Peek into the Hong Kong X Finland project

Katarina Lindholm, 28.8.2017

The collaboration and residency exchange programme Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong X Finland is running its third residency period in July-August 2017, this time around in Finland.

The six participating artists Justyne Li Sze-yeung, Wayson Poon Wai-shun, Ivy Tsui Yik-chit, Carl Knif, Linda Martikainen and Sari Palmgren started off their two and a half weeks together at the Full Moon Dance Festival in the small town of Pyhäjärvi in central Finland before continuing their artistic research in Helsinki.

The artists from the left: Ivy, Sari, Justyne, Wayson, Carl and Linda @ Katarina Lindholm

The entire collaboration project consists of six residency periods, three in each country, which means that the programme is now midway. Here the artists give small glimpses of what they are up to.

As a dance artist, what are your main interests right now that drive you to create?
Justyne: The psychological status of human beings and the relationship we have with everything around us.

Wayson: Change, both in the world and in personal life. I’m also interested in how people sense and what is the human condition nowadays in the contemporary world.

Ivy: The mobility of human beings, both in nature and in the modern world, cities. I’m interested in site-specific work.

Linda: I’m interested in challenging the concepts of spectatorship and performance stage in so as the borders of those concepts blur e.g. in immersive performances. I’m also very interested in exploring the ways of communication in a dance film.

Carl: At the moment I’m interested in communication and how to use dance to talk about important topics in a clear and direct way.

Sari: I’m interested in the performance situation; what is the stage and what it’s not, what is audience, what is spectator, what is in between, what do different spaces mean. This is related to my upcoming performance Fenced Dreams. I’m also interested in sustainability on different levels, environmental issues, human-animal issues, nature.

What are you working on in this residency programme?
Justyne: I’m paying attention to the relationship between the human being and space and weather, and also to space in terms of both natural landscapes and architecture. I’m just in the very beginning of this process.

Wayson: I’m doing movement research about Taoism, the Flowing body and the 5Rythms training method, which is a dynamic movement practice based on being in your body. Based on these elements I would like to develop my own movement language and system of how to lead dancers into that movement language and for it to become a creative tool for me in making art works.

Ivy: I’m researching skateparks and skateboards. Skateboards change and increase the speed in which people are moving. I’m investigating different skate parks in different cities and creating a map of them.

Carl: I’m researching for a production that I want to do next year, the topic of which is the concept of miracle. The theme of the Full Moon Dance Festival – good life – and especially the lecture about well-being in an artist’s work environment was very inspiring. We often lack the capacity of seeing beauty around us, how can we regain this? This production will be loosely based on Michael Cunningham’s novel The Snow Queen.

Sari: I’ve been working on Fenced Dreams-performance during these residencies and I’ve presented it to the other residence artist in different phases in the residency period. Now it will soon be premiere, so in the next residence I will evaluate the process and share my evaluation with other residence artists. I will also continue with working on my Mortal Road Movie project, which is a traveling project in different continents and investigate whether to do it also in Hong Kong. I am also interested to find out more about Buddhism and its relation to my practice.

Linda: I’m working on a dance film for which we are currently writing a script. The film deals with the concept of a meaningful life. From what elements is it built? What are the foundation pillars of life, those that keep you going, and offer you comfort? The trigger for this film came from a phenomenon known as karoshi (Japanese, death by overwork).

Name a few things that have inspired you so far during these residencies:
Justyne: The winter and the darkness in Finland, it’s something we just don’t have in Hong Kong.

Ivy: Silence in Finland and wheels.

Wayson: A new environment activates my senses. On the other hand, my research is also exploring the body movement to develop more possibilities after the body has been activated.

Linda: Cultural exchange and widening the understanding of contemporary dance scene.

Sari: Going abroad is a special time for me, as it means getting out from your own environment. It’s about testing different things in new environments, for example how you talk about your work and what others can get from it.

Carl: Traveling, being in different locations, interacting with people, getting to try each other’s practices.

Creative Meeting Point: Hong Kong x Finland is a collaboration program between West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong and Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Dance Info Finland and Dance House Helsinki. The program aims to support artistic development, create connections for dance between the countries and strengthen the organisational know-how.