An auto-navigating chair that travels through his 7-part exhibition is artist NG Tsz-kwan’s special design, now inviting “intern researchers” to try out a different experience. Prolific multimedia experience designer Ng turns his service projects into an artistic spatial journey in his solo, [G]Local Empathy System, at Sheung Wan Civic Centre’s exhibition gallery on the 6th floor. Visitors are encouraged to sign up. 著名的多媒體設計師吳子昆，最近在上環文娛中心舉行了個人展覽《 全情定位漂浮系統》 ，希望利用其專業專長「經驗設計」(experience design) 的多媒體語法，著我們意識到影像在鬧烘烘的都市生活裡無時無刻發揮著宣傳商品的遊說作用。吳子昆特別設計了一張「漫遊椅子」，歡迎觀眾預先登記成為「特約研究員」，體驗商用科技與藝術思維的空間結合。
wmce6 2018.08.24 |黎肖嫻談粵語電影通俗劇的操作和吳子昆的媒體分解遊戲 | notes by Linda Lai on melodrama’s nature and Kwan Ng’s treatment
解說「象裡有象：通電造影」 之《全情定位漂浮系統》（2018年9月1日開幕）| The other introduction of Ng Tsz-kwan’s [G]Local Empathy System (opening 1 September 2018) at “Cinema Expanding: Visualizing the Unseen,” WMC_e6…
I once watched six Cantonese HK oldies from the early 1960s back to back and found myself wandering in a gigantic mansion with many doors between rooms. I wasn’t really lost, but I felt the house growing in size and volume; the more I walked (watched), the stronger my drive was to look at the house from outside, and better still from a high angle. Utterances repeat, bouncing off the walls of empty rooms, swirling into echoes that swell in the house’s atmosphere:
“How dare you… I’m sorry…” “How dare you… I’m sorry…” “Never would have imagined you…” “You heartless, shameless…” “You have wronged me. You have mistaken me…” “I owe you so much…” “I’ve taken the wrong path.” “I’m so sorry I can’t return your grace.”
And there is a lot of waiting. Waiting for… An hour. A few days. A few months, a whole lifetime. A matter of life and death. Suffering
“The rule of cheating and betrayal, misunderstanding and being misunderstood… holds all details together in a huge machinery of tricks and traps.”  The narrative process is populated with a trap door series opening to roller-coaster rides with “alternating swings of moral exaltation and pulsating pleasures of evil conspiracy, commanding a highly visceral experience.” 
A Cantonese film writer (from the 1960s) once said in an interview, qualifying film melodrama’s power on the viewers:
… I did manage to ‘hook’ them to my stories to make them want more. I would set up an almost impossible situation without obvious solutions.
What if we take away the interpersonal tug of war and just keep the single moment of affect? What if we remove all the lubricants, conjunctives and conjunctures we impose between scenes and postures? What is remaining?
The film melodrama installed in [G]Local Empathy System is also like a machine with a series of trap doors: they wait for you, you come close and fall or slip or bounce back in shock, like reading Alice in the Wonderland for the first time… Big and small. Far away so close. Up and down and siding off around. It is an arche-narrative with emotional overflow. Something seems to have happened, but nothing really happens.
[G]Locating Empathy System cuts through the many aspects of story-telling and story reception… It foregrounds the “pleasurable constructedness that displays itself, with an effect after Brechtian distanciation.” 
Each character is also his own multiples; each face the seed for stock, categorized emotions
How many movies are you watching all at once? This question marks the basic curiosity required to understand Ng’s installation as generative art. The search of the stories quoted in the show gradually becomes the shock encounter of framed emotions, which is also the artist Ng Tsz-kwan’s meta-narrative of moral shorthand of HK’s popular culture in the past.
 Quotes from essay by Linda Lai (2005): “Between ‘I’ and ‘You’: an Architextual Construction of Li Wo’s Broadcast Drama as Film Adaptation.” in The Hong Kong -Guangdong Film Connection (Hong Kong Film Archive), pp. 184-201. Lai’s essay is the origin of her various single-channel videos and programmed projection normally known as the Door Games series. […]
Kwan Ng re-purposes 18 years’ goal-driven multimedia experience design expertise for artistic exploration of visual dramaticity… In his [G]Local Empathy System, visitors “write” the potential stories of affective postures by walking through a routed journey.
01.09.2018 – 20.09.2018 | 11am – 7pm daily | Sheung Wan Civic Centre 上環文娛中心
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Science fiction turned reality…
Big seductive smiles, streamlined bodies, hybrid creatures, flickering display screens of all sizes staring at us like celestial bodies, the lure of consumption, 360-degree surveillance, ceaseless flow of intimate exchange… Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner back in 1982 is surely not an exaggeration to the contemporary persons.
The ubiquitous presence of moving images in our daily surroundings is nothing new to us. As small as the digital display on a wrist watch or as big as the LED walls on the façades of a building, images cum media contents scream at us in every corner of our public space, and that includes buses, taxis, MTR trains, lifts and escalators… Surfing and browsing on our laptops or mobile phones is a seamless activity: messages in and out, movies streamed by Netflix, a favorite news program and more, all alternating or simultaneous on a single device unit.
What we see is how we see: screen mediation, tool innovation
Not long ago, screen size options were limited to 4:3 or 21:9 aspect ratio, that is, the TV we watch at home or movies in the cinema. Display formats and viewing situations were more or less predictable – on a couch by the TV was routine, and alternatively in a comfortable seat in a pitch-dark cinema with a silver screen. In those days, the media content, film or video, when produced, paid little attention to the final viewing situations, which were rather stable anywhere.
In recent years, we have seen filmmakers using a mobile phone to shoot videos for audience who watch movies on their mobiles. I consider this reasonably taking into account the actual reception condition of media contents – the display medium matters. A much smaller screen implies the viewer may watch it when waiting for a bus or even walking on a street. Shooting tools also change accordingly. Alongside these changes, we find frequenter use of tight framing, enhanced contrast in composition, fast rhythm and shorter shots and so on – as if only by doing so would one be able to keep the attention of the constantly distracted viewers. New aesthetics arises, or customizes for interruptible and mobile viewing experience. This, perhaps, is only a small part of our situation.
The display medium plus the technology involved not only changes the way of storytelling, but it should also bring about different emotional resonances. In this show, I play with the many elements involved in the single act of media content reception by separating them to see what new experiences may arise. These elements include the audience’s act and process of viewing, and the display medium in terms of physical size, aspect ratio, distance between audience and display medium, and the dynamic variation of such a distance.
Dynamic emotions, a rollercoaster ride…
Visitors will “journey” through a passage of dramatic fragments. What we normally called “editing” is irrelevant. In my work, shots used are “found” from multiple existing films rather than shot. The temporal ordering of shots, though preserving the linearity of a passage, highlights in fact the holding up of finer units of a shot on specific surfaces. How does such a design affect the visitors’ sensory experience? How does it change their perception of the individual images, which are supposed to be familiar material drawn from popular cinema? How does the mobile viewing journey enacted by my customized display machine synchronize with our senses? Will such synthesis surprise us beyond the sum of its parts?
In a 7-stop journey, visitors experience the ebb and flow of emotions, extracted from scenes of popular Cantonese cinema in the 1960s, as they impress visitors through contrastive display devices, from 5” LCD screens to 10m x 3m wall projection. The seven stops are: (1) Intimacy & Suspense, (2) Holo Shot, (3) Repulsion & Expectancy, (4) Sequential & Repetitive, (5) Double-crossing, (6) Portraits, and (7) Ending that Never Ends.
Re-purposing: from goal-driven communication to free discovery
For 18 years, Ng has been designing multimedia display for the commercial sector, whereby controlling audience and display relation is his routine. In this exhibition, he turns his skills and experiences to the context of artistic exploration via unusual storytelling. When freed from commercial objectives, how would he transform “experience design” into a critical enquiry? Would the visitors be able to own the experience for themselves? Would they be able to invent new meanings out of ordinary melodramatic textures?