with soundpocket, mentorship program, Hong-Kong Oct.2014

with soundpocket, mentorship program, Hong-Kong Oct.2014

For my first visit in Hong-Kong, last October, I had two aims and a special angle of approach.

One of my aims was the participation of the exhibition “Art as social interaction” (see this post about it).

And about my angle, I didn’t want to immerse myself in the urban craziness that is the stereotype of this attracting city. I am definitely interested into its History and complexity, but I wanted at first to discover some places which are on the sides, remote or simply less obvious.

Thanks to some websites and a good book, I noticed a Forest area, Tai Po Kau, which looked quite suitable for a first hike. Accompanied with a friend from soundpocket, Sui-Fong Yim, I had the chance to discover, to my great pleasure and surprise a crystal clear river, where we noticed a dozen of salamanders (yet to be identified). This forest was both familiar, being used to Taiwanese mountains, and surprising (by the bird songs, by the flora).

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The next day, I had appointment with my friend, sound artist Edwin Lo, for a short walk on the small island of Lamma. This place, during the week days, is unbelievably quiet, the villages are soothing and the vegetation extremely interesting. And it was quite a good feeling to visit some hidden places where Akio Suzuki made some in-site improvisations a few years ago. I have spent a considerable amount of time in Penghu archipelago in Taiwan, but there is nothing that reminded me these islands in Lamma…

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These two days were my introduction to Hong-Kong : having a walk with friends, discovering the soundscapes of areas where the city has not yet taken over the countryside, where people go for taking distance or where people used to live. Of course, I was well aware of the social troubles inside the city, and later visited the more active and intense parts of the city. But my presence in Hong-Kong will be something like a wondering about the relationship between the inhabitant and the natural environment.

The reason of my visits is an invitation by the essential organization in Hong-Kong for promotion of listening and sound art, soundpocket. They gave me a fantastic opportunity to visit these places and work there for an educational program. I’ll be in charge of a mentorship program, meeting and collaborating with some young artists in Hong-Kong who are willing to develop their sound practice.

Our first step was an informal gathering, with tea and fruits, sharing each other experiences and ideas. I was pretty amazed of the quality of this discussion, everyone bringing a personal perspective.

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Next week, with these artists, we’ll go on two listening/recording sessions, related to the coastal habitats, harbor works and the maritime routes.  Next year, in April 2015, some of the artists will visit Taiwan, and together we’ll continue this work in Kaohsiung city.  And before that, in March 2015, another workshop devoted to field recording will be held in Hong-Kong.

During each of my stay, I’ll continue doing my own recordings and researches about natural environments of Hong-Kong, collecting sounds and discovering those unexpected landscapes.

I have currently no idea about what will result, in term of production, of those activities. Right now it is an ongoing process of mutual discovers and exchanges.