Who is Singing? …Donald, Can you hear me?(中文版)


Crytoglyph
Go to the artwork's website

Lawrence CHOI / Linda LAI

In the summer of 2005, when this work was first conceived, Donald Tsang was acting SAR Chief in place of Tung Chee-hwa. Opinion on whether he would do better than Tung was split. But for sure cleansing the SAR of her negative energies developed under Tung’s rule was a major burden on Tsang. I had already been a bit pessimistic, not sure whether Donald the SAR Chief could remain the same Donald. (The events of the past two years have spoken for us…) My intuitive response was to deploy the chant form – half-speaking and half-singing mode still in use in Anglican and Catholic services.

I grew up to like Medieval religious sounds, and chants for me retain that charm. Chants soothe, pacify, and calm one’s mind. That is precisely why, too, that chants are to me disquieting: for whatever words are inserted, a chant tames its content, moderates pulsating emotions, and in the end becomes the sure tool of conformity to authority. I wanted, in my “singing machine,” the subversion of the chant form: strict formal tailoring or fitting would turn words, originally loaded with meanings, into gibberish and non-sense. Somehow, I felt that views expressed to the government were often received like foreign tongues.

One and half years have gone by. Donald Tsang’s de-localizing initiatives are more than ever at odds with the growing awareness to affirm the core and complexity of a local culture of Hong Kong. The defense of the Star Ferry clock-tower opens up more profound issues on civil government and micro-level practices of democracy than just heritage conservation.  How do I situate my “subversive chants” in the context of the latest events?

In this exhibition, Who is Singing?...Donald, can you hear me? consists of two parts, a sculpture-like installation for sound work, and a set of computer for interface, whereby visitors can sit down to review recent discussions of the Star Ferry events and to leave a message to Donald Tsang, be it warning, criticism, advice, plea, sharing, recommendation, command and so on.

《誰在唱歌?…曾特首,你聽見我嗎?
蔡智揚 / 黎肖嫻

2005年夏天構思這作品的時候曾蔭權剛替任香港行政特區特首一職。記得當時輿論對他的信任與質疑參半,較確切記得的,是港人一般對董建華時期的怨憤猶有餘悸。我的心中一片納悶,總覺當了特首的曾蔭權不可能再是從前的曾蔭權,於是想起從前在宗教禮儀中的吟誦…。

吟誦是似唱歌的念唱,或是吟唱般的說話,由於音律的波動微和,聽上去叫人怒氣平息,驟然間謙柔起來。也正因這些特色,我覺得吟誦的本身與變革、批判、顛覆是對立的。吟誦指涉的是向權威的確認。於是我想到如何把帶崇敬意味的吟誦變為亂音,表達我心中對民意難傳達至政府高官的憤懣。

時至今天,保護天星行動掀起民間廣泛的對本土文化政治的反思,曾蔭權的「去本土」大計成為自覺於本土文化的進步社會文化力量相對立。(見朱凱迪2006年12月26日《獨立媒體》的“本土行動 匯聚皇后今晚開始!”)我突然覺得這個一年半前開始的作品有點趕不上。

此時此地,於這個展覽中,它或許是一種諷刺,或許是另一種招引人注意的景觀。無論如何,亂音亂語的呼叫是我們的「念唱機器」從理性的陳詞所衍化的;能停下腳步來的訪者,可以靜心的讀一讀港人對曾特首的進言或者呐喊。

這個作品需要關心香港的觀眾來參與,寫下你對我們的政府的要求、勸諭。

製作概念
作品由兩部分組成 – 一個會發聲的裝置,和可供到訪者輸入文字的電腦介面。
輸入的文字(英語或中文)依據以下的句式起頭∶
“曾特首,請…” 或 “曾特首,請不要…”
字數在30字以下,分句無特別限制。
預先編好的程式,會依照輸入法所按過的鍵「翻譯」為音節,再調配至預先選定的吟唱曲的定調音高以及音長,即時播放。訪者亦可於電腦屏幕上讀到所有訪者的留言,也可以選播之前訪者留言化成的亂音呼叫。