Dates: Thursday 5th May – 22nd May
Location: Digital Studio, The University of Melbourne

All elements speak their own language: video art from Hong Kong, 1980-1989 assembles select video art and performance art footage from 1980s Hong Kong by pioneering artists May Fung, Choi Yan Chi and Ellen Pau. The exhibition considers the way in which artists during this period engaged with the body as an interface for environments, objects and technology.

Fung, Choi and Pau were part of a generation of Hong Kong artists who, from the early 1980s, began to work at the intersection of performance, video art, and installation art. Cross-disciplinary collaborations in the context of the stage produced a new sensitivity to elements of time, space and movement, as artists began to utilise these elements in order to generate productive encounters between body, space and object as well as to spatialise the art object into an expanded field.

All elements speak their own language offers insight into an expanded definition of environments that arose during the 1980s in Hong Kong, as artists, theatre makers and dancers worked to redefine the role of space and the performative body in relation to the stage, the artwork and the audience. Created at the close of the 1980s, these works also bear witness to the penetration of anxiety into the Hong Kong psyche, as the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4 1989 clarified the full implications of the scheduled return of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to China in 1997.