FP insider Wai-leung Lai (FP writer) takes an outsider’s view on the 3-year FP 1.0 at Wong Chuk Hang. 據點作者黎偉亮用局中人的局外視點輕輕的回看在黃竹坑的「據點 」第一個三年。
**English version after Chinese**
他們教育背景相若但性格迥異：莽撞的，散慢的，伶俐的，衝動的，黠慧的，不諳世務的……. 卻各具才藝，有玩音樂的，製作動畫的，有擅長於聲效和錄像的，有精於裝置藝術的….. 卻有一共通點：熱衷於創作。多不能賴以維生，他們各有工作，有些靠兼職賺取生活費，顯然，在這個金錢掛帥的城市，藝術創作祇能是工餘的興趣。現實嚴苛，但仗著熱枕，他們還是聚集在一起，在港島南區覓址，創立了這個不拘一格的藝術圑體：「據點。句點」。或者對他們來說，「藝術家」不是一種職業，創作也不是一種差事，它應該是一種態度一個理想一種生命中不能缺少的原素。究竟一群這樣的人匯集起來共同創作會產生怎樣的效果？自主的空間能帶來甚麼新的靈感？創作的路向如何持續下去？怎樣超越自己？我想這些才是他們關注的事。
Three years ago, I met a group of young people.
They have similar educational background, but very different personalities — breakneck, laid-back, quick and smart, impulsive, bright and sensitive, innocent. And they have varied propensities. Some work with music, some are animators, some good at making and recording sound, and some dedicated to installation art. Surely, they have one thing in common – they are committed to artistic creation, but do not survive purely by art-making. Indeed, most of them have a job, and some take part-time employment to cover the basics. It is quite obvious that in a cash-driven city such as Hong Kong, artistic creation is best an after-work engagement. Reality bites. Yet passion moves them forward. That was how they got together and found a disused industrial unit to be their meeting place. For three years on an “artistic production site” in the midst of Wong Chuk Hang (WCH), they played out their deliberate eclecticism, defying a uniform style or fixed pattern, in the name of the Floating Projects. Perhaps to them “artist” is not the title of a job or occupation, nor is creative work an assignment. Being an artist is an attitude, an ideal, and an integral element of life to them. And that comes with a whole bunch of “what ifs” … What would happen when a group of like-minded people as such get together to create something? What new inspirations would a self-run autonomous space bring? How does one persists in their purposes and directions? How does one transcend oneself or rise above one’s own limits? I believe these are the real things that matter to them.
“Floating Projects” creates a new reality but realities out there are as harsh as they are factual. The need to cope with limited resources and to combat challenges on her day-to-day survival constantly probes the question of whether the set journey is as lucid as it is assumed. What are the driving forces for making a journey that is like fixing one’s gaze on the opposite bank of a river through a thick mist? Vision is often clouded by too many unknowns. Or should I compare it to something fermenting in the dark to be life, focused, calling no attention, yet full of vitality? It’s all trial and error and groping. And yet there’s never been a lack of joined effort and inventive treatment of the physical space available. In the long run, impossible ventures materialised one after another and accumulated in the three WCH years’ portfolio.
Three years seem long but a sway. August 2018 marked a new journey for the Floating Projects upon relocation to JCCAC (Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre). Apparently the new “home” takes us right into the midst of the Shek Kip Mei neighbourhood. A totally different atmosphere aside, is FP 2.0 capable of connecting with its new community? How would the new environment challenge us? What kind of transfiguration would FP go through? Is FP 2.0 going to be as distinct in its purposes as it is close to the people? Or is it doomed to be a lonely self-reward with its ideals? Who can tell the future? But it should be quite certain that the FPC would not just follow the flow of the trend. As she has been, the FPC will stick to the route it sets, walk the steps one by one, without hesitation, nor an agitated hurry. Every group has its own convictions. I deliberately take the role as an observer from the outside to witness one thing: through lots of ups and downs and trial and error, she has grown up.
Three years ago, someone said to me: success or not requires no definition by others. Three years have gone by, I witness her gradual growth. I seem to understand that remark more with new experiences.
(English translation: Linda Lai)
#Related readings… W.L. Lai: “Here” (15 August 2015)