Singing to a  big crowd

Art for All

Posted in: by Pete Moser on 22 October 2014
Tagged with: Far East 2014 0

Art For All 
With the emphasis on Art
Quality in the product is the critical focus for Evelyna Liang

Evelyna has been working in HK for a long time, producing projects with the Vietnamese Boat People, Sichuan earthquake victims and over the last period with old people with dementia. This last project has had a serious research element that is proving that the art slows down decline and reduces depression. The report will be published in a little while but right now she shows me photos of the current exhibition of paintings and a film. Lovely work. She is not only a great artist herself but also a wonderful facilitator - we first met years ago, then in Brazil at IDEA in 2010 and now every year on my visits. We make a plan for a visit to the UK for 2 of her artists/managers and talk about the protests, art therapy and a changing society as we walk around the site at Admiralty after our coffee.  


Art for Protest
With an emphasis on creativity
This is a mass participatory art with some notable brilliant responses.


The artworks are developing all over the site, from the gallery of painting, to umbrella sculptures, from the Lennon Wall, to the polystyrene figures, from the T Shirt printing to the massed making of origami umbrellas, from the hanging banners to the thousands of printed posters. In the evening me and Eric notice a group of noted cultural activists sitting around a big map and we realise that they are now archiving and documenting all of this work. He goes to talk with them. Each of the people has a team who are focussing on one area of the site and later on we see the blue tags starting to build up. Everyone finds themselves a role - no-one has told this group to do this action, they are finding their place. 


Art in Performance
There is very little at this protest
As the people want to keep a focus on the ‘single issue’

Today is the day for the first negotiation between 5 of the student leaders and 5 of the Exec. It is live on TV and people gather in their thousands to watch on big and small screens from 6pm - 8pm. We have been asked to sing some of our new songs after this event and before the student leaders return to speak on the ‘main stage’ at Umbrella Square under the viaduct. This is a test for our small group of musicians and we meet at 7pm to choose 4 songs and rehearse. We do well in a stressed situation where the techies are very helpful but the ‘stage’ is a very narrow platform and the under rehearsed singers struggle a little. Thousands listen. I wonder what they think? We have shared 4 stories that have been gathered that reflect a diversity of thinking and that is important. 

Art - Community Art - Community Music - Performance quality 
The themes for my thinking through the day of various parts. The endless debate about social work and artistic output continues to find context even within the political protests and I end the day tired, satisfied, confused and wondering about the future. 

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