Friday, November 5, 2010

Rooted In the Ephemeral Speak (R.I.T.E.S) (8th) - Post Museum, 5 Nov 2010


The 8th installment of Rooted In the Ephemeral Speak (R.I.T.E.S) featured Jittima Pholsawek (TH), Eric Scott Nelson (US/KP), Alice De Visscher (BE), Cheng Guang Feng (CN), Lynn Lu (SG) and Him Lo (HK). I was a bit late so I missed the first two performances by Jittima and Eric Scott Nelson, but I arrived just in time to see a massive spectacle forming on the street.



Hong Kong performance artist Him Lo had meticulously covered himself in black paint - so strikingly dark that one could have been forgiven for having mistaken him for being of african descent if one had not looked at his facial features. Rowell Road is always especially busy on Sunday night, and a huge crowd of indian workers soon thronged around Him Lo on the side of Rowell Road as he crawled across the street to fetch boxes and then dragged them together to make a cardboard house which he then sat inside. Even the police came over to have a check on the huge crowd situation at the street, but they did not infer and just stopped to watch the performance for a while too. An apt location for such a piece, since Little India is particularly full of overcrowded flatshares for transient workers.



Belgium performance artist Alice De Visscher used sponges and her body to build a wall in the corridor of the building, and then to explode it as well. Interesting use of materials.


Cheng Guang Feng collected items from audience members in a big bucket, and then dropped them one by one on to a microphone to make a sound. From small ezlink cards, to books to buzzing radios, he played with them to get sounds out of them, and eventually dropped the items back in the bucket as well. Guang Feng ended off by saying: "The sound in here comes from everyone." I liked the concept of this, although it was not necessarily very melodious. Seems like a natural extension of his other work, for example the piece in which he mic-ed up his chest and got people to hit him to make a sound (circa 2006?)

Lynn Lu

Finally there was Lynn Lu's piece, which featured a man sitting in the middle of a candle lit table, reading a very thick encyclopedic book. Lynn came in and periodically extinguished a single flame, until all the candles were out and reading became ostensibly impossible for the man.

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