Sunday, April 18, 2010

More unusual visitors

Last Friday morning, it was another surprise-visit to my studio. More often the door rang in the morning for delivery or something. So when it rang then, I just thought about another delivery, probably by the same people. When I opened the door, in front me was a mid-age Chinese woman, dressed clean with a vest matched with a shirt and a black half-length skirt like a shipping company office lady. Obviously there was nothing to deliver.... Well... yes, she was delivering the message of God! When I was pondering how I should respond, (thank "God") she already said, "I guess you must be very busy!"
"Yes, I am"
"Would you like to have some pamphlets of inspiring messages from God?" she said before she took them out.
"Hmmm.... could you simply put them in our mail box in the ground floor.... For sure I could get them there." Apparently I forgot we weren't talking about emails. I felt so embarrassed with my stupidity and immediately closed the door. The bell didn't ring again then and I must have been given up by God.
But five hours later, the door bell rang!
Suspecting that Chinese woman was returning, I opened the door slowly. (I probably should install a surveillance camera at the door!) To my surprise, there was a westerner, a woman in a similar dress as that Chinese. "God, it's the Mormon!" but I turned this thought down as I didn't see the black name tag on her chest.
Before I could have any other idea, she asked, "Are you selling your studio?" It was really another surprise (but not too bad as she might ask "Are you selling your soul?")
"No," I replied simply.
"Do you know any space in this floor is available for sale?"
"I have no idea but I would wonder if there is any."
"Thank you."
I closed the door. Perhaps it's not bad if she could buy off all those factories of barbecue food next to us.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Recently I had very unusual visitors to my studio. Last week in a late afternoon when I was rushing to leave my studio, the door bell rang, very rare for me at this hour. Two teenagers in school uniform looked a little shy and nervous when I opened the door. "Could we interview you?" the only words they uttered. It was a very surprise and I have never met them before. I simply answered I was too busy then for any interview and said goodbye to them. Indeed they took it easy and left. After closing the door, I felt myself too rude and was afraid they might be hurt. I opened the door again and they were still waiting for the lift out there.
"Good! Please email to me to schedule an interview that I can prepare." I said.
They only smiled and nodded.
"Do you have my email address?" I added.
They turned their heads.
"You can check out my website and find my email contacts there."
They nodded again.
"But do you know my website?"
They turned their heads again.
Then I told it to them. They nodded but didn't write it down. The lift arrived and they disappeared.
"Do they know who I am?" I asked myself.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Student work

Yesterday two of my students counted more than 200 people entering the school at the main entrance but only 9 used the door at centre and the rest from the side. None of these looked like students and it was said your grade point average would be below 3.0 if you did.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Paolo Gioli

The other day I saw a short film programme of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. These years I am far less enthusiastic about the HKIFF for different reasons. It was really long ago that I could see 5 shows a day and very likely I fell asleep in a couple of them!
Anyway, I went to this show this year mainly because of Paolo Gioli, in my own words, crazy great artist who could make a camera out of anything. He was one of the photographers who did workshop with us back in the days of Spilimbergo in Italy almost 20 years ago. Years after, I did a few projects of pinhole camera probably because of him. But then I didn't learn about him as a film maker.
Back to the show, to my surprise it was a very small audience, about 30% full of Agnes B Cinema in the Hong Kong Arts Centre. I hope the film makers from Austria & Japan who specially came to this screening of their short films were not disappointed. The title of the programme was Avant Garde Programme II which was a bit misleading. Actually a few of films in this screening were more about photographic gaze, the very basic nature of photography. Gioli showed a new film I volti dell'anonimo which was made of a found footage with a lot of found still inserts. It was my first time to see his film work which is actually consistent with his photography, exploring the intriguing link between presence, history and photography. A lot of accidental poetics!
I am too outdated: actually Gioli was an artist-in-focus of the HKIFF in 2007!