MaD Asia 2015 Conference – Part 2

Read on the first part of the conference review here:

1. Day 2


a) The Forest

Host: Yeung Yang: Independent Curator + Writer (HK)

Topic 1: Audible landscape

Speaker: Yannick Dauby: Sound artist (Taiwan/France) By using pigeon whistle straightly recorded, Yannick aimed to develop imagination of the children in the aborigine Taiwan village. The mere sound now turned to a way to revive things, tell stories and digest information. Via the sound poem and sound game, the children learned to imagine that they are monsters there. Another musician was asked to play flute, walking his audience through the story of imagination. The 3 key points in the experience with sound were personal, subjective and intuitive. By asking people and facilitating interactions, Yannick intended to use sound as means of education. I got a chance to talk to Yannick afterwards about the reactions of the society when he first launched the project. It was unsurprisingly the response of chance, such chance that didn’t show up when he was in France, when all education means is already explored. South East Asia seemed like the place worth trying, and worth thriving.

Topic 2: University of the Trees + Social Sculpture

Speaker: Prof Shelly SACKS (Coordinator of University of the Trees and Director of Social Sculpture Research Unit) In a research project of SSRU, Shelley created a space of imagination by bringing past photos forward to the space. She mentioned the way we imagined a space before we actually shared it with other people. Seeing the photos of our childhood didn’t only disclose our past, but also projected to the future.  The process of social sculpture was all about working with imagine material, stand a bit on the hill, look at how you see the lenses with which you see the world. Social sculpture examined different kind of gathering, be it isolated or fragmented. The cases from The world in action , the occupy in London, the Yellow umbrella in HK raised the concerns of the rent-free space we were living. If the government managed to mix individual agenda with agenda of the region (as happened in Germany), people would be conscious of their values and attitudes towards the space they were sharing. The notion of University of the Trees sounded unconventional, but we actually experienced it in our very core. Human beings don’t simply unfold. We are freedom beings. We are the revolution. The issue was how we attribute artwork with social meaning and the role of art in free democratic socialism.

 Participatory work: Tell Bamboo your imagination

Very symbolic and natural way to capture your thoughts about the program

b) Free market

Free market is the open place in front of the theatre where people share ideas, products in exchange of ideas and cultural engagement. DSC01765 - Copy DSC01767 - Copy DSC01772 - Copy ???????????????????????????????

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c) Excursion

Wandering the Community space To Kwa Wan The history of To Kwa Wan is dated from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It’s the first time the community Cultural Concern is hosting a one-year community artist training project in partnership with a local communal art space name To Kwa Wan House of Stories. The district has evolved with the rise and fall of the industrial area, with many car repair shops and lots of uncompleted house clearance. Today, To Kwa Wan is a place of immigrants from mainland China and Pakistani.

What the area used to look like
What the area used to look like
The ironic message of “Thank you the government”


2. Day 3

 Change marker starter kit

My last and probably most favorite part in the conference is the discussion, with actionable guide of the Change Marker Starter kit It’s inspiring to listen to youngster sharing their projects in 30 seconds pitching and feel their energy in what they are doing. One of the participants shares her idea about letting kids playing with pets of other people, so that kids won’t nail their eyes into the iPad screen all day.

  • Question asked: Where does this idea come from?
  • Answer: When I was in toilet! Lol

That answer led to Phonchan (facilitator)’s story of the Picture Kodak Box project she did. Everyone was asked to take the picture of happiness. Here are top 3 objects people came up with in the pictures: 1. The smiles of their beloved ones 2. The nature 3. The toilet bowl (surprisingly!) People said that they were happiest and relieved after they left the toilet (!). Anyway, apart from your private moments in toilet (!), ideas come from interactions of some kinds. The strategy to help creativity is to turn your project into an application or a gadget, or to limit the budget but expand on tremendous help of human resources. WP_20150201_018 WP_20150201_021 WP_20150201_011 WP_20150201_013 Marsh Mallow Challenge Overall, the field activity introduced the tools needed to go from 0 to 1, with the help of technology as solid groundwork to sky rock and scale the project later. Be it a project on supporting elderly people, or helping kids with bare foot, you need to start with your own passion. Serving everybody but yourself will defeat the whole point of the project. The idea reminded me of the Butterfly Effect. If a tiny part of a long string of events went another way, it all could’ve played out differently. Small, seemingly inconsequential things lead to major events.
After 3 days of the event, I still stick with my previous thoughts before I came to MaD, that Passion is overrated, and Change-marker is overbearing. No one cares if you’re passionate about something, and they don’t necessarily need to resonate to it. I may explore the conference by chance, but what I chose to follow through after it is by choice. It was my first time confidently claiming that I wanted to pursue Music beyond entertainment. For something that have been existing in my life for so long, it was gut-wrenching and terrifying to realize that music was where my relentless curiosity flows, it was also freeing because now I know what to do. Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Pray, Love) says: “Passion is rare; passion is a one-night-stand. Passion is hot, it burns. Every day, you can’t access that.” Well, you can choose that one-night-stand that is out of daily reach, or you can choose a commitment, long-term engagement. I believe it has some similarities with love. Love only starts from the moment you claim your whole-hearted commitment.

If it’s not a Hell Yes, it’s a No.

That mantra saves me from unnecessary manipulation, drama, or game playing. Love is what happens after the chasing game. No mental conundrum. No headaches, no teardown, no waiting, sitting, wishing. Save that energy for the ups and downs in the unfolding path ahead of you. And that purposeful engagement sustains.

“If you’re lucky and motivated enough to keep making art, life is quiet, you get to work at what you love doing, happily chipping away at something, constructing something, adjusting to a cycle of highs and lows and in betweens, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing it for two years or 50 years, the patterns remain exactly the same. The anxiety continues to set in, the doubts creep in, the baby steps towards mending fragments starts all over again, the cautious urge to peek between the cracks is there. When you find yourself in that place, that’s when you’ll know that the inside is driving the outside.” – Teresita Fernández