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In Focus: Simon Liu 3 + Q&A
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Happy Valley, dir. Simon Liu, Hong Kong / USA 2020.

Harbour City Redux 
Simon Liu / 2015-22 / Hong Kong, USA / 12’ / 4x16mm projection performance / sound 

“Incited by the airy weight of digital platforms and their approaches, I imagined ironing flat potentially conflicting 16mm negatives via an industrial contact printer. Views thicken; detail lost over generations. A dream of turning two images into one, a density of information reserved for the modern cloud.” (Simon Liu) 
Signal 8 
Simon Liu / 2019 / Hong Kong, USA / 14’ / Digital / sound  

“They said a storm is calling this way but we’re still waiting. Lives carry on in Hong Kong as traces of civic upkeep morph into sites of remembrance. Decorative structures mimic nature then occasionally malfunction – transforming common spectacle to warning signs. The light urges to tell us something but can't quite get its point across, patience tested for another day.” (Simon Liu) 

Simon Liu & Jennie MaryTai Liu / 2020 / Hong Kong, USA / 9’ / Digital / sound 
“Placid views merge with dizzying, semi-abstract digital animations; avatars in a parable about control. A mesmerizing, menacing voiceover – part body politic regulator, part cyberpunk travel guide – promises order, accountability, and satisfaction, and threatens trouble, polarization, and tears. A fire has been started, movement has gone on to reach multiple points of no return”. (Simon Liu) 

Simon Liu / 2019 / Hong Kong, USA / 13’ / Digital / sound  
“A film sixteen thousand splices in the making. E-Ticket is a frantic (re)cataloguing of a personal archive and an opportunity for rebirth to forgotten images. 35mm photo negatives and moving pictures (taken during the artist's formative years) are obsessively cut apart, reshuffled then tape spliced together inch by inch in rigid increments. Fragmented views swipe between a school trip to India then culminate with a protest of a 2005 World Trade Organization summit in Hong Kong. My photographs may have all be cut up and mixed around, but at least they’re all in one place now. A retelling of Dante's Inferno for the streaming age; a freedom of movement reserved for the modern cloud.” (Simon Liu) 
Happy Valley 
Simon Liu / 2020 / Hong Kong, USA/ 13’/ Digital / sound 
“British Colonial-era structures overlook scenes in the aftermath of civil unrest as Hong Kongers work to retain some semblance of normality. The sound of petty arguments from local TVB soap-operas of the 80s are put in concert with captive animals, political graffiti and desolate highways. Suspension cables and ship anchor lines reveal a fragile urban anatomy; the structures that keep the city moving along. As civic functions grind to a halt, the limits of our empathy and control come into question. As the days teeter toward an uncertain future, HAPPY VALLEY cinematically probes the role of the so-called “little things”. A rendering of the perseverance of spirit in Hong Kong – an attempt at irony that can’t help but be emotional.” (Simon Liu) 

Simon Liu / 2017 / Hong Kong, USA / 22’ / 4x16mm projection performance / silent  

“Upon the North Point a torrential downpour of instants tease their way into sight, but never fully form. Shutter-induced memories reduced to speckles, dissipating into fog. Here, my initial disappointments in a material defect morph into opportunity – satisfying an itch to melt instances together, to see any number of places as one. I want to go home. These images were meant to show us what goes where – but I can't make out the path. Maybe we should lay them all out on the floor and try to put the pieces back together. In another five days, I'll need to leave.” (Simon Liu) 

Followed by a Q&A with Simon Liu 
03:00 pm
Sun, 28 Apr 2024
Cinema 1

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