Stanley - The 4th Large-scale Interactive Media Arts Exhibition: Fleeting Light

2014-09-02 10:00 - 2014-10-02 20:00

Stanley - The 4th Large-scale Interactive Media Arts Exhibition: Fleeting Light

When: 2 Sep - 2 Oct 2014 10:00-20:00
Where: 17/F, Soundwill Plaza II - Midtown
Opening Reception: 4 Sep 2014 Thu 18:00

Signature embroideries on the Day Joyce Sheet being superimposed on an image of sunny sky

Signature embroideries on the Day Joyce Sheet being superimposed on an image of sunny sky

2014第四届大型互动媒体艺术展:流光曳影
2014第四届大型互动媒体艺术展:流光曳影-时间安排
展览《史丹利》-2014第四届大型互动媒体艺术展:流光曳影

Artist: Samson Young

The beaches of Hong Kong are sites of amusement, of romance, of touristic consumption, and of artificial nature. Among the numerous beaches that dot the city's coastlines, few are as iconic as the Stanley beach. The area is home to a public housing project, a market that sells mass-produced handicrafts and artworks, and a reconstructed Victorian-era government building that has been transformed into a mall. Stanley conjures the image of a generic sunny destination, a non-place of perpetual circulation and endless recreation that leaves not a trace.

Often overlooked is Stanley's significance as a WWII battleground, and its history as the site of a civilian internment camp where many of the colonial government's highest officials were held in captivity. One of the most remarkable artifacts to have emerged out of prisoner of war camps around the globe - the "Day Joyce Sheet" - was in fact the product of a Stanley internee. Daisy Mary (Day) Joyce, an internee who served as an auxiliary nurse at the camp, kept a large double bed sheet onto which she embroidered over 1100 names, figures, signs and symbols. The symbols were diaries in secret code, which Day created to record the mundane and the trivial, as a way to keep the hands and the mind employed during her period of internment. Even more remarkable are the embroideries of the signatures of numerous Stanley internees, which Day collected through her work and then hand-sewn onto the sheet. The Day Joyce sheet was publicly displayed for the first time in 2009.

In this project, the artist's research on the history of Stanley has been rendered into a sound piece, an "indoor beach" installation, and a series of prints and objects. The material for the sound piece is consisted of archival recordings of Stanley internees in interview, drawn from the archive of the Imperial War Museum. These include interviews of Day Joyce, and also of Joseph Ernest Sandbach - a Methodist Superintendent and Officiating Chaplain to the British armed forces in Hong Kong. The prints features patterns sourced from the internee signature embroideries on the Day Joyce Sheet, which were then superimposed onto images of generic sunny skies purchased from commercial stock image banks.

"There's this saying: in an all-blue world, color doesn't exist… If something seems strange, you question it; but if the outside world is too distant to use as a comparison then nothing seems strange." - Alex Garland, The Beach

 

Artist Talk (Free admission)
When: 9 Sep 2014 Tue 19:00-20:00

The artist speaks about the work, and provide a general overview of his recent artistic research into Hong Kong's involvement in the Second World War. The artist's presentation is followed by a Q&A.

 

Artist dinner-performance - "Mustard Rice" (Free admission)
When: 18 Sep 2014 Thu, 21 Sep Sun 19:00-20:00

The Stanley internees, like many other prisoners of war, endured extremely harsh conditions when it comes to food. Little food was provided, and the quality was poor. The daily ration for a family of five was no more than a couple of pounds of white rice, which the internees supplemented with a variety of garden-grown vegetables and condiments obtained from the black market. In this performance, the artist prepares for the audience a free dinner that is consisted of a menu of food that the Stanley internees would have endured. This menu has been reconstructed from the internees' descriptions, as heard in the interview recordings from the archive of the Imperial War Museum.

 

Tel: 852-28034275
Add: 1-29 Tang Lung St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

 

*Information provided by City University of Hong Kong

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