2016 Asia Culture Center
ACC network platform
Asia Kula Kula-ring, Kula-Bazaar
Asia Culture Center, Gwangju
1st September - 20 October 2016
At Wit’s End
Curated by Andre Chan
Ocean Leung Yu Tung
At Wit’s End
Cantonese is a language spoken by 80 million people in the world. It is said to be a ‘dialect’ of Chinese and not protected by any official status. Yet, it is the basis of identity of Hong Kong people and Hong Kong diaspora around the world. Facing the instability of recent influx of immigrants from Southern China in the millions, the colonial government lost its grip in the governance of the local Chinese population in the 1960s. It is became apparent for the English speaking government to implement a form of Chinese policy. Chinese became one of the two official languages in Hong Kong in 1970 and also became the de facto teaching language in the city. Popular music, film and television in the cantonese language has become a major industry in the 1960s that not only catered to the local market, but exporting to markets in all Chinese-speaking markets around the world. In recent years, localism has gained traction among the younger generations after the numerous protests against the local government, especially the Umbrella Revolution in 2014. This form localism shaped the identity of Hong Konger based largely upon the local popular culture industry in Cantonese language.
“At Wit’s End” will mount an abstract discussion on the relationship between language and identity of Hong Kong, especially the breakdown and the stalemate we see in the current political and social situation.