Navigations: Urban Dialogues, Red Gallery



Exhibition open 3-21 Sept
12-7pm daily

Red Gallery
1-3 Rivington Street
London, EC2A 3DT

Festival Night –  3rd September 7-11p

I’ll be showing two of my video works Traces and Incantation as part of group show Navigations, curated by Barby Asante.

As international tensions affect relations between communities at home, this exhibition brings together artists with unique perspectives on belief in a connected world at a time when public debate on these issues is highly polarised. Presented across a range of media, the works explore faith, belief, migration and personal identity in our global intercultural present.

Stephen Shashoua, Director of 3FF: “Recent events in the Middle East have shown how closely linked the international and the local are today. While we cannot directly influence developments over there, we need to work to stop the hostilities spilling over into our own neighbourhoods. We are creating a safe space for people from different communities to come together for dialogue on complex issues.”

My two exhibiting video works Traces and Incantation are resultant of a research trip staged across California and Hong Kong, investigating parallels between the social and political topographies across Kowloon, San Francisco, LA and into Mojave dessert. I accumulated 80 hours of footage, including chance encounters, pre-arranged interviews and location specific filming. These were meticulously filtered and edited into thirteen videos divided into 6 themes taken from a culminating work Amnesia; A Rehearsal. The themes were Love, Architecture, Present, Death, Incantation and Journey. Each offers renditions of attempt to drive purpose into our existence.

Stills - Traces - buddha

Traces questions Buddhism; a dropping coin triggers a montage of rolling hills harmonious and silhouetted contours of Po Lin’s Buddha. Stark symbols and colours entice meditative contemplation and the alchemy of sonorous tones guide us into a mysterious hall- a chance to witness ceremonial chanting. Yet, this culminates in the minutiae of effigies gathered to hoard the invisible in this world.

Stills - Incantation

In Incantation we’re told ‘Enlightenment is a package’ by a Ngong Ping Skyrail representative, whilst the rusting Buddha, facing mainland China, and the florescent life size effigies remind of higher, invisible dominant forces… is ancestry and heritage to be challenged? My own alienation from my grandmother is documented during a Cantonese Protestant church sermon whilst the Ghost Opera and ‘chi bath’ by a face reader introduces superstition… there is still no arresting of death.

Barby Asante: “Heated debates about immigration and national identity rage around the world, and religious belief is often cited as one of the key factors pushing peoples apart. Urban Dialogues wants to show another path forward – one in which our differences are appreciated and explored, rather than seen as a reason for potential conflict.”

Thanks to 3FF, Red Gallery and Barby Asante.

The exhibition will open with a series of special events, FESTIVAL NIGHT -a mix of live music, spoken word and performances.