a work per day (7): Linda Lai’s VAULTING SPACE 1927-2011 翻騰空a work per day (7): Linda Lai’s VAULTING SPACE 1927-2011 翻騰空

a work per day (7): Linda Lai’s VAULTING SPACE 1927-2011 翻騰空

Vaulting Space, site view @ WMC_e5
Vaulting Space, site view @ WMC_e5, Connecting Space-HK, 2014.10

Linda Lai 黎肖嫻

Automated 3-channel projection / 2014 Hong Kong


Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 1.32.33 AMa rough site view: https://vimeo.com/109142966

Site view showing the work’s 3 movements: https://vimeo.com/110445362

mock-up view: https://vimeo.com/97903624



Vaulting Space - site view @ WMC_e5, Connecting Space-HK, 2014.10
Vaulting Space – site view @ WMC_e5

A 3-screen automated projection runs 441 clips from swordplay films spanning across 1927-2011, exploring visual styles and spatial imagination in Chinese swordplay films and their possible origins… The codes of the artist’s former work, Door Games Window Frames: Near Drama (2012), are adapted to highlight the counterpoint relations of three image discourses, from the minimalist-constructivist view of the locomotive human body and tools and objects of swordplay to the most basic criteria of locomotion.

441個電影碎片。從1927到2011。上海神怪默片《西廂記》、港產《如來神掌》、港台合製《忠烈圖》、胡金銓的《山中傳奇》、蜀山、龍門…。 8秒、5+3秒10秒、4+6、7+3。 彈騰、滾進、跳出、閃入、穿越、跨過,不動聲色。奔跑、攝走、驅散。著地、猛進,無重狀態 。 呯嘭器具交加,一盤紮實的拌麵條。 數碼設定,三個布幕上現在進行式的對位法:迂迴重複的,對沖的,反差的,互相映照的,契合的。 看得見的音韻,無盡延伸的律動, 武俠電影的斷代板斧。《翻騰空》。請接招。

Concept 概念

a collage of clips
a collage of swordplay components

Vaulting Space, adapting the codes for my work Door Games Window Frames: Near Drama(2012), is an algorithmic combinatorial projection in 3 channels distributed in different parts of a room. Clips from 16 “wuxia pian” (Chinese swordplay films) are combined and projected on 3 horizontal banners (projected surfaces) hanged from the ceiling of 21:9 aspect ratio. The 3 banners, lying horizontally on parallel planes, are also orchestrated in such a way that the minimal actions form a visual chorus. The making of rules is comparable to counterpoints in music to govern the interdependence across the three image discourses (on 3 screens) and independence within each of the three image discourses. There is no big theory why the clips I cut up span across 1927-2011. But I certainly believe in the revelatory power of longue durée (long duration) as well as the excavational power of thinking moving images just for their surfaces. From epic-stories to micro-narratives, I have further descended onto the deconstructible level of action sequences to see how local capabilities of our body, limbs and joints have been subjected to the imaginary scores of vaulting and swordplay that comprise the most unique genre of Chinese cinema. On a broad level, Vaulting Space is a pleasurable celebration of the low-level visual/body mechanics and narrative components of swordplay in the form of a try-lateral polyphonic chorus. However, an under-current interrupts the image discourse of glorification every now and then — the monstrous and the tyrannical are the constant antagonists of swordplay heroes and heroines. Jianghu [the world of gallant chivalry of swordplay], after all, is a world of the outcast and the anti-establishment in a situation of no choice. Between allegorical ontologies and phenomenological engagement of swordplay processes, I am exploring the many possibilties of writing/reading, discursive formation and articulation.

Vaulting Space - site view @ WMC_e5, Connecting Space-HK, 2014.10
Vaulting Space – site view @ WMC_e5, Connecting Space-HK, 2014.10

《翻騰空》延續前作《景框戲門》的程式演算創作裝置或「演算法錄像電影」,堅持我對衍生性藝術的探索。在規則的設計上,除了依據重複、組合、交換排列的邏輯去構想如何於三個布幕上分佈摘自16部武俠片的431個碎片之外,也向音樂上的對位法取靈感,調配三個影像流的相互性以及每個影像流的獨立自主性。三度平面,三個懸空的高度,21:9的比例;我期待這基本的設置會向我揭示我肉眼所不能的武俠語言。說到1927-2011並沒有大理論,我只是相信長時段的宏觀橫向參照的力度。說是批判分析,倒不如說是以創作進行研究:我堅持活動影像的表面便是豐富的可觀現象足夠我們定睛細究。把「說故事」推到「微敘事」再往下推向「微動作」的操作層面,就是這個作品在視覺和理念上所依從的解構道路。 整體而言,《翻騰空》猶如華麗的對位多重唱,素材是電影與身體語言的低度單位,以及武俠片的微敘事元素,交錯對鳴。暗湧卻時不時破流搶截,拋出猙獰、怒哮。這大概也是武俠世界的法度;「江湖」,本來就是不能認同建制、被「逼上梁山」的人的潛世界。在微敘事與本體論之間,我仍在尋找書寫、論述、發聲的多重可能性。

collage of clips (21:9 aspect ratio)
collage of swordplay components (21:9 aspect ratio)

Sources of the 441 clips 441 個電影碎片的出處

Film Title Year Director
Tale of the Western Chamber (akaRomance of the Western Chamber)
侯曜 Hou Yao
哪吒救母 (aka 哪吒蛇山救母)
How Nazha rescued his mother from the Snake Mountain
黃鶴聲 Wong Hok-sing
The Young Swordsman Lung Kim-fei (akaBuddha’s Palm)
凌雲 Ling Wan
Moslem Sacred Fire Decree
蕭笙 Siu Sang
Come Drink with Me
胡金銓 King Hu
Dragon Gate Inn
胡金銓 King Hu
A Touch of Zen
胡金銓 King Hu
The Valiant Ones
胡金銓 King Hu
09 楚留香 Clans of Intrigue 1977 楚原 Chor Yuen
10 倚天屠龍記
The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber
楚原 Chor Yuen
11 射鵰英雄傳(下)
The Brave Archer 2 (aka The Legend of the Condor Heroes 2)
1978 張徹 Chang Che
12 山中傳奇 Legend of the Mountain 1979 胡金銓 King Hu
13 蜀山 Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain 1983 徐克 Tsui Hark
14 東方三俠 The Heroic Trios 1992 杜琪峰 Johnnie To
15 東邪西毒 Ashes of Time 1994 王家衛 Wong Kar-wai
16 龍門飛甲 The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 2011 徐克 Tsui Hark

Linda Lai
Linda Lai 黎肖嫻

About Linda LAI

Linda Chiu-han LAI, Associate Professor in Intermedia Arts at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media (SCM), is a research-based interdisciplinary artist. After completing her Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at New York University, she has sought meaningful connective extension to other relevant artistic and theoretical endeavors. She persists in artistic creation as the practice of theory. A critical researcher on the History of Everyday Life, her works focus on historiography, visual and auto-ethnography, urbanity and popular culture. Her teaching revolves around the criticality of micro/meta narrativity. She has also designed, at SCM, Hong Kong’s first courses in generative art & literature at the university level. She is founder of Hongkong-based new media art group, the Writing Machine Collective (2004) and has completed 5 major group exhibitions on questions of computational thinking and contemporary art. Though broadly known for her videography in the international art venues, she creates in different artistic mediums to turn art-making into criticism, history-writing, gaming and voyages of discovery. Her digital and non-digital works have been shown in key venues in many cities in Europe, Asia and the US, including the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Open City London Documentary Festival, LOOP Barcelona, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the Fourth State of Water (CoCA, Torun, Poland), Women Make Waves Film Festival (Taipei), International Centre (New Delhi), and the various Experimental Film/Video Festivals in Seoul (EXiS), Taipei (EXiT), Macao (EXiM), Kuala Lumpur (KLEX) and Hong Kong (HKEX). Lai considers herself a montage artist: to her, images are intensely rich perceptual surfaces that defy the binary division of representation and abstraction. Many of her works also deploy the notion of an archive and self-archiving, including her recent work “1906-1989-2012: Guangzhou-Hongkong-Shanghai-Anji,” commissioned for the 9th Shanghai Biennale 2012 at the Power Station of Contemporary Art, which is also a piece of experimental history playing with childhood memory, the use of everyday objects and folk material, the postal history of Hong Kong and family stories. Lai seeks for intermedia moments and modes of connectivity, be it conjugation, modulation, combinatorial logic, permutation…

黎肖嫻,香港城市大學創意媒體學院互媒藝術副教授,同時也是以研究主導創作的跨領域藝術家,有豐富的國際參展經驗。於紐約大學電影研究系取得哲學博士之後,不斷尋究由電影延展開去的相關藝術和理論探索,一直不離不棄『理論就是行動實踐』的信念。在藝術創作和學術研究上,環繞歷史書寫、視覺和自傳式民俗志、都市研究和資料類集之間的批判性關聯,核心總離不開敍事的政治性,強調語言活動的詭辯。從女性主義的觸覺思維出發,她的作品強調『差異』的無盡性,以抒演的策略不斷的打開既定概念和操作成規。 黎肖嫻的實驗性錄影、數碼或混媒的裝置曾於歐美和亞洲的多個城市展出,包括德國奧柏豪辛國際短片節,首爾實驗電影錄影節,美國俄亥俄州雅典城的國際電影錄像節、倫敦的開放城市紀錄片節、臺北女性影展、首爾國際女性影展、香港國際電影節等等。近作《1906-1989-2012》為第九屆上海雙年展(2012)的受委參展作品。個人最喜歡的創作是一本260頁的書,記述了她和攝影家陳超敏(英國肯特大學藝術理論與哲學系講師)八個回合的攝影和文字的跨媒對話遊戲。 2004年她創辦了香港為基地的新媒體群體「文字機器創作集」,至今已發表過五輯聯展,不斷探索電算思維與當代藝術的問題。 在創意媒體學院,她任教的科目包括當代藝術與媒體考古、媒體藝術、電影史和視覺理論與實驗性錄像創作的關係、文化研究和民俗志在批判和創作上的實踐,以及書寫與創意。在香港大專界,她是首位設計和執教衍生性藝術與文學,以及從人文角度看聲音藝術的學者。


Acknowledgements 鳴謝: Research/Technical Assistant: Wong Chun-hoi 研究及技術助理:王鎮海 Technical Consultant: Mike Wong 技術顧問:王健明 Programming Consultant: Hector Rodriguez, Philip Kretschmann 程式顧問:羅海德, Philip Kretschmann


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