A woman smiles at the camera, sitting in front of a video projected on the wall of a gallery space. The video shows a blindfolded woman walking in front of a traditional Chinese temple with her arms stretched out in front of her.

From 1989 to Now: May Fung on Video Art

Hong Kong filmmaker May Fung has been active for over forty years in the Hong Kong film and arts community. Her work She Said Why Me (1989) is currently on view in the exhibition Five Artists: Sites Encountered. It depicts a woman walking blindfolded through the bustling streets of Hong Kong. These images are interspersed with black-and-white archival footage of women in various public contexts. The constant shifting of sites and the sense of unease displayed by the blindfolded woman clearly express the anxiety felt by the city’s residents—especially women—as they attempt to explore their collective identity during a period of political uncertainty.

Fung recently gave a talk in conjunction with the exhibition. Below is an edited transcription, touching on her creative process and the history of video art in Hong Kong.

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May Fung: The present situation in Hong Kong reminds me of my younger days. My work She Said Why Me was made in 1989, the year of the June 4th incident. I was thirty-seven. Leading up to and in response to the Tiananmen gathering, there were all kinds of demonstrations in Hong Kong. I was very active. Whenever there was a demonstration, I would go to the street with my video camera and film everything.

A woman in a yellow coat sits on a bench in a white-walled space. She looks at someone beyond the camera and her mouth is slightly open, gesturing with her hand as if in the middle of saying something.

‘How Do You Teach Sculpture?’ Shirley Tse on Being an Artist-Educator

This year, sculptor Shirley Tse is representing Hong Kong in the 58th Venice Biennale with Shirley Tse: Stakeholders, Hong Kong in Venice, co-presented by M+ and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. In addition to being an artist, Shirley is also an experienced art educator, as a faculty member of the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Below, we chat with Shirley about her teaching philosophy, her role as educator, and how the two intersect with her art practice.

How did you become an artist-educator?

After studying fine arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), I began studying for a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at ArtCenter College of Design in the United States. This degree qualifies you to teach art at a college level. I wasn’t particularly thinking about that when I began studying, however; I really wanted to focus on making my art.

A woman holding a small microphone stands in a gallery space. She is talking to a small group of people standing around her next to a number of macquettes on shelves.

Ask an M+ Curator: Curating ‘Five Artists: Sites Encountered’

Time to ask a curator! Throughout the exhibition Five Artists: Sites Encountered, curious visitors can ask exhibition curator Pauline J. Yao anything about the exhibition and the works on display. Answers are then posted right here on M+ Stories.

Below are the answers from the first round of questions—the second round will be published after the exhibition’s end. Thank you to everyone who has submitted questions.

How did you select the five artists for the current show?

A woman with long black hair and glasses leans against a white wall, looking at the camera with her arms folded and a small smile on her face.

Christina Li: Always Moving, Always Curating

We are in the middle of the 58th Venice Biennale, and this year, M+ and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council are once again working together to present Hong Kong’s contribution: Shirley Tse: Stakeholders, Hong Kong in Venice, curated by Hong Kong curator Christina Li. To give better insight into her practice, Li spoke to Winny Leung, associate editor at M+, about her work and her curatorial philosophy.

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What does a curator do? That was what Christina Li wondered when she entered this line of work in her first curatorial role at Para Site, an independent art space in Hong Kong. ‘I didn’t know what a curator was supposed to do; whether it involves painting or writing or translation. I eventually thought about it this way: the word “curator” comes from a root that means “caring for something”—so everything is something I should care for. At the time there were just three of us in the Para Site team, and we had to do everything, from the cabling to painting walls, for twelve exhibitions a year.’