March 18, 2016 - Spring Workshop | Hong Kong - Wu Tsang: Duilian
March 18, 2016

Spring Workshop | Hong Kong

Wu Tsang, Self-Inscription, 2016. Courtesy of the artist, Spring Workshop, Hong Kong and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.

Wu Tsang
March 12–May 22, 2016

Spring Workshop | Hong Kong
3/F Remex Centre
42 Wong Chuk Hang Road
Hong Kong

T +852 2110 4370

Art Basel Hong Kong opening hours: March 21–26, 10am–7pm daily

Centered around Wu Tsang’s (b. 1982) newly-commissioned experimental film Duilian* which interprets the life and writings of Chinese revolutionary poet Qiu Jin (1875–1907) and her intimate friend, calligrapher Wu Zhiying (1868–1934), the exhibition Duilian is the culmination of the visual artist and filmmaker’s decade-long fascination with the two women. It was created during her six-month residency at Spring Workshop, where she traced the manifold representations of Qiu Jin’s legacy within China’s recent history. Seen together, the film installation and the sculptures form an alternative reading of Qiu’s biography told through the lens of visual and martial arts.

Duilian takes as a starting point the fact that queer histories—particularly in Asia—are often invisible or coded, and must be “read between the lines” of official history. The film features the characters Qiu Jin (played by collaborator and performance artist boychild) and her intimate friend Wu Zhiying (played by filmmaker Wu Tsang). As an ongoing project, Duilian explores the mythologies that queer people construct out of remarkable stories such as Qiu Jin’s and Wu Zhiying’s, and Tsang’s desire to manifest alternative narratives through film, language and movement.

Duilian is commissioned and produced by Spring Workshop, with co-commissioners Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Switzerland for BIM 2016; Arthub Asia, Shanghai; and the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, with support from Nottingham Contemporary, UK; the Fonds d’Art Contemporain de la Ville et du Canton de Genève, Switzerland; and In Between Art Film, Rome. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.

*Duilian refers to a form of couplet poetry and to the wushu category of sword-fighting. Both forms evoke dueling aspects: in poetry, the words are rhymed in tonal opposition to each other, and in wushu, a pair of martial artists engage in a dance of swords.

South Island Art Brunch program:

Tears, Tears, Tears with Wu Tsang
Thursday, March 24, 12–1:30pm

The history of Qiu Jin's multiple burials and the struggles of different groups and individuals to claim the symbolic meaning and resting place of her body was the inspiration for this event. First to retrieve and bury Qiu’s discarded body after she was executed was Wu Zhiying, who mourned the loss of her close friend in private while publicly defending Qiu’s reputation in print. We invite you to join us at this special event where Qiu's multiple legacies will be incinerated through Chinese practices of ancestral mourning.

About Spring Workshop
Based in Hong Kong, Spring Workshop is a cultural initiative that brings people together to experiment with the way we relate to art. In 2016, Spring Workshop received the Prudential Eye Award for Best Asian Contemporary Art Organization.

Spring Workshop | Hong Kong
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