music producer, singer-songwriter, sound artist, writer, and researcher


Art Practice




You Millions, I Embrace You! (2017) from Alex Yiu on Vimeo.

‘You millions, I embrace you!’ A participatory performance by Alex Yiu

Curator : Andre Chan

About the performance

As Slavoj Zizek once described ‘Ode to Joy’ as an ‘Empty container’, this music itself is being used by people in almost any forms of celebration. Written in the summer of 1785 by German poet Friedrich Schiller, the poem ‘Ode to Joy’ celebrates the heavenly joyfulness of mankind and expresses the idea of unifying people in mysticism. While Schiller remains one of the most important poets of Germany, it is Ludwig van Beethoven’s setting on this poem with his Symphony No. 9 marks the historical monument of Western classical music.

The verse ‘You millions, I embrace you!’ from ‘Ode to Joy’, which is also the title of this work, is a participatory performance by the Hong Kong sound artist Alex Yiu. In this performance, audience is invited to participate a rehearsal, which is lead by the artist himself, to learn how to sing a section of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ in its original German texts. As music provides an aesthetic experience through a process of reinforcing and incorporating our body’s movement and memory, the artist attempts to re-enact the aesthetic experience of singing in practice, and he also questions about the purpose of music in our contemporary society.


哲學家齊澤克曾形容《快樂頌》為「真空的容器」,因為這樂曲曾經被無數人引用並成為各種慶典的音樂。於一七八五年,德國詩人席勒寫下了《快樂頌》,歌頌人類崇高的快樂以及團結世人的理念,當中不乏神秘主義的色彩。雖然席勒被喻為德國最重要的詩人之一,但真正令到《快樂頌》家傳戶曉的,是作曲家貝多芬用了席勒的《快樂頌》的詩文,譜寫了人類歷史裡最重要的音樂——D 小調第九交響曲《合唱》。