The notion of performativity has often been deployed in examining the social and discursive construction of identity through embodied (re)enactment (with Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity a notable example). Focus on the performativity of our own practices allows us to scrutinise and anticipate the development of protest repertoires in artists’ cultural activism—in turn enabling us to reflect more critically upon the ‘constructedness’ of these repertoires. While cultural activism involves tactics of performing resistance and dissidence, it also involves a series of critical acts of transferring knowledge and cultural memories via ephemeral yet resilient embodied actions—even (or perhaps especially) in politically challenging times like these.
The full article was commissioned by Asia Art Archive and published on their website as part of their Shortlists. Shortlists offer thematic selections from AAA’s Collection, including overviews and annotations by invited contributors.
The past is haunting us from time to time like a ghost. Things may recur as they were but we by no means can redo the past. You, the Future, on the other hand, are our crush, a figment of our imagination. You are the unknown, so uncertain and unprecedented that we cannot be absolutely sure of. You are so intangible and unreachable that we would only endow you with our hope and/or even wishful thinking in a world where populism seems to override authenticity and money to outweigh humanity. You are the muse of make-believe, and the changes we envision to make are for an imaginary ‘you’ that we ever seek to meet. The enchantment of performance keeps us musing on the possibilities of freeing ourselves from the status quo.
Invited by the Performance Art Network CH (PANCH), I presented a lecture performance titled Researching the Restiveness: This is NOT a Performance; This is NOT an Ethnography in the symposium Archives of the Ephemeral. Thinking, Practicing, Interconnecting – A Debate on the Accessibility of Performance Art in Switzerland.
Invited by the Taipei Arts Festival, I joined the Think Bar and a panel discussion following the lecture by Florian Malzacher.
In the Performance Studies International (PSi#24) conference, I presented a paper titled Performative Autoethnography as a Tactical Research Methodology in Activism about my recent research on the performative practices of Hong Kong artists in social movements in Hong Kong. I also took part in the PSi Future Advisory Board Summer School.
My work was featured in Frank Vigneron’s book Hong Kong Soft Power: Art Practices in the Special Administrative Region, 2005-2014 published by The Chinese University Press, 2018:
- Intervention at “Black Cloth March” (2014), in “Introduction.” p.16
- I Am a Grade D Artist 我是丁級藝術家 (2013) in “Chapter 2: Sorting the Intricacies of a Complex Art Field” pp.104-108