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midday, Quarry Bay (2013) from Alex Yiu on Vimeo.

Yasi * We Friend – a cross-media response exhibition to Leung Ping Kwan

“Poet” should be the profession that Yasi stated on his resume. Yet Yasi, as we all know, was fond of bypassing boundaries; he was never such a poet to be confined to his position. Engaged with different art forms, he enjoyed interacting with artists and photographers on the construction of imagery, with dancers exploring the possible fusion of text and the human body, with musicians achieving a dialogic collision within the abstract space of musical notes — not to mention those local and overseas literati who translated or interpreted his works. One can imagine the resonance produced when these verses, regardless of nationality and language, are recited altogether must be as magnificent as a symphony!

Never has the passing away of any poet in Hong Kong aroused such a huge response in the cultural circle. It is because Yasi has taken off his hat of a poet, transcended the boundary of literature and affected friends in different disciplines and of various nationalities.

This cross-border poet had a great passion for life. He was indeed such a vivacious “Hong Kong guy” beneath the label of a “poet”. Although the words “I lived a very happy life ‘as a Hong Kong guy’” may seem somehow exaggerated, its veracity is revealed in Yasi’s works about this city.

He continuously adjusted his perspectives in reading and writing this city, and his explorations gathered more and newer observations. In Ducky Tse’s photographic-journey across the territory, Alex Yiu’s award-winning percussion music piece, Carman Fung’s self-sung poem as well as the response-verses of Chung Kwok Keung and Sandrine Marchand, we can find new portrayals of people and things somewhere on this island.

At the exhibition, a good number of works come from friends who have interacted with the poet, or who were inspired by either the works or personality of Yasi. Chow Chun Fai transforms imageries in Yasi’s works to a “city of films”, invoking continuous clips of memories somehow bizarre yet intimate at the same time. Esther Cheung reminisces about Yasi’s flame tree whose daring redness is then brushed by Thomas Au with his lens.

Li Kam Fai narrates his tribute by recording the reading of Yasi’s poem. Some young text-lovers also interpret their immaterial yet substantial encounters with Yasi in their works: Siufung composes his work of homage with original verses of Yasi, Wing Chan responds with photography and text; while others like Frederik H. Green, Jessie Ng and Madeleine Slavick use their familiar media to remember the late poet.

Yasi’s blossoming laughter and spirited face remain unforgettable. That smile, so vividly depicted by Candaces Leung, a close friend of The Thumb magazine days, is also found in Lee Ka Sing’s photo. How do artists of the younger generation portray Yasi? Chrysanthus Chan records the laughter with acrylics, whilst Chihoi and Lam Tung Pang sketch the visage with charcoal and ink. All arouse deep thoughts amongst Yasi’s friends.

Speaking of good friends, Yasi and the photographer-couple Lee Ka Sing and Holly Lee witnessed the upbringing of each other’s children. Ka Sing uses 27 small cubes and Holly a photographic-image to synthesize their many shared moments and memories. Friends like Liu Wai Tong, Esther Cheung and Agnes Lam respond with poems. Meanwhile, Jam Wu adopts paper-cutting to commemorate his friend while Lee How Chung chooses to work on a hand-made book.

None of his friends would deny Yasi was so addicted to eating, and indeed Yasi has written many poems on food. When praising the bittermelon in poetry, he is savouring different sceneries, both flat and pleated, of the human world. We understand why Andy Yung displays Yasi’s verses inside a vegetable stall, he has to tell farmer Yasi’s story. When farmer tells the story to everyone, poetry then starts linking up with everyone, everywhere. Yasi’s poetry and smiling face are still with us, he has never left this colourful, tasty world.

———Anne Leung Co-curator

Yasi * We Friend -
A Cross-Media Response Exhibition to Leung Ping Kwan

Date: 10 – 28 January 2014
Time: Monday to Saturday,
noon – 10pm
Venue: Hong Kong Fringe Club
2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong

也斯*吾友 —

在簡歷表職業一欄上,也斯填寫的應是詩人。但這位詩人好不安份,總是游離在框與框的邊緣 : 與藝術家、攝影家在意象的構想上作出交流,與舞蹈家探索形體和文字的可能性,與音樂家在音符的抽象空間中互相碰擊……還未曾計算那些將他的作品翻譯、詮釋成不同語言的本地和外地的文化人,可以想像,這些超越國籍、文字的詩句一起同時朗讀,那共鳴的聲音定可媲美一首壯觀的交響樂!







— 梁麗碧 聯合策展人

也斯*吾友 — 跨媒介回應展