Melting Point Halloween
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Leading the charge are co editors-in-chief and creative directors Angela Ricciardi and Josie Strick, who are both observing and personally experiencing these modern-day catastrophes. Eloquently stated in their editor’s letter, they claim: “Such personal catastrophes capture a wide range of universal emotions and truth that often go unspoken: loss, grief, frustration and an intersection thereof. We aim to heal these states of being by opening a safe space of creative inquiry to facilitate discourse about these topics.”
After Britain defeated China in the First Opium Wars, 1846, the mountainous island became a western trading post. As the newly minted British colony’s economy grew, Sino-Anglo tensions erupted into the Second Opium Wars, ending in a temporary treatise. 1898, Britain signs a 99 year lease; meaning Hong Kong will become China’s property again in 1997. The Hong Kong Autonomous Region is a one country-two party system—limited self-governing, under China’s surveillance, for 50 transitional years.
However, The People’s Republic of China plans to reabsorb the prosperous city, not just for its GDP, but to quash any form of democracy. Hong Kong’s experience mirrors the island nation of Taiwan—they represent the Republic of China, which threatens mainland China’s imperialist expansion. 22 years after Britain’s gift back, the Chinese government has set up countless military checkpoints along the island’s borders, establishing its literal consumption.
February 2019, Hong Kong’s own government introduces an extradition bill that favors The Communist Party of China, thus betraying its own citizens. By June, the Hong Kong Police Force was employing tear gas on their own people. Disguised as a generous olive branch to the “Motherland”, both Britain, and China, treat the lives of 7.4 million humans as currency. Even Hong Kong’s political leaders are appointed by the patricians of Beijing: not democratically elected. Out on the streets, denizens cry for peace, justice, and independence.
What is Lies World?
什麼是 LIES WORLD?
Lies World is a space constructed in my own mind — an oasis in the desert. Here I don't have to do things with earthly thoughts. With this peace of mind, all of my random creations make sense. Then, eventually, came friends who share my ideas; and we bring them to life.
Lies World 是一個我自己腦海中構造出來的世界。對我來説它是沙漠中的綠洲，因為這裏我不用以世俗般思想做事。有呢種安心, 我所有嘅隨機創作都有意義。慢慢也可能會有其他跟我想法一樣的朋友一起創作更多作品。
Tell me a story about growing up in Hong Kong.
I grew up in the 1990s, when the famous triads of Hong Kong were much more public. My dad used to be badass, meaning sometimes I went with him to work. We were always rotating in and out of the police station. Once, I even saw my father throw a prisoner into a police car. But recently, I keep thinking of this one specific memory—almost as if it was a photograph. My whole family was in Dad’s car; I was about seven, or eight years old. Suddenly, there was a big scream across the street. My dad jumps out of the car without any hesitation, and pulls out his gun. My brother, and I, were watching from the car: Dad was in the middle of the crowded street with gun in hand, looking for fugitives.
Besides Cantonese, what languages are you speaking these days?
In addition to English, when I am in Chinatown, I speak Mandarin. I work with Japanese people, so I also speak Japanese; studying very hard. 除了英語，在唐人街的時候，會説國語，跟日本人工作時會説很的日本語，現在很努力學習中。
Are you a lonely person?
I used to be, but now I understand the time I have to myself.
Complete this sentence: Love is...
Faye Wong, and Nicholas Tse.
What does this documentation project, and this protest, mean to the people of Hong Kong?
This time, the Hong Kong Anti-Giftbag Campaign reflects the sudden awakening of native Hong Kongers, who previously did not have a unique identity. But our identity is Hèung Góng Yàhn (Hong Kong People). Hong Kong citizens who grew up under this democracy — a free territory — will live to see the arrival of 2047, and be forced to think about their own positions, and choices, in a political society.
今次香港反送中運動反映一向沒有特別身份意識的殖民地港人突然醒覺，我們的身分就是香港人，一個在民主自由的領土下長大的香港人，提早看到 2047 的來臨，不得不想想自己在政治社會下的崗位和選擇。
And what does this mean to you, personally?
I think most people in Hong Kong are already physically, and mentally, exhausted. Even if they’re not currently living there, or marching in the streets, the general anxiety has reached its peak. Their only wish is to have global support. As a native Hong Kongan, I am able to talk to my New York friends about Suen Yeung (Michael Suen); we have discussions in person. Through direct communication, more foreigners can learn about Hong Kong's current experience. After ten years of living in New York, not a single day goes by where I don’t think about the freedom of my home. Documenting this event is extremely important.
How can a person outside of Hong Kong help?
Read up on the facts; look at the news! Plus, we all live in the digital world, so if you can, pay more attention to the natural world. It helps a lot!
認知事實, 看看新聞! 加上我們都活在數碼世界, 如果可以的話, 多點關注世界事情, 已經幫了很多吧!
What does this protest mean for the rest of the world? And China’s other territorial claims?
This protest is a reminder that any existing freedom is not eternal—it must be cherished. Foreigners are surprised that such a prosperous place is still fighting for universal suffrage. Hong Kongese people have never even tried to elect their own leaders before. That’s actually why we started to protest; for voting rights. And the same is true for other Chinese territorial claims. The prosperity of this country is directly linked to the freedom of its people, as well as, our standards of living.
Do you find photography, and videography, to be the most effective media for social causes?
Photo, and video, are the main source of information. But even if the new channels report fake news, people can find real clips, in an instant. Also, music is an important medium, being the fastest format to consume, and the most emotional art.
相片跟片段是這次運動的主要媒體, 就算新聞報導FAKE NEWS, 但人見到真正的剪辑就一目了然, 但我覺得音樂也是很重要的媒體，通常是最快令人感動的。
Who are some of your favourite documentarians?
Of course, Ai Weiwei’s records of his relationship with China through Human Flow—his most recent documentary. Just the fact that he even dares to record is inspirational. There’s MIA, who uses music to express her experience, as a British Sri Lankan refugee. And also, the director Mark Singer, with Dark Days, which was filmed in 2000. He recorded the underground residents of Manhattan, and their underground network, and organisation. Afterwards, he used all of the money earned to rescue them: he bought them houses, helped them find work, even go to school. For me, this is the highest goal of documentary filmmaking.
當然是艾未未了，從他紀錄自己跟中國的關係到他最近的紀錄片 ， 他是一個敢作敢為的紀錄者。還有英國的 MIA, 用音樂來表達她來自斯里兰卡的难民生經歷。及這個也是英國的導演 Mark Singer，他在 2000 年的那套 ， 紀錄了那時紐約曼克頓的地下鐵住宿者， 他們自創的地底網絡， 十分有組織， 最後導演用所有電影赚到的錢救出這班地下人， 幫他們買了真正的房子，工作及學校， 對我來說這是做紀錄者的最高目的。
What is your favorite spot in Hong Kong?
My grandmother lived in a colonial style house in Kowloon, very close to the old airport. Every time a plane took off, or landed, the entire house felt like an earthquake. My brother, and I, would run out every single time to watch the plans take off. They would usually fly over the centre of the city; and every single time was magical.
How does the city compare to New York?
It feels like Hong Kong is not that different from New York, but I can say that Hong Kong's social structure is much more advanced. Most Hong Kong natives are born with the same ethnic roots. They are born, and raised, the same way; their lifestyles, cultural habits are consistent. However, New Yorkers all have different ethnic backgrounds, making it difficult to group them into one. Because New York possesses more individuality, it’s able to become a centre of cultural exchange. In regards to law and order, historically, Hong Kong has been much safer than New York; though I don’t know anymore... The only constant is the fast pace of New York, and Hong Kong. It’s crazy, but I still love her.
感覺上香港與紐約很相似，但對比下，我可以說香港的社會架構比紐約進步得多, 其中原因是大部分香港人都是同根生，土生土長，大家生活文化習慣都尙算一致。但由於紐約人存在着不同種族文化，難以歸納一致，衍生更多個人特色，也容易貫通文化，成為文化交流集中地。 治安方面，確信從前的香港比紐約安全得多，但今時今日就真的不知道了。唯一不變的就是紐約跟香港快速節奏常令人發瘋，但仍然令人深愛著她。
What makes you anxious?
How big is your soul?
So big that it’s everywhere.
Incorporating the sweetest sentiments of the past with all the best hopes for the future, the bar has stayed strong to its roots, attracting everybody from musicians and artists to industry leaders like adidas Skateboarding. “Max Fish hasn’t changed in 30 years! It’s the same today as it was 30 years ago! A mellow cultural center in a crazy city, where cool cats of every stripe can get together and have a good time! We do art, music, costume and cocktails! Everybody welcome, that’s what the Lower East Side is all about, and that’s what New York City is all about. A beer is $5!” Rimkus adds.
$5?! You already know office was there at the adidas Skateboarding x Max Fish 30 Year Anniversary to catch it all go down.
Check out photos from the event below.