Book Launch – A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O

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My parents wanted to live in Hong Kong again but they didn’t especially want to live in ahigh-rise building. They were looking for an alternative to that.”.(Photo provided by Shirley Pickford, a village tenant who moved to Pak Sha O in 1985)

What is essential for a place to be considered “Home”?
How can we create a living space of our own?

Kaitak, Centre for Research and Development, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University is organising a launch event for a new book entitled A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O on 11 October 2015 (Sunday) at Pak Sha O Village and Pak Sha O Ha Yeung, Sai Kung.

The new book is conceived as part of Through Our Eyes Photography Education Programme, and has been made possible with generously funding from The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. It investigates what a living space means to us through a range of observation, exploration and research of Pak Sha O. It is the first in a series of three episodes of a biennial art project “A Living Space”,directed by artist Ki WONG. Its initiatives will take various forms, such as works of art, publications, exhibitions, websites and public events – all linked by the same theme.

Ki WONG came upon this well preserved Hakka Village by chance when she was wandering around Pak Sha O, Hoi Ha in Sai Kung area one time. It raised her curiosity when she discovered that, under the roof of these traditional Hakka style houses, there live a group of foreigners who re-decorated the interior in Modern English style. The area was filled with a relaxed sense of living. Built and abandoned by Chinese and now being taken care and fully utilized by foreigners, this village brings together the old and new, the east and west, the contrast and harmony. The scenery struck Ki’s mind hard enough to reflect on what we used to believe: traditional housing structure and living environment fails to cater the needs of modern life. So, how should we maintain an ideal way of living?

Ki then formed a creative team with HSU Wai Lun, Matthew KWAN and Somely SO, continuously looking for the former and current residents of Pak Sha O, interviewing for their stories. Unknowingly the team dug into the family history of the indigenous inhabitants and unveiled the struggling pasts of the previous generations. With a lot of hardships, they strived for better lives and looked out for each other as a family, and they survived the era of catastrophe. The team gathered and processed a large amount of old photos, including daily lives photos of residents and historic photos. At the same time, the team invited photographic artists HO Man Kei and NG Sai Kit, illustrator Chihoi to explore Pak Sha O, in order to depict various aspects and features of the village through the distinctive expressions of imageries. It formed a comprehensive portrayal of the place, the history and the people. To restore the story of YUNG Si-chiu and his family of four generations, who moved to Pak Sha O in the 19th Century, we have invited writer Sim LAU to study the relevant historic research data of the family and conducted interviews with the descendants. With these collected factual information, plus a bit of fictional creations, LAU reconstructed the story of Pak
Sha O and the residents with a strong sense of Magic Realism.

Nothing can replace the archival function of a book, it is especially obvious when one hold this 320-page publication with their hands. You can feel the existence as if this book bears its own weight and warmth. Years later someone out there might be looking for a book contently filled with the history of Pak Sha O, just like what we are doing today; studying the genealogy of the YUNG’s family and the hand copied books by YUNG Si-chiu so preciously. A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O embodies the histories and stories of this place and its people. Through this book all these can be delivered to current and former residents, the migrated descendants, the village head, politicians, environmental carers, educators and the mass media. What makes a village a wonderful living space, is how people manage to live here as a whole. What makes an old Hakka house precious is the committing spirits to rehabilitate it over and over again. We treat this Book Launch and Guided Tours an opportunity to gather and to share, in this particular time and space, let us all redefine the intimate relationship between ourselves and the surrounding environment.

A Living Space: The Homes of Pak Sha O will be published in mid-September. We cordially invite you to attend both the Meet-the-Press Session (15 September 2015, 2:30pm) and Book Launch (11 October 2015) for an insightful understandings to the whole project. At the Book Launch, our creative team will also share with the public the research process; guided tours and various activities will be arranged which allow participants to grab a fuller picture of the stories mentioned in the publication.

1/ Meet-the-Press Session
Date:15 September, 2015 (Tue)(please make reservation)
Time:14:30 – 16:00
Venue:Kai Tak Campus, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, 51Kwun
Tong Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (Choi Hung MTR Station A2 Exit)

2/ Book Launch
Date:11 October, 2015 (Sun)(please make reservation)
Time:9:30 – 17:00
Venue:Pak Sha O Village and Pak Sha O Ha Yeung

Event Rundown
9:30 – 17:00 Exhibition
9:30 – 17:00 Drawing the Three-Character Classic
10:00 – 11:00 Guided Tour by the Villagers I
11:00 – 12:00 Sharing on the creative process of A Living Space
12:00 – 13:00 Live Music in the Village
13:30 – 15:00 Nature tour
14:30 – 15:30 Bird Language Game
15:00 – 16:00 Guided Tour by the Villagers II
16:00 – 16:30 Antiphonal Singing by Hakka Mother

Media enquiry and interview arrangement:
Ruth Cheung – Program Officer of Kaitak, the Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts
Tel: 3411 6587 / 6077 4371| Email:ruthcheung@hkbu.edu.hk

Sandy Wan – Project Assistant of Kaitak, the Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts
Tel: 3411 8210 / 5111 6203 | Email:sandywan@hkbu.edu.hk

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About Us

Through Our Eyes Photography Education Programme

Through Our Eyes (TOE) Photography Education Programme aims to provide a creative and engaging learning environment in which young people and the wider community can express themselves through the medium of photography. Our vision is to offer people new insight into seeing things from their own perspectives, enabling them to break away from preconceived notions framed by existing visual images and rediscovering the connections between their inner selves and their families, communities, cultures and social environments. Through a variety of workshops and social practice art projects, we seek to define photography in its broadest and most expansive forms and engage with people, especially the younger generation, to explore the possibilities of the medium and inspire their creativity. We also focus on offering training and development opportunities for artist-educators and other arts education professionals as well as fostering sharing of learning and teaching experience and experimental art practices through research and publication. Founded and funded by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, the programme is now handed over to and operated by kaitak, Centre for Research and Development of the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University.

 

 

kaitak, Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts

kaitak, Centre for Research and Development in Visual Arts was established by the Academy of Visual Arts in 2013 to enhance the visual arts development in Hong Kong and neighbouring regions. Housed in a Grade I historic building (the former Royal Air Force Officers’ Mess), it promotes visual arts research, creative arts education and community engagement through a vibrant programme of artist-in-residence, exhibitions, workshops, talks and publications.

 

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation

A private philanthropic organisation based in Hong Kong, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation is committed to promoting Chinese art and culture around the world and advocating the practice of Buddhist teachings in everyday life. The Foundation also actively contributes to Hong Kong society through a host of creative arts education platforms that serve to inspire our youth and local art communities.

Since 2005, the Foundation has funded numerous innovative projects, including exhibitions, publishing, filmmaking and educational activities that promote cross-cultural understanding. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting creative arts and cultural education for the children and youth of Hong Kong. Through a variety of initiatives such as Through Our Eyes photography education programme, Leap! body education programme and We All Live in the Forbidden City education programme, the Foundation nurtures the younger generation’s creativity, encourages them to appreciate art and culture as well as to establish a connection with the society through developing a deeper understanding of their own community, history, culture and environment.

 

 

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