Sunday, December 31, 2017

New project - Work in progress

While rearranging old notebooks I found an outline for idea that I hadn't previously found time to initiate, so this being the holiday period I spent a morning to kick-start the project and move it along a little bit.

The final incarnation of the piece depends entirely upon what I find on the beach and so this process of selection may take a while. For this particular piece I am in no hurry so I can take my time and ensure that the selection of the elements is appropriate.

The underlying aim is an attempt to push my landscape drawing into a more physical, sculptural manifestation.

Below I have attached two photos of the selection process on the beach:

31.12.2017 - Tai Kwan Wan, Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong


31.12.2017 - Tai Kwan Wan, Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong

Saturday, November 25, 2017

International Drawing Dialogue Phase 2 - 2017

Following the previous drawing dialogue project that culminated in an exhibition and conference in Craiova, Romania (See here), some of the participants favoured a second phase. Last time two artists were partnered and initiated drawings that were passed to the partner before completion. This time the idea is for three artists to be partnered together and the work is passed from A - B - C etc. and are considered resolved when all 3 artists have worked on them.

I used an approach that arose from a current project that features 'frottage' plus additional mark-making that sometimes resembles a type of unknown calligraphy. As the drawings are the result of physical interaction with the landscape, the images could be seen as a record of the interaction in the form of a personal, indecipherable written language

This time I am partnered with Georgia Boukla and Jane Kennington. The deadline for the completion of the first part is the end of December 2017 but I found an equilibrium within my drawings and will post them on to Georgia on Monday 27th November 2017. I expect to receive Jane's initiated drawings in the new year.

Eventually all the work will be brought together for an exhibition, location still to be confirmed. I will post news and images of the drawings as they evolve.








           

Saturday, October 14, 2017

'No holiday' - Film Reel 1

After completing the editing of the recorded version of the performance 'No holiday', which was enacted in Venice during the summer, I decided to edit together the four recorded versions into one 'film-reel'.
This would enable me to present the four recordings at one time and it also gives any interested viewers the opportunity to see the four versions one after the other. In this way, the differences in atmosphere, landscape and ambient sounds could be better illustrated.
These differences are very interesting and are one of the motivations for me to allow the project to develop further.

Three postcards have been printed, using images from the Cheung Chau, Sewerby and Venice performances to define each of the locations using the postcard motif to tie-in with the theme of the performance.

The 4 performances were recorded as follows:
1) Chi Ma Wan, Hong Kong - 5.1.2017
2) Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - 21.1.2017
3) Sewerby Cliffs, Bridlington, UK - 4.8.2017
4) Dorosuro, Venice, Italy - 16.8.2017

'No holiday' - Film Reel 1

The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/E72zI-SsI7s

Sunday, October 1, 2017

'One's Origin' - Group exhibition by the Hong Kong International Youth Arts Association (HKIYAA)



I was invited by artist and good friend Manling Cheung, to participate in the exhibition 'One's origin' at the Jao Tsung-I Academy, near to Mei Foo, and decided to present the current status of my ongoing performance work 'No holiday'.

The group show featured a large variety of work: paintings, including work by Manling Cheung - https://www.facebook.com/manling.cheung, drawings, sculpture and photography, including some amazing images by Kent Foran - http://www.kentforan.com. It was great for me to have the opportunity to show photographs taken during my performances along with the red suitcase which is my constant companion in the 'No holiday' performance.

I also placed 3 postcards representing 3 of the locations at which the performance has been conducted. These were available for the audience to take away with them.

The opening of the exhibition took place on the afternoon of Thursday 5th October and it will run until Friday 13th October. 





Saturday, September 16, 2017

'No holiday' - Dorsoduro, Venice


A trip to see the 2017 edition of the Venice Biennale gave me the opportunity to take my 'No holiday' performance there to continue the journey.

After spending a few days becoming accustomed to the city, I decided to focus on crossing bridges that span canals in the city. This action relates to the geography of the city and at the same time it captures the often repeated activity as people move through the space of the city.

I chose the quiet district of Dorsoduro win which to perform, starting close to Piazzale Roma and making my way south towards the university district of the city, crossing small bridges along the way.
The sounds of boats and barges making their way around the canals was very relaxing and at one point the movements of a small boat and myself walking became perfectly synchronised as I crossed a bridge. The boats owner whistled just before making a 90 degree turn into another canal, obviously to warn other craft, but it almost seemed as though he whistled to signal the synchronisation of our movement.

Eventually I discovered a lovely church that could form a natural conclusion to the walk, the Chiesa dell'Angelo Raffaele, in which I found paintings by the renowned Venetian artist GianAntonio Guardi. The performance ended as I picked up my red suitcase and entered the church.


'No holiday' - Dorsoduro, Venice, Italy - 16th August 2017

The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/_LRaVkdBqBA

Sunday, September 10, 2017

'No holiday' - Sewerby Cliffs, UK.

The summer break offered me the opportunity to take my 'No holiday' performance out of Hong Kong and the first location I found was the wonderful clifftop near Sewerby on the north side Bridlington in East Yorkshire, UK.

Limekiln Lane, which runs down onto the seafront close to the lovely Expanse Hotel, formed the starting point and it was from there that I began walking up and onto the gorgeous, flat, green plateau that runs up the coast to the Sewerby Cricket Club, where the track narrows into a trail that continues to Danes Dyke, South Landing, Flamborough and so on up the coast. In the past I have had the pleasure of following this trail all the way to Filey.

The day was so lovely, the sun was shining, birds were darting to and fro in front of me as I walked and a cooling breeze kept the air fresh. Along the cliff top, there are numerous small hills of dark soil that have been unearthed by moles, the remnants of their subterranean excavations. I have been told that this earth is especially rich and good for gardens.

At the north end of the clifftop walk is the site of the Sewerby Cricket Club, with its sea-view pitch, practice pitch and clubhouse. Many seats are spaced around the pitch for spectators and the whole scene is overlooked by the Georgian Sewerby Hall and gardens. 

One complete circuit of the Cricket Pitch became the conclusion of the day's walk and formed a logical end to the Linear walk. 

It is becoming very interesting to experience the performance in different locations and under different weather conditions. I feel it is beginning to develop a character of its own.


'No holiday' - Sewerby Cliffs, Bridlington, UK - 4th August 2017

The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/6ZTzwIJvQm4

Sunday, July 30, 2017

'No holiday' - Chi Ma Wan

During the development stage of the performance 'No holiday', I experimented with different formats and locations and originally I had singled out the Chi Ma Wan peninsula on the south side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong as being a good location. However, I discovered that the mobile coverage there was intermittent and in several places the connection dropped altogether.

As the performance would be live-streamed to Toronto later that month (January 2017) I decided to switch locations across the channel to Cheung Chau Island. As it happened the curators of the festival introduced a Chinese New year theme and so the new location seemed to be more appropriate as I would be exploring one or two of the small temples on the island.

The work-in-progress on the Chi Ma Wan peninsula had been recorded so that the day's activity could be reviewed later and so I have now decided to edit the footage into a logical presentation and this is now another film version of the 'No holiday' performance.

In the future I am still hoping that I could conduct this performance in other locations.

'No holiday' - Chi Ma Wan, Lantau Island, Hong Kong - 5th January 2017


The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/8YItpXNAwsk

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Students' Cultural Film Project

After a semester teaching Aesthetics and Semiotics to students of Film and Television, Visual Communication and Digital Music and Media I was invited by my Film and Television students to take part in one of their group projects.

The group project had focused upon the last tradesman making hand-painted signs for the mini-buses of Hong Kong, Mr. Mak of Hawk Ltd - M/F, 39 Battery Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon. They interviewed me and asked me several questions about how I felt regarding this phenomenon and if I felt that the decision to create smaller souvenir signs would help to promote the man's business and keep the tradition going.

It is heartwarming that Hong Kong youngsters are interested in these craftsmen and women and wish to raise awareness in order to preserve Hong Kong culture.
The students involved in this project were: Tso Kwong Chi, Chung Sum Yuk, Ng Sze Yung, Yam Yi, Lam Tse Wai, and Cheung Ming Fung.


I was flattered that the students wanted to interview me and also that they called me a 'cultural scholar' in the video...I would have liked to give them a hand with the subtitles though! Joking aside, I do enjoy teaching and interacting with the students and experiences like this make it seem worthwhile when the activity of teaching is becoming harder and harder due to the discouraging actions of management.

Mr Mak's company Facebook page can be found here.

The Film and Television students' youtube page can be found here.



Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Path to Enlightenment - July 2017

I had been working on different projects that related to the Sisyphus myth and eventually one group of experimental threads coalesced into a resolved performance piece.

It is said that in order to reach a state of enlightenment and experience nirvana, we must first rid ourselves of worldly delusions. Nirvana literally means something like 'extinguishing' or 'quenching' and the flame that we must extinguish is that of greed, hatred and other selfish and worldly obsessions.

I wished to demonstrate such a struggle and in this performance I found a simple, I should say simplistic, method of encapsulating this struggle. In the performance, I act as another Sisyphean character attempting to extinguish the candle that represents the delusions that must be quenched, and as is the nature of the Sisyphean experience, each attempt fails...the candle relights itself. After a period I try again, only to fail again (shades of Beckett's famous line from Worstward Ho: 'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better').

This struggle could continue for ever but, thankfully, the candle eventually extinguishes itself after running out of wax and paraffin vapour. So is this the end of the struggle? Perhaps not because as often is the case in life, these tasks are set not by others but by ourselves. We often bring on these torments to ourselves without even realising it.
The beginning of the performance alludes to this, as I am the one who lights the candle thereby initiating the process, which is why I incorporated the lighting of the candle into the performance.

'The Path to Enlightenment' - 2nd July 2017

The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/gsCFh71jSYs

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Etching demonstration for the HK Art Promotion Office

Recently, while sorting out some of my things which had remained boxed up for quite a while I discovered a DVD produced by the Hong Kong Art Promotion Office in 2009, which was made to coincide with an exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Graphics Society, held in the HK Visual Art Centre and Ho Man Tin Plaza shopping centre.
The DVD presented several different printmaking media so my section was quite brief and only allowed for a very superficial introduction.



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mini Print International of Cadaques 2017

From July 1st 2017, I will have the opportunity of exhibiting a recent small scale digital print in Europe. The 4 proofs I submitted allows for the work to be shown in multiple venues with overlapping exhibition dates and also in the hope of sales!

At the moment the exhibiting schedule is as follows: the first venue will be at Taller Galeria Fort at Cadaques, North Eastern Spain from July 1 - Sept 30 2017, then at Wingfield Barns in the UK from July 22 - Sept 3 2017, at Pineda de Mar in Spain from Oct 20 - Nov 12 2017, and finally at Galerie L'Etangd'Art in Bages, France from Nov 19 2017 - Jan 15 2018.

I am currently working on a series of prints, drawings and paintings that are developing out of this initial print. I will post more details about these as they are resolved.



Strata - 2017






Saturday, June 17, 2017

CONTEMPART '17 - Contemporary Art Conference, Istanbul

Unable to travel to Istanbul to attend the CONTEMPART '17 contemporary art conference due to work commitments, I nevertheless submitted my paper for publication in the conference proceedings along with a 15 minute virtual presentation in the form of a recorded PowerPoint with voice-over.

Two years ago, when I attended the CONTEMPART '15 conference I introduced the concept and method behind my performance 'Going Round in Circles' and found a warm response from the other delegates. Although I am not an academic, I try to demonstrate that my performance art pieces are the result of a combination of background research and practical testing and I aim to maintain a balance between these two sources in my work.

For the 2017 edition of the conference I presented the development of my performance work 'Releasing Sisyphus', which was performed at Repulse Bay on the south of Hong Kong Island on 2nd July 2016. In the paper I examined the myth of Sisyphus, at his character and reflected upon various stories relating to his punishment and the justification for it.

Click here to view more details of the performance 'Releasing Sisyphus'.

Albert Camus examined the myth in his short essay 'The myth of Sisyphus' and concluded that due to the repetitive nature of his task, Sisyphus could find solace and respite in the regular breaks from the forced work that occur after each summit, as the stone rolls back down the hill and Sisyphus descends the hill in order to begin his climb once more. In these brief interludes he is free from toil and, as Camus suggests, may even be happy.

I resolved to symbolically climb the hill in place of Sisyphus and once at the top I built a cairn, a small pile of stones to mark the spot where the climb ends. With the stones I planted small saplings that would bind the stones in place as they grew thereby preventing them from rolling back down the hill. This gesture removed Sisyphus's endless punishment.
We are all carrying our stones to the top of assigned hills, we have our tasks to complete and often there seems no resolution. If I can propose a possible release for Sisyphus, perhaps I may also find a resolution for my own tasks?

Click here to view details of my publications.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

Drawing Project - Working process

I edited together footage recorded during the recent drawing day on Cheung Chau and edited 2 short videos outlining the construction of two drawings.
These drawings are the latest in an ongoing project that investigates the collaboration between a human (me) and nature and as active participant. Together we create an image through dialogue. As with all conversations, sometimes one party dominates, when they have a lot to say, while the other listens, sometimes it is a balanced two-way interaction. 
I will post more updates from this project in future, hopefully recording the progress of the investigation.

Here are the two drawings made on 7th May 2017.

The first drawing

The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/ZZLeJxAsITg




 The second drawing

The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/g8OmGnUXbss

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

No holiday

I have edited a recorded version of my performance 'No holiday' that formed part of my preparation for participation in two performance art festivals, the Duration and Dialogue II Festival in Toronto, Canada and the Inverse Performance Art Festival in North-west Arkansas, USA.

This 33 minute version was recorded on Cheung Chau Island in Hong Kong.

Currently in the planning stage are further episodes of the 'No holiday' performance, including locations in the UK and Venice in Italy. News of these developments will be written up later in the year, as they happen.


'No holiday' - Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong - 28th January 2017

The recording can also be viewed on my youtube.com channel here: https://youtu.be/R4V5faOIX1w

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Drawing Project - Work in progress

On Sunday 7th May I gathered my prepared materials and walked down to Nam Tam Wan to take a close look at which rocks could be suitable for the next stage of my drawing project.

The small tests I had conducted previously showed promise and I had intended to build upon those results, I just didn't foresee that it would take so long to move the project along. A conference paper, Dada collage, a digital print and various other things came onto the agenda and pushed the drawing project back. However, putting that delay aside I could now turn my attention to drawing the rocks down at the little bay near my home.

I began with a roll of Chinese calligraphy paper, which I have found to be particularly good at picking up the texture of surfaces when creating frottage images. Sometimes the paper may tear, especially when enthusiasm urges me to work faster and so these tears will need to be repaired later at some point.

Several stones picked up on the beach helped to keep the paper in place and prevented the wind from blowing my work away. I used sticks of willow charcoal to transfer the rocks' texture and as I worked I snapped the charcoal into shorts sticks of approximately 2 inches so that I could slide them across the surface of the paper to create soft swathes of texture on the paper.

When the first drawing seemed to be resolved I took a look at it and thought that it didn't require any further working back home, although I will look again another day to see if my opinion on that has changed.

The second attempt was with a larger piece of paper. This paper was thicker, smoother and had a waterproof covering on the reverse side. This had advantages and disadvantages. The advantages were that the paper was more durable, was easier to pin down using the rocks and was easier to push the paper further into crevasses to pick up the texture. The disadvantages were that the smooth surface texture of the paper meant that it was more difficult to create an organic surface of marks, the waterproof covering on the reverse side formed a barrier, making it more difficult to 'feel' the rocks' texture and the pure white colour of the paper was much 'colder'. I was pleased with the results of this second attempt too, although I will certainly need to work again on this one later. It was satisfying to work on a larger scale, it felt as though I was beginning to get somewhere!

Although it was quite a hot day, the wind that threatened to blow away my paper, also cooled me down and stopped me from over-heating.

The first drawing


The second drawing

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Inverse Performance Art Festival 2017 - Part 2

At the risk of  being called an April fool I undertook to perform a new version of my piece 'No holiday' on Cheung Chau.
This time the piece was being live-streamed to the Inverse Performance Art Festival in North-west Arkansas, USA. 

I began walking with my red suitcase, map and selfie-stick at 5:00am, before dawn (4:00pm Arkansas time) and walked for 2 hours. I was the first performer on the schedule of events listed for the 21C Bentonville Hotel venue and therefore my piece was the event that started off the evening. 
Due to the starting time I needed to choose a route that was not as remote as the version I conducted in January so that there would be a little more ambient lighting. This also meant that there would be more interactions with people, small vehicles etc. and the light would change dramatically as daybreak illuminated the island. During the performance I explored some of the local backstreets, visited the ferry pier and saw the dawn at the Tung Wan beach. I was passed by some small delivery vehicles, restaurants were preparing for the breakfast customers and I even encountered a mobile metal rack full of roasted suckling pig ready to be delivered. 

I was fortunate that with the imminent Ching Ming Festival here on the island, a fairy large bamboo structure had been built in what is usually a basketball area. This unusual temporary building was covered in tin sheet and illuminated from within. As I walked towards this theatre for Cantonese Opera, it shone out from the darkness and became something for me to explore.

When I approached what is effectively the main square on the island and turned towards Tung Wan beach, the sky was breaking to reveal the dawn and as the beach (in Cantonese Tung Wan means East Bay) was perfectly located for a view of the dawn above Hong Kong Island, the setting was very dramatic. I only hope that this was effectively conveyed to the audience watching over in the USA. 

The performance was completed at 7:00am as the broadcast ended. I suggested to the organisers that I should continue walking until they ended the broadcast, leaving the image of me walking in the minds of the audience. This could suggest that I may in fact continue walking and the broadcast was a brief glimpse of the overall activity. It would also not break the meditative atmosphere set up during the previous 2 hours.
More details of the performance and my approach can be found on the festival website, along with information about the other amazing performances to be experienced in Arkansas: 
http://www.inverseperformanceartfestival.org/2017-artists/w4shn00lj2y4jlct8t6b0fovj12eo3

...and the schedule of events can be viewed here: 
http://www.inverseperformanceartfestival.org/2017-schedule-of-events/
I was so happy to be able to nurture a new version of 'No holiday' and I am very grateful to Cynthia Post Hunt for allowing me the opportunity to share my work with the audience of the Inverse Performance Art Festival.



Sea view from Nam Tam Wan 1/4/2017



Selfie taken at Nam Tam Wan 1/4/2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Nam Tam Wan 2016 - Book Publication

Referring back to a previous post about the photographic project I am undertaking at Nam Tam Wan on Cheung Chau Island - Hong Kong, I have now finally arrived at a satisfactory format for the book of images I would like to publish.
I do not intend to print up multiple copies, instead I will present, exhibit and promote the book myself and I will only print copies upon request. This means the book is therefore not being produced commercially and the price cannot be reduced by large unit numbers.

Below I have attached low-resolution captures of the introduction and two pages of images.





If you are interested in purchasing copies of the book, please contact me using my email address: patricksford@live.com

The book is 8" x 10" 20 x 25cm, portrait format, 64 pages, 60 images, colour photos taken by phone camera, 1 image per page, title page, introduction page, blank page at the back, the hard-back cover is black with white lettering on the spine, spine text reads: Nam Tam Wan 2016 Patrick S. Ford

A review of the book as well as an interview I conducted with the 'Local Idea' section of the 'Lik Ink' website and blog can be found here: https://www.likink.com/patrick-s-ford/

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Inverse Performance Art Festival 2017 - Part 1

I received another piece of great news informing me that my work was to be included in the Inverse Performance Art Festival in Arkansas, USA at the end of March 2017.
The festival will be held in several locations in Bentonville and Fayetteville in Northwest Arkansas between 30 March and 1st April 2017.

My live-streamed performance, No holiday, will be broadcast to the 21c Bentonville Museum Hotel venue on Friday 31 March 5:00 - 6:00pm (Saturday 1 April 7:00 - 8:00am Hong Kong time).

The walking route of this second installment of the No holiday performance is still being determined but will explore another part of the small island of Cheung Chau in the territory of Hong Kong. I will again take my red suitcase, map and selfie-stick in another attempt to explore the choreography of the holiday experience.

The festival website can be found here:  http://www.inverseperformanceartfestival.org/

, the festival artist listing page:
http://www.inverseperformanceartfestival.org/2017-artists-1/

, and the festival schedule of events:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inverse-21c-bentonville-tickets-32241453054


Friday, February 10, 2017

Digital Print for exhibition

I had decided to participate in a mini-print exhibition after a brief gap, during which I had been developing a series of performance pieces, and began preliminary work on an image in several sketchbooks. As I worked, the image gradually increased in detail and it became clear to me that my original intended medium (linocut) would be unsuitable.
At this stage I moved onto my Mac and started anew on an image generated with Adobe Illustrator. This seemed to improve the development of the image and appeared to be the correct choice.

The image has now reached a kind of equilibrium and, as time is running out, I will find a digital printer to produce an inkjet edition for me. The initial quotes were surprisingly expensive so I may have to modify my expectations (a familiar process for me).

Unfortunately the print was not selected for exhibition this time. However, the process of working on it has opened up a new thread of investigation and the value of this for my work overall far outweighs participation in the mini-print exhibition.




Sunday, January 29, 2017

Duration & Dialogue II Performance Art Festival 2017 - Part 2

On Saturday 28th January (Toronto time) / Sunday 29th January (Hong Kong time) 2017 I conducted my latest performance piece: No holiday. The piece was performed on Cheung Chau, one of Hong Kong's Outlying Islands, and live-streamed to the 'Duration & Dialogue II Performance Art Festival' in Toronto, organised by Katzman Contemporary.

The Festival webpage features links to recordings of the performances that have been uploaded to youtube.com, mine can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DK9YcnViKs

This festival presented recordings of both Clayton Lee's performance conducted in the gallery and my performance live-streamed from Hong Kong. The festival organisers suggested playing both recordings side-by-side in an attempt to recreate the full curatorial effect that the festival audience were able to experience. (This featured page has since been replaced by a later pair of performances).

Following straight on after the performance there was a discussion, with Q&A that involved myself, artist Clayton Lee, audience members and moderated by Yan Zhou.

My comments to certain questions have been posted on my youtube channel at the following links:

Introduction video (2.59 mins) : https://youtu.be/q6TzNLl6nfE

6:45am - Preparing for the Skype link-up with Toronto