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A Journal of the Plague Year. Fear, ghosts, rebels. SARS, Leslie and the Hong Kong story

疫年日志:恐懼、鬼魂、叛軍、 沙士、哥哥和香港的故事

17 May–20 July 2013 Opening: 16 May, 19 –21h

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Starting from the events that affected Hong Kong in the spring of 2003, this exhibition traces the different narratives, historical backgrounds as well as the implications of these events in relation to the contemporary culture and politics of Hong Kong and the world. 「疫年日誌:恐懼、鬼魂、叛亂、沙士、哥哥和香港的 故事」以2003年春天影響香港的事件為起點,追溯不同 的敘事角度、歷史背景,以至這些事件對香港和世界當 代文化和政治的影響。

Plague Hospital, Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island, 1894 Courtesy Hong Kong Museum of History

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Clearance of the Tai Ping Shan District after the plague of 1894, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island, c.1898. Courtesy Hong Kong Museum of History  

The city has a subjectively internalised history of epidemics and of representations in the colonial era as an infected land that needed to be conquered from nature, disease and oriental habits in order to be made healthy, modern and profitable. These narratives culminated with the identification of the bacillus causing the plague during an epidemic in Hong Kong in 1894, in Para Site’s current neighbourhood. This discovery contributed to a dubious association of the disease with Asia and heightened the “yellow peril” scares in Europe and America at the time. In Hong Kong, the fear of infecting agents has always resonated with a fear of other people, quarantine has mirrored exclusion, whilst epidemiological, racial and cultural contamination have shared the same language. 香港有著一段疫病的主觀內在歷史,在殖民時代作為「疫埠」的種種再現 ── 被自然、疾病和東方生活習慣所沾染的土地需被征服, 從而變得更健康、更現 代和更有利可圖。1894年,就在Para Site藝術空間現址附近,香港爆發鼠疫, 這些敘述角度就隨著確認鼠疫桿菌而進入高潮。是次發現產生一種對鼠疫和亞 洲的曖昧聯想,並加劇當時歐美的「黃禍」反華恐慌。在香港,對病原體的 恐懼一直跟對他者的恐懼互相呼應,檢疫隔離反映著排斥,而流行病學上的污 染、種族污染和文化污染都使用同一種語言。

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When the city became the epicentre of the most significant airborne epidemic in recent years—the SARS crisis of 2003—the unparalleled shutdown of the city and the atomisation of society in quarantined segments led to an unexpected shift in the political awareness of the Hong Kong citizenry. Just after the end of the epidemic, record numbers of people turned out to protest against a new internal security law imposed by Beijing, causing its shelving and, more importantly, the emergence of an active political community. After that moment, the image of a de-politicised and soullessly pragmatic commercial hub could not anymore tell the whole story about Hong Kong.

2003年,沙士爆發。當香港淪為近年最嚴重的空氣傳染病的震央時,整個城市 史無前例地完全停止運作,隔離地段裡人與人之間亦分崩離析,兩者卻導致香 港市民在政治意識上意想不到的轉變。疫病過後,不少人馬上走出來,抗議北 京要求香港就「國家安全法」即基本法第廿三條立法。這直接導致該法案的擱 置,更重要的是,此事令一個積極進取的政治社群開始崛起。自此之後,「政 治冷感、失去靈魂、實事求是的商業中心」就不再能夠準確描寫香港的整個面 貌了。

Less gloriously however, the main measure taken to alleviate the economic meltdown caused by SARS, the option for Mainland citizens to visit the territory for the first time on individual visas caused another major shift in the identity of the city, and its relationship to Mainland China. Medicalised vocabularies and imageries reminiscent of epidemics have been used in regard to the growing number of Mainland Chinese in Hong Kong, seen as pathogens corrupting an otherwise healthy social body and as milk formula sucking locusts. Again, an epidemic becomes the backdrop of paranoia and hate, but the fear of the Chinese, of their vast numbers and uncivilized habits is now harboured by fellow Chinese rather than by the self-content Europeans of the last plague visitation a century ago. This essentialising xenophobia has come to be a defining factor in the relationship between the two sides of the Shenzhen River, and has paradoxically complicated the pro-democracy (and anti-Beijing) discourse and activism, rejuvenated in the wake of the SARS crisis.

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另一件事卻不甚光彩:沙士過後,為舒緩由疫病所造成的經濟危機,出現內地 公民以個人簽證訪港的政策,簡稱「自由行」。這造成城市身份的另一個主要 轉變,亦改變了香港與中國內地之間的關係。以往疫病的醫學名詞和意象,例 如破壞健康社會的病原體或搶購配方奶粉的蝗蟲,被用來形容在香港湧現的內 地人。一場疫症再次成為偏執和仇恨的佈景板,但有別於一百年前鼠疫為患的 年代,對中國人龐大人口和不文明習慣的恐懼,不再是自滿的歐洲人,而是來 自這群中國人的同胞。這種本質上的「仇外」心態,成為深圳河兩岸關係的一 個決定性因素,亦吊詭地令民主運動(及反北京)的討論,以及在沙士危機堀 起後重獲生機的社運變得更為複雜。

These ambivalences in the identity of Hongkongers are reflected in the figure of Leslie Cheung, the hugely iconic figure, actor and singer who committed suicide at the height of the SARS crisis by jumping off the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, in Central Hong Kong. His shocking death at the darkest hour of the darkest times in recent memory played its part in the mobilisation of Hongkongers, who turned out in huge numbers for Leslie’s funeral, ignoring the health warnings in effect at the time. Gor Gor’s (“Big Brother” in Cantonese—as Leslie has been known) life and career have contributed to forging a strong sense of identity for Hong Kong culture, in spite of his queer and often contrarian persona. The versatility of the roles he played reflected (and arguably enhanced) the versatility of the city’s identity over the past decades, before and after the handover. And his ghostly presence continues to do so.

這些香港人身份的自相矛盾和模棱兩可,正正在「哥哥」張國榮身上反映出 來。張氏是一位演員和歌手,更是相當重要的偶像人物。沙士危機的高潮期 間,他在香港中環的香港文華東方酒店跳樓自殺。那是近年最黑暗的時代裡最 黑暗的時刻,他的逝世震驚全港,令很多香港人不顧健康警示,親身出席其葬 禮。儘管哥哥是一名同志,亦往往特立獨行,他的一生和演藝事業打造出一種 對香港文化的強烈認同感。他一人千面的演技,體現(亦無疑增強)香港在回 歸前後數十年裡面面俱到的自我形象。逝者已矣,音容宛在,他的影響力將會 持續下去。

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Leslie Cheung. Courtesy Wen Yau

The exhibition aims to navigate through these disparate though interconnected narratives and to contribute to a critical discussion about Hong Kong’s recent history with the help of works by local and international artists, as well as of pop cultural artifacts and archival documents. It is curated by Cosmin Costinas and Inti Guerrero.

是次展覽旨在瀏覽各自表述卻又互有關聯的敘事角度,並藉著展出本地和國際 藝術家的作品,以及流行文化的文物和檔案,為一個有關香港近代史的批判討 論作出貢獻。展覽由Cosmin Costinas及Inti Guerrero策展。

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Firenze Lai Playground, 2009 Acrylic on paperboard Courtesy the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou

Apichatpong Weerasethakul Morakot (Emerald), 2007 Video installation and green light bulb Courtesy the artist

Moe Satt F n’ F (Face & Fingers), 2009 8 black and white photographs with text Courtesy the artist

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Len Lye Tusalava, 1929 Black and white animation on 35mm, 9 min. Courtesy New Zealand Film Archive and The Len Lye Foundation; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

Yin-Ju Chen and James T. Hong Total Mobilization, 2006 HD Video, 8 min. Courtesy the artists

Ming Wong After Chinatown, 2012 TV set and video, 7:10 min Courtesy the artist

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STREET PERFORMANCE 街頭展演: Lygia Pape, Divisor, 1968 Friday 17 May 2013, 15:00–17:00 hrs at Chater Road in Central

2013年5月17日星期五下午3時至5時 中環遮打道 Saturday 25 May 2013, 15:00 –17:00 hrs at Tamar Park in Admiralty

2013年5月25日星期六下午3時至5時 金鐘添馬公園

As part of the exhibition a reenactment of a street performance by Brazilian avant-garde artist Lygia Pape will take place in the streets of Hong Kong. Originally performed on the streets of Rio de Janeiro in 1968, Divisor is composed of an immense white fabric, which can be seen as a large scale white monochrome and is activated by a participative audience. The amorphous mutant forms created throughout the piece reflect the subjectivity of the participants who struggle between individualism and solidarity with the collective experience.

與次展相連,《Divisor》1968年於里約熱內盧街頭首次展演。作品由一幅巨型 的白色織物所構成,可視為一大幅單色表面,因觀眾的參與而生動起來。每位 參與者將整個人藏於布內,只從鑽洞露出頭部,所有人一起走過公共空間。展 演中不定的變種形態,反映所有參與者的主體性:他們從集體經歷中,掙扎於 個人主義和團結一致之間。

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Exhibition venues 展覽場所 Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 – 19:00 hrs, closed on public holidays Special opening hours: 20 – 26 May 2013, 10:00 – 20:00 hrs; 24 May 2013, 10:00 – 21:00 hrs 星期三至星期日,下午12時至晚上7時,公共假期休息 特別開放時間: 五月二十日至五月二十六日,上午十時至晚上八時; 五月二十四日, 上午十時至晚上九時

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17 May–20 July 2013 Para Site G / F, 4 Po Yan Street Sheung Wan

17 May–26 May 2013 Sheung Wan Civic Centre Exhibition Hall 6 / F, 345 Queen’s Road Central Sheung Wan

17 May–26 May, 2013 private flat 5 / F, 30 Queen Street Sheung Wan

Para Site 藝術空間 香港上環普仁街4號地下

上環文娛中心展覽廳 香港皇后大道中345號 上環市政大廈6樓

私人單位 上環皇后街30號六樓

Performance venues 表演場地 Lung W o Rd

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Art Basel Hong Kong, 7min walk

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Project Team 項目團隊 Oscar Chan Yik Long 陳翊朗 (Research and Production Assistant 研究及製作助理) Cosmin Costinas (Co-Curator 聯策展人) Inti Guerrero 士日 (Co-Curator 聯策展人) Lily Kwok Lai Lai 郭麗麗 (Research and Production Assistant 研究及製作助理) Trevor Yeung 楊沛鏗 (Assistant Curator and Production Coordinator 副策展人及製作統籌) Para Site Cosmin Costinas (Executive Director and Curator 執行總監 / 策展人) Ada Lam 林清揚 (Head of Administration and Development 拓展 / 營運策劃) Jims Lam 林志恒 (Programme Coordinator and Design 項目統籌及設計) Qinyi Lim 林沁怡 (Curator 策展人) Trevor Yeung 楊沛鏗 (Programme Coordinator 項目統籌) Communications supported by Fleishman-Hillard 次展聯繫及公關由Fleishman-Hillard慷慨提供 Para Site would like to extend our deep gratitude to the artists of the exhibition as well as to the following individuals who provided crucial support to the project: Para Site 想向展覽中的藝術家及以下提供了重要支持的人士致以深深的謝意: Claudia Albertini 荷心 Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong 亞洲藝術文獻庫 Mimi Brown Rachel Catanach Edward Chou Columbia University Press, New York Ann Ding Iris Dressler Gridthiya Gaweewong Paulo Herkenhoff Hong Kong Museum of History 香港歷史博物館 LABOR, Mexico City Len Lye Foundation/Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth Warren Leung Chi Wo 梁志和 Anthony Leung Po-shan 梁寶山

New Zealand Film Archive, Auckland openUU, Hong Kong Pak Sheung Chuen 白雙全 Para Site Art Criticism Class 2003 2003年藝術評論班 Projeto Lygia Pape, Rio de Janeiro Spring Workshop, Hong Kong Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou 維他命藝術空間 Xiaoyu Weng 翁笑雨 Jeremy Wingfield Chantal Wong Sara Wong 黃志恆 Yale University, H. Cushing / J. H. Whitney Medical Library, New Haven Wen Yau 魂游

Para Site Art Space is financially supported by Springboard Grant under the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Para Site藝術空間獲香港特別行政區政府「藝能發展資助計劃」的躍進資助。 The content of this programme does not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


活動內容並不反映香港特別行政區政府的意見。

Graphic Design 圖形設計: Studio Manuel Raeder, Berlin Front cover 封面: Lygia Pape, Divisor, 1968 Performed at Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, 1983 Courtesy Projeto Lygia Pape, Rio de Janeiro

Para Site G / F, 4 Po Yan Street Sheung Wan Hong Kong

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t +852 2517 4620 f +852 2517 6850 info@para-site.org.hk www.para-site.org.hk

Back cover 封底: Lam Qua, Portrait no 48.Yang Kang, 1830–1850 Oil painting Courtesy Yale University, H. Cushing / J. H. Whitney Medical Library, New Haven

Para Site 藝術空間 香港上環普仁街4號地下

t +852 2517 4620 f +852 2517 6850 info@para-site.org.hk www.para-site.org.hk

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Ai Weiwei 艾未未, Bernd Behr, Natalia Sui-hung Chan 洛楓, Oscar Chan Yik Long 陳翊朗, Yin-Ju Chen 陳瀅如, George Chinnery, Megan Cope, Dung Kai-cheung 董啟章, Larry Feign, James T. Hong 洪子健, Irene Kopelman, Firenze Lai 黎清妍, Lam Qua 林官, Lee Kit 李傑, Len Lye, Ma Liuming 馬六明, Fionnuala McHugh, Moe Satt, Pak Sheung Chuen 白雙全, Para Site Art Criticism Class 藝評班 2003, Lygia Pape, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Adrian Wong 黃浩然, Ming Wong, Ricky Yeung Sau-churk 楊秀卓, Samson Young 楊嘉輝, Mathias Woo 胡恩威 & Edward Lam 林奕華 / Zuni Icosahedron

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A Journal of the Plague Year. Fear, ghosts, rebels. SARS, Leslie and the Hong Kong story  

Ai Weiwei Bernd Behr Natalia Sui-hung Chan Oscar Chan Yik Long Yin-Ju Chen George Chinnery Megan Cope Dung Kai-cheung Larry Feign James T. H...

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