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unconstrained tone 亂調

soundpocket / Hong Kong / Dec 11-17, 2020 / Jacqueline Leung /

Originally conceived as a series of live performances in May, unconstrained tone was an online screening of seven new audiovisual works by 19 emerging Hong Kong artists. The culmination of a year-long project, it aimed to let participating artists, mostly from composition and videography backgrounds, experiment with ways of bringing sound and image together. Despite its postponement and digital presentation, much of unconstrained tone remained in the here and now. Each work was only up for 24 hours, after which it could no longer be viewed.

The programme opened with Synchronization (2020), a multimedia improvisation by musician Kong Chan and filmmaker Wong Hoi-yin. In a dark interior, a dancer moved to music performed using dongxiao flute, electronic sound effects and The World of Dreams, a set of lyrics composed by Hong Yi, an eminent Buddhist monk, sung in the Cantonese naamyam singing tradition. The dancer’s movements were processed by a visual mixer and projected onto the wall, producing illusory shadows that in turn informed the musicians’ playing. A work of simultaneous creation, Synchronization formally embodies the harmony of life’s cycles and of existence, as the lyrics demonstrate in translation: “The wide and manifold world/is but one and the same.”

Phantom Muyu by Wong Chun-hoi, Peace Wong and Daniel Yung Tsz-hong, Video still, 2020.
Courtesy the artists and soundpocket.

Other works in unconstrained tone are also collaborations. Sourcing sound and footage from their immediate surroundings, Phantom Muyu (2020) by Wong Chun-hoi, Peace Wong and Daniel Yung Tsz-hong gives humdrum contemporary a surreal ambience. It begins with a vibrant electronic track mixed with everyday noise similar to the muyu, a percussive instrument – sounds of typing on a mobile phone and the click of a tongue overlay spoken lyrics, more rhythmic than meaningful as words are repeated until they make no sense. The visual segment that follows, a one-take fisheye shot of a couple leaving their apartment in silence, distorts reality, conveying urban isolation with its claustrophobic, globular view.

Much of what was shown relates to Hong Kong’s curtailed social movement and the subsequent trauma. Distancing – A Mirror of Absence (2020) by Sam Cheng Kui-sum, Lau Sai-wing and Guyshawn Wong expresses the inescapable nature of anguish even when overseas. Framed around ideas of travel and withdrawal, the work juxtaposes footage of tourists enjoying Venice and scenes from the protests on a split screen. The declaration of the National Security Law echoes McDonald’s club membership recruitment, while a boat ride on Venice’s canals resonates with a gushing fire hydrant on a deserted road beside Polytechnic University, where one of the most intense sieges took place. These seemingly nonchalant associations are interspersed with indications of violence – a seagull pecks at the corpse of a pigeon; monochrome mosaics of battle linger amid mundane conversations on a bus, suggesting the continuation of harm even in the aftermath. By nature, videos imply a certain linearity, but the use of collage editing portrays the patchwork of memory and recognition even as time moves forward, denoting the convolution of present experience and what it means to be in the moment.

聲音掏腰包 / 香港 / 2020年12月11日至17日 / Jacqueline Leung

《亂調》是原定於2020年5月舉行的一系列現場表演,其後改為網上錄像放映節目,包括19位新興香港藝術家創作的七組聲音影像的共同創作。在這長達一年的項目裡,在不同領域本從事作曲與影像創作的參與藝術家,實驗把聲音和影像連繫一起的不同方法。儘管《亂調》基於疫情因而延期和改為網上放映,展覽仍然離不開當下。每件作品最多只能播放二十四小時,此後將無法再觀看。 該節目以音樂家陳志江和黃塏然即興創作的《聲畫同步》 (2020年) 開場。


《亂調》的其他作品也是共同創作。王鎮海、王和平和翁子康的《幻電木魚》(2020年)是藝術家從周圍的環境蒐集的聲音和畫面創作而成,為單調的當代世界帶來了超現實的氛圍。它的開端混合了充滿活力的電子音軌和類似木魚敲擊樂器的聲音的日常雜音。在手機上 打字的聲音以及舌頭作嘖嘖聲蓋上朗讀的歌詞聲,富節奏感多於實質 意義,重複出現直到再沒有任何意義。接下來的錄像片段通過魚眼鏡頭拍下一對夫婦靜靜地離開了他們的公寓,扭曲了現實,以幽閉恐懼的球形視角表達了城市的孤獨感。

展覽中展出的作品大部份與香港縮減的社會運動以及隨後的創傷有關。鄭鉅深、劉世榮和王嘉淳的《以在場作為逃跑──反記錄「我」》(2020年)表達了即使在海外也難以避免的痛苦。該作品以旅行和撤離的想法為框架,將遊客欣賞威尼斯的鏡頭和示威抗議的畫面並列顯示在屏幕上。頒佈國安法與麥當勞俱樂部招募互相呼應,而在威尼斯運河上乘船遊覽的影像與大學旁邊一條空曠的道路上噴湧出的消防栓引起了共鳴,那是當時其中一個最緊張的圍攻的地點。這些看似冷淡的關聯散佈著暴力跡象:一隻海鷗啄一隻鴿子屍體、單色的戰鬥畫面穿插在公共汽車上平凡的談話之間。這表明即使在事後,傷害仍 在繼續。從本質上,錄像暗示一定 的線性度,但使用拼貼編輯描繪了 隨著時間的流逝的記憶和識別的拼 湊,也代表了當前經歷的迂迴及其在當下的意義。

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