Look at me in the eyes
In these uncertain times, for many reasons, Hong Kong is a physical and mental crossroad of civilisations.
I have been reading two marvellous books by bestselling author Rutger Bregman: Utopia for Realists (2017), and Human Kind (2020). They both tell us that humans are friendly animals. And that cooperation is a much smarter strategy than tit-for-tat. We are in a transitional period, though. As the American historian, David Hackett Fischer would put it: the 20th-century price-revolution is coming to an end. Less cheap work around the world, less affordable energy for most economies and dwellings, no more commodity inflation, low aggregate global demand, too much conspicuous consumption nonetheless. All this is paring with falling rates of birth (except in Africa, for now), environmental problems everywhere, and global diseases, mostly coming from animal-food mass production. Sooner than later, all these factors will have a high and potentially disastrous impact on human life around the planet. The tragedy is already among us, but a new era of equilibrium will hopefully follow by the second half of this century. A research team led by Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III, using a computer simulation model, predicted in 1972 that a collapse might be on our way by 2030. Humanity was then running on a dangerous path. It still is. It doesn’t matter if 2030 is too soon as a disaster prediction, or 2060, 2080, or 2100. If this is the ultimate destiny of our industrial and consumerist civilisation, what shall we do to prevent the coming collapse? Will art have a word to say? Is there a new Renaissance era around the corner? I wonder.
COVID-19 almost put the world in a standstill dilemma. Either we die from the global spreading of an invisible half-live entity, or we change our lifestyle. How, one might ask. As far as the art world concerns, what are the implications of this physical and mental stress? Shall we resume Utopia being realist at the same time?
Listening to Isaac Leung, artist, curator and chairperson at Videotage, in conversation with four young artists Chen Pin Tao, Suze Chan, and Zhiwan Cheung, will probably help us to measure the impact of the world pandemic in their daily routine and future art as well.
The New Art Fest Artistic Director
Bit Street Hong Kong
artists, their work, and how they cope with the pandemic in the context of art
Curated by Isaac Leung
22:00 (HKG); 15:00 (LIS); 10:00 (NYC)
Antonio C Pinto
Chen Pin Tao