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Archiving bodies|Metro Arts Residency|2019|Brisbane

The process of learning how do I position myself in a creative process with other collaborators in the room.

I've been thinking a lot about, as a performer and dance-maker, what's the point of having an overseas residency? What makes it necessary to have my research and practice aboard? What is the difference of me being in Hong Kong, and me being in a foreign land? Instead of what kind of dance to share with the local artists, I brought these questions with me before starting the one-week residency in Metro Arts, Brisbane.

With the help of local choreographer/producer Liesel Zink, a group of six emerging dance artists, Lauren Graham, Felix Palmerson, Georgia Pierce, Makira Horner, Jayden Grogan and Reina Takeuchi, were invited to have a one week residency based on my current interests on photograph as a practice to investigate the multiple layers of daily performative states of being and possible ways to archive movements and body.

Each day started with a two-hour improvisation-based dance workshop, which was also open to the general public in hope of creating a platform and space for encounter and exploration within the local dance community, and meanwhile continue my research on improvisation as a tool to dive into our cognitive system and re-arranging our way of perceiving our own body and movement by re-positioning/ disorientation/ recognition/ acknowledgement-How does our mind affect how we move.

Without a concrete plan of the exact materials that I would propose into the room, I allowed myself to be alert, attentive and responsive to the space. How to let what is already existing in the room to grow and develop by bringing attention to it, sometimes push a little bit, sometimes create even a longer distance to look at it from afar, create rooms to ponder, talk and reflect.

I slowly drew a thread in whatever was going on for the week in the room with six of them. Picking up bits and pieces and investigate them with their body, and took the public sharing as an on-going research, considering the outside eyes as one of the resources that we can make use of during the time of improvisation.

By constantly re-adjusting my position and mode of thinking, I also recognized myself with the capacity to imagine the ways we shaped the room into a place where we could all invest into the framework of research with our own needs and agenda. And the process also pushed me to develop my own practice to facilitate, assist, and support from the outside. It was for sure invaluable.

Thank you Liesel for realizing this residency, Metro Arts for the space and supports, everyone that came for the morning workshops and the sharing, and of course, six of the emerging wonderful local collaborators. Thank you for having me with you in the week! The genuine sharing of the artistry of local artists definitely pushed the framework to another level, I'm very grateful for their dedication throughout the week.

I'm thrilled when I tried to re-collect the experience and reflect on the whole process, and I'll definitely bring it forward to the next stage of creation. Stay tuned!

Photo: Liesel Zink, Georgia Pierce, Joseph Lee

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