From the 28th October to 4th November I took a trip to Hong Kong. I did this because of the connection to my project, for a chance to do some great primary research and to build up a bigger and better understanding of what drives HKC. I also did it because it is somewhere I have always wanted to go, you could also see it as a continuation of my last project and my month long trip in mainland china. A further digging into asian culture and arts, another chance to gain a slightly different perspective on a slightly more modern area of chinese arts.
One of the main things I found out is that there is no actual place where HKC is based, like hollywood studios in the US or Pinewood in the UK. In fact HKC is not really operating is the same way that it used to, it really focuses much more on television now. This from the point of view of my project is a bit of a shame as it means I wasn’t able to go and see any films being shot or worked on in anyway. However, what I managed to find was that HKC is still very much on peoples mind there. I went to an exhibition by a young illustrator called Rex Koo. In the next blog post which you can find a link to HERE, I have talked all about his work. Because it was such an inspirational Exhibit I have given it its own standout post so I can reflect upon it adequately.
I will however talk about another really intriguing part of the trip, and that was visiting the 'Hong Kong Heritage Museum’ which holds a Bruce Lee Exhibit. The exhibition took you from Bruce Lees early life right up to his untimely death at the age of 30. The best part of the Exhibit was the section that focused on all his major HKC films, such as 'Fists of Fury', 'Enter the Dragon' and 'Game of Death’. All 3 of these films are landmark pieces that set the trend for later artworks in HKC from the 70’s, 80’s and 1990’s. One of the best things to see was all the promotional material that went with the movie, I think it is this area that is most exciting for me. Along with pieces I had expected like film posters and ticket Stubbs, were promotional flick books with little fight scenes in them. You can see why this these would have made great give away pieces as they hit on just the right part of the films, the action. This is also something that Rex Koo has looked into and I believe will be a natural area for me to look at and develop further like where I have started with the chinese paper cut animation.
The aesthetics of the artwork used in all this promotional material is really nice. The wonkiness of some of the characters lends the artwork a quality that seems to suit HKC and fit into the right dynamic. The artwork suggests action all the time, even though its a still image. Next step for me is to try and create my own action packed flick book using my own artwork rather than movie stills.
The trip hasn’t exactly made the point of my project totally clear to me. But in the case of Rex Koos exhibition, it's great to see what someone else has done with a similar starting point. I think I would like my project to have a little more of a global reason to it, rather than just show casing stills from films with the subtitles to highlight the strange inaccuracies of it. But what he has done is great in terms of project development, and this is really the next stage that I think I should be looking at, getting down to making artwork. Then from there I can develop the theme or context with Anya’s help.