“Money Supply” 《貨幣供應》, a show by Yasmine Huang, opened on a quiet Saturday on 11 May 2019, to explore how art and social criticism may work together. The opening gathered a dozen of spontaneous visitors who readily turned her concern into ramifications of many burning questions of art beyond politics. 《貨幣供應》在晴朗溫煦的週末黃昏開幕,黃安瀾的四組作品是她對藝術創作與息息相關的生活、經濟課題可以如何銜接的策問,由研究出發,招引到場的來訪者恰巧都興致勃勃,把眼前的作品打開,引發各種與創作有關的閒談。 

Money Supply 貨幣

2019.05.11-05.26 @ Floating Project

According to Yasmine (HUANG Anlan), many HK photographers have attempted the portrayal of Canton Road in TST (Tsim Sha Tsui). Some of them have focused on “the grey goods traders (水貨客) and their open luggage … demonstrating the conflict between traders from Mainland China and the local people.”

“My curator and I … decided to juxtapose successful insurance agents with boutonniere and agents doing cold sale on Canton Road.” Yasmine, born in Guangzhou and graduated with a BA in Creative Media in Hong Kong, clarifies the objective of Leverage.

“Although I think my identity matters when dealing with such a complicated relationship between China and Hong Kong, what I contribute in Leverage is more like a research-based investigation” of a phenomenon know as Gang piao (港漂), literally, Mainland fresh graduates’ floating (making a living) in Hong Kong. Yasmine found that visitors of her works inevitably turned their discussion to politics, which incited her to think seriously of how to deal with political conflicts more sophisticatedly in her future art practices.

 

Artist’s Narrative 藝術家陳述 | text by Yasmine Huang

 

I | Contemporary Circus 當代馬戲團

from Huang Anlan’s collage series Contemporary Circus (2017)

「當代馬戲團」的概念來源於卡夫卡的短篇小說《饑餓藝術家》:一度風靡的饑餓藝術家在時代變遷、觀眾已轉向更新奇的馬戲表演後,依舊堅持舊式的饑餓表演直至孤獨死去。作品以先前攝下的時尚攝影為基本素材,對其解構與重組,進而創造出激烈、鮮明的視覺衝擊,在照片裡,我用饑餓藝術家的世界觀構建了一套完整的馬戲表演,並去探求世界觀下更深層次的問題: 衝擊的浪潮過去(是否會過去?)  後,我們是否會成為被遺棄的奇觀?

Contemporary Circus is a digital collage which explores contradictory feelings of Chinese young women in the context of consumerism. I adopt the medium of digital collage to reconstruct my fashion photography to create vivid visual stimulation. The notion of circus originated in Franz Kafka’s novel, The Hungry Artist: the once popular hunger artist lost his popularity due to the novelty of new forms of circus performance. Persisting in hunger performance, the hunger artist starved to death without earning any attention. I extend the world view in Kafka’s novel and construct a complete series of circus performance, with which I seek the answer of the question: will we become the abandoned spectacle when we face the ebb (does it exist?) of consumerism?

 

II | May 2018

from Huang Anlan’s series May 2018 (2018)

《May 2018》是一系列數字拼貼作品,創作的原始材料摘自五月革命的歷史圖象和Gucci在18年春夏以「五月風暴」為主題重新拍攝的⼀系列營銷廣告。顯然,Gucci 試圖將學⽣運動的⾃由和充滿活⼒的精神轉化為年輕消費者對品牌的吸引⼒。因此,將營銷重點放在青年文化的同時,進⼀步以學⽣運動為其代表,因為營銷團隊認為「反叛,勇氣和對⾃由的追尋」恰巧符合 Gucci 的品牌形象。⽽Gucci未提到的是 ,五⽉革命的其中⼀個呼籲是對資產階級意識形態的反駁。當消費主義將學⽣運動視為販賣奢侈品的重要噱頭,⽽⾰命和反叛只為了刺激購買⽽存在時,是否還存在某種未被資本收編的反叛⼒量?

May 2018 is a series of digital collage work. Source material includes the documentary images of the May 1968 Revolution and the Gucci 18 SS campaign for the spring and summer season of 2018. Gucci’s campaign series overtly appropriated the student movement’s call for freedom and vitality, which the marketing team turned into Gucci’s brand name features and selling points for a consumer culture targeted at young people.

What Gucci doesn’t mention is that one of the appeals of Mai 68’ is the refutation of bourgeoisie ideology. When consumerism, its stern counterpart, ironically takes the student movement as a gimmick, and when revolution and rebellion exist only to stimulate purchases, what rebellious force remains other than total co-option by consumerism?

 

III | Vaudeville

Huang Anlan: Vaudeville (2019)

《Vaudeville》是一個結合了錄像藝術與表演藝術的作品,題目「Vaudeville」 意為在電影發明之前,在美國曾風靡一時的娛樂項目。在普通的馬戲表演與畸形秀外,亦有音樂會或活動影像的展映。我以Vaudeville為借喻,來揭示東亞文化場域之下同樣奇詭怪桀的女子偶像奇觀。影片用短時間對女子偶像獲得的巨大成功與訓練過程做出闡釋,再將單調、機械的流水化工業生產過程與欣悅、甜美的偶像產品進行並置,在矛盾的圖象中進一步解釋畸形的偶像——粉絲依存關係。在粉絲聲嘶力竭地表達愛意時,身著偶像服飾的表演者開始反覆擊打馬卡龍。甜蜜的工業製品被擊碎,偶像經濟的注視困局也能被打破嗎?

Vaudeville is a researched-based project incorporating video collage and performance art. Before the invention of cinema, Vaudeville was the most popular entertainment in the United States. Marketed as ‘variety’, the realm of vaudeville includes circus performance, concert saloon to early movie images. Using “vaudeville” as a metaphor, this project reveals the peculiar and bizarre idol industry, contextualised in the field of East Asia. In the opening part of the video, the great achievement and the process of training are both illustrated. The piece gradually intensifies via the juxtaposition of manufacturing process and charming, adorable idols, by which the morbid idol-fans relationship is revealed. As the fans yell out words of affection towards the idols , the performer begins to crush macaroon on a table. As manufactured goods are destroyed, will the whole idol system break down as well?

 

IV | Leverage 槓桿

以一定的本金作基礎,再通過借貸作投資,這個過程在金融領域中稱為「槓桿」。在如今蓬勃發展、幾近成為大陸客來港必消費的香港保險行業中,亦是一個常見名詞。畢業後,同樣是在港內地生的朋友,有的振翅西飛、有的倦鳥歸巢,停在原地的,紛紛掛上「理財顧問」的頭銜,我不由得對這種現象充滿著好奇與困惑。比起在外圍,重複或強化兩地社會對從業人員的質疑,我努力親身加入這個體系,試圖用影像追問一個更深層次的問題:這種選擇背後想要撬動的是怎樣的夢想。

Huang Anlan: Leverage (details)

The strategy of increasing the potential return of an investment based on a start-up or principal amount through the use of borrowed capital or financial instruments is called “leverage.” Surprisingly, this term has gained popularity among the Hong Kong insurance industry, which is flourishing and has almost become a must-have service for visitors from mainland China.

Upon graduation, among my Mainland friends, some moved to western countries, and some returned home. Yet, among those who stayed and are ready to root here in Hong Kong, most proudly garnered the title of “financial consultant.” I am curious about this phenomenon. Rather than merely lingering in the periphery of this industry, repeating or strengthening the stereotypical misunderstandings of such practitioners on both sides of the border, I decided to blend into the system myself. With images, I hope to examine this question: what kinds of dreams hide beneath their choices?

Huang Anlan: Leverage (details)

 

Artist: Huang Anlan 黄安澜
Website: www.yasminehuang.com
Email: yasmine1996816@gmail.com

 

Related Readings 相關閱讀:

貨幣供應 | 黃安瀾個展 Money Supply – Huang Anlan’s Solo Exhibition