated 10 years of artistic practice and prolific output in Hong Kong.
Although he had intended to take a break, a surprising explosion of artistic energy overtook him when he moved into his ACC apartment in New York, and he created a large collection of works which became his exhibition: "Curiosity Box" that was eventually shown in San Francisco at his journey's end. Tung Pang said that this creative energy originated from the sudden shift of having little space to create in his home in Hong Kong to then having a large space of his own to realise and further new artistic ideas.
Tung Pang also shared about his unique journey, which took him by train from New York, through the lateral expanse of the U.S. to his final destination in San Francisco. He spoke fondly of his experience on the Amtrak and recounted stories from the train's dining car where he would speak to different people every day and encounter different events such as impromptu musical performances. Tung Pang spoke about his observations on differences between the arts of the east and west coast of the U.S., contrasting it also with his experiences in Hong Kong.
The talk ended with an open discussion session which covered a number of the ideas that were presented by the artists. The common theme of each artist's thoughts and reflections was a desire to extend their experiences on their ACC trips in the sense of taking the time to engage in further exploration and discussion with arts professionals in Hong Kong in order to build Hong Kong's artistic future on the foundation of quality exchange and dialogue.