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Writing Sound workshop (March 2018)

Workshop Mentor working with eight artists through Soundpocket, Hong Kong. With Hong Kong writer and artist Chan Sai Lok as creative co-contributor and language support. Soundpocket staff Alice Wong, Chan Hai Man (Mandy) and Vanessa Laiwingyan.

Artists: Wayne Choi, Fizen Yuen, JC Jessie, Donald Chung, Sean Wong, Hiuwa Li, Dave Chow, Ho Tsz Yeung (Jacklam),

Running this workshop, Writing Sound, has been an extremely rewarding experience not only as a mentor but also as an artist. The artists had a wide mix of disciplinary backgrounds and this proved advantageous as to how the concept was approached.  Initially, many of them found the idea of writing sound to be a conundrum, as it seems to be an impossibility to write/draw/annotate the flux and breadth and three dimensionality of sound. Thus the proposition was a challenge from the start and responses were rich and varied. This conundrum and lack of knowing was a very good starting point for introducing the role of listening, and why listening is such an important part of working with sound.

Listening to voice without searching for meaning is an integral means through which I explore the potential of language. As bilingual speakers of Cantonese and English, I was able to ask the artists about their experiences of working across two (or more) languages, for example what occurred when they moved between languages and if they had a different relationship with each language. I began to understand that English js considered a fourth language for everyone, with Cantonese (mother tongue) and Mandarin as spoken languages, Chinese as the written language and English as a fourth language. In Kuala Lumpur, the mix of languages was even more diverse, including Bahasa Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Tamil, Punjabi.

Planned and organised by the Soundpocket team I led soundwalks every day in both cities, encouraging a practical approach to listening in the real world. As per my interest in cross-species language, we went to several bird aviaries as well as the bird market. Listening to the birds as users of language triggered some insightful responses from the artists. I encouraged the artists to write/draw/compose in the journals that were provided, searching for some way of drawing correlations between the visual and the sonic that made sense to them and their particular interests. Rhythm, repetition and metre proved to be helpful ways of approaching how sound could be written via mark-making.

 
       
     
    Photo Credit Chan Sai Lok  
       
     
    Photo Credit Chan Sai Lok  
       
     
    Photo Credit Chan Sai Lok  
       
     
    Photo Credit Chan Hei Man  
       
     
    Lunch with Siew-Wai Kok and Tey Beng Tsz, Kuala Lumpur. Photo Credit Chan Sai Lok  
       
     
    Tsz Shan Monastery Hong Kong. Photo Credit Alice Wong  
       
     
    Tsz Shan Monastery Hong Kong. Photo Credit Alice Wong  
       
     
    Ancestors graveyard, Tsz Shan Monastery Hong Kong  
       
     
    North Point, Hong Kong  
       
     
    Little Egret, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong  
       
     
    At Floating Projects. Photo Credit Wayne Choi  
       
     
    Bali Mynah, Hong Kong Park Aviary  
       
     
    All of us with Tey Beng Tsz and Yee Hun (intern) at Raw Art Space, Kuala Lumpur. Photo Credit Chan Hei Man  
       
     
    The conflluence of two rivers, Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak, central Kuala Lumpur (which means 'muddy confluence').
Photo Credit Wayne Choi
 
       
     
    Kuala Lumpur. Photo Credit Wayne Choi  
       
     
    Kuala Lumpur. Photo Credit Chan Hei Man  
       
     
    Sean outside Raw Art Space, Kuala Lumpur  
       
     
    Lunch with Xiang Yi Wong and Goh Lee Kwang near Rimbun Dahan residency, Kuala Lumpur. Photo Credit Wayne Choi  
       
     
    Rimbun Dahan residency. Photo Credit Chan Sai Lok  
       
     
    Xiang Yi Wong with the dogs of Rimbun Dahan residency, Kuala Lumpur. Photo Credit Chan Sai Lok  
       
       
       
   
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