Video still showing a hollow in the ground shaped like a human silhouette with outstretched arms. It is filled with red liquid.

From Earth to Ink: How Performance Artists Use Their Bodies in Their Work

Performance art is an art form that makes use of time and the human body (or bodies) to express a feeling or idea. Works of performance art can be carried out almost anywhere by anyone, can be public or private, and can rely on scripted or unscripted actions.

While all forms of performance art involve bodies in one way or another, some performance artists draw particular attention to their own bodies. A loose movement of body-related performance art emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, pioneered by artists who placed their own bodies at the forefront of their art.

One of the artists who experimented with this type of art during this period was Ana Mendieta. She is best known for her ‘earth-body’ works, in which she focuses on a connection between her body and the earth. Right now, you can see a selection of Mendieta’s body performance pieces at Five Artists: Sites Encountered in the M+ Pavilion.

Monochrome photograph of a road with numerous shop signs hanging above. Carts covered with striped canvas fabric are parked on the two sides, while a person carrying a large, blank canvas stands in the middle of the road.

Quiz: Can You Recognise These Spots in Hong Kong?

How well do you know Hong Kong’s buildings, mountains, markets, and public spaces?

The M+ Collections contain a lot of different representations of Hong Kong—from architectural archives to landscape paintings. Take this quiz to see if you can recognise the Hong Kong spots in ten of these different representations. Are you an 852 expert, or is it time to learn about and explore the city a bit more?

Film still showing an older woman hugging a man with an emotional expression on her face. We see her face over the man’s shoulder, and the man has his back towards us.

From the Collections: ‘Mother’ by Tracey Moffatt

Mother by Tracey Moffatt is in the M+ Collections, but what is it, who made it, and why did M+ acquire it? Catherine Lau, Assistant Curator, Moving Image, M+, explains:

What is this?

Mother (2009) is a video by Australian contemporary artist Tracey Moffatt. It forms part of the Montage video series created by Moffatt and her long-time collaborator Gary Hillberg. Created between 1999 and 2015, the series consists of a suite of eight short videos that draw upon a range of stereotypes from Hollywood films. Together they interrogate and re-frame the nature of representation in popular culture.

Mother compiles clips of mother figures from classic Hollywood cinema and television dramas. The figures range from the Virgin Mary and Mother Courage, to characters from Maude (1972–78), Aliens (1986), Imitation of Life (1959), and American Gangster (2007). The characters play out scenes of care, loss, emotional manipulation, abandonment, and grief. The intense relationships between mothers and daughters are especially prominent.

Two Polaroid photographs side by side. The photograph on the left shows a girl face down, leaning her head on the thigh of a person dressed in a short white skirt and grey sweater. The photograph on the right shows a bundle of red chopsticks tied together with string, lying on top of a surface covered in red fabric with images of large pink flowers.

Wong Wo Bik’s Daring and Beautiful Polaroids

In this post, take a closer look at the work of Wong Wo Bik, one of the artists whose Wikipedia article was improved during the recent Art+Feminism: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Women in Art in Asia co-organised by M+ and Asia Art Archive. In total, participants added or improved over thirty Wikipedia articles about women artists in Asia in addition to Wong. You can see a full list of outcomes on the event's results page.

Hong Kong photographer Wong Wo Bik (b. 1949) is best known for her images of architectural landmarks documenting Hong Kong’s transition from a colonial to a post-colonial city. In contrast, her instant print photography reveals lesser-known aspects of her work that are experimental, daring, female-centred, autobiographical, and at times surreal. The M+ Collections contain examples of her architectural photography, but also a large selection of these Polaroid works. These include experimental works from her student years, as well as her more mature Polaroid works from the 1980s.