By keithwhittle / July 3, 2012
Exhibited as part of ‘There is No I In Team’ this major interactive installation works with the body as carrier and sensory perception as entry point. Keung uses his lively imagination to draw the audience into a lyrical, three-dimensional realm of Chinese calligraphy where subtle humor and mutual surprise come together.
Today’s Chinese cities are transforming from a traditional model into today’s high-tech areas, just as Chinese characters transformed from traditional characters into simplified characters. For Keung, a Chinese born in China and raised in Hong Kong, this creates conflicting desires, making you feel love and hate all at once. On the one hand, you want to know more about this new China, you always want it to move faster, but on the other hand, you feel nostalgic and want it to move forward only slowly.
Bloated City | Skinny Language is an interactive art installation in which the audience is recorded in real time and sees two images of itself on two projection screens. At the same time, there are numerous Chinese characters floating in these projections which act like insects chasing the audience. The behaviors of these ‘bugs’ are totally different on the left and right screens. The audience will encounter a different experience about “change or unchanged”, “move or stay”, “to be or not to be”.
Standing amidst this impressive installation, you can see two images of yourself simultaneously. The further you walk away from your image on the left side, the “complex and simplified” follow you even faster. Yet at the same time, the further you walk away from your image on the right side, the more “complex and simplified” are unable to follow you. These two dissimilar situations unfold simultaneously in front of your eyes. You use your body to feel a contradiction, which is exactly the experience of wanting to get close and far that the artist wishes to express.
The audience members can freely apply their imaginations, creating their own unique imagery or video through creative uses of posture. To Hung Keung, traditional painting is a tool that few can master, but technological progress is bringing the masses closer to art, and new media has created new possibilities for art to spread to society on a broader level.
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