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: 

...and the schedule of events can be viewed here: 
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

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