Hou Lam Tsui 徐皓霖 x RNH Space: 

Plastic Love

我迷失在.* 這場﹍×°愛情遊戲



25 January - 18 February 2021






Curatorial Statement

Plastic Love is RNH Space’s first online programme, presenting art practitioner and zine maker Hou Lam Tsui’s new body of art. Loosely using her own personal experiences as a point of departure, Tsui reimagines unrequited, sick love through a series of drawings, moving images, and poetry, to unfold and explore lovelornness and obsession from the perspective of female gaze. As a social-media-based virtual exhibition, this programme not only practises visualisation in cyberspace, but also challenges psychological boundaries in this realm that often restrict the expression of unorthodox sentiments.

The legendary Japanese ero-guro singer Jun Togawa is well known for challenging the societal expectations of gender, femininity and idols, through her exaggerated, tortured and erotic interpretation of love in her music. Being influenced by a female figure as such, Tsui Hou Lam, as an female artist, takes an extreme and unruly stance whilst introduces the conventionalised hyperfeminine approaches in her artistic practice, in an attempt of reweaving the net that connects twisted love, masochism, female gaze, sexual desire and the most basic emotions of love. The body of exhibits, to be presented in the pattern of a drawing, a moving image and a poem every series of three series, intentionally strikes a chord with those venturous romanticists in the audience.

Interestingly, the Chinese title of the programme chosen by the artist is borrowing the prominent subculture, namely ‘MK Culture’, prevalent amongst Hong Kong local youth since early 2000s, with the terms often loosely related to marginalised social groups in a negative way. ‘MK’ is also extensively used to define the trendy love expressions created and used by the advocates of such culture, characterised as posturing, tacky, warped and even rebellious in terms of both the languages and the emotions. Nowadays as the farcical and awkward MK Culture came to decline, or extremely transformed, it lives on in the form of alternative classics and nostalgic aesthetics. Given that Tsui is intrigued by MK Culture and its vulgar aesthetics, she demonstrates these elements in the theme and the works of this programme, including appropriation of fashionable memes, trying to transcend the so-called inferior and inelegant philosophy then praise the unshameful human emotions of dysfunctional infatuation.

Artworks will be posted with a series of prose fiction written by the curator Yang Jiang and a playlist of the ’80s/’90s cheesy pop songs co-curated by Tsui and Jiang.

「我迷失在.* 這場﹍×°愛情遊戲」為RNH Space首個線上展覽,呈獻藝術創作人兼小誌創作人徐皓霖的最新作品。取材自個人經歷,徐氏以繪畫、流動影像和詩作重新想像不求回報的、扭曲且卑微的愛,並以女性凝視的角度抽絲剝繭,探索種種單戀和癡戀。是次計劃以社交媒體展覽的形式呈現,在網絡邏輯體系下實踐視覺傳遞的同時,亦試圖挑戰網絡世界話語權失衡的格局,與社會對情感表達的約束。

日本女歌手戸川純風格離經叛道,作品主題多與女性情慾與情感折磨有關,她的音樂挑戰社會對女性、偶像和陰柔特質概念的既有框架,亦啟發了作為女性藝術家的徐皓霖,嘗試以極端、失控的姿態和約定俗成的極女性化方式創作,重構痴狂、自虐、女性凝視、情色與情愛之間的關係。是次展覽將會呈現三個迷你系列,每個系列都由一份畫作、一張動態影像、一首詩組成,希望能引起大無畏的浪漫主義者的共鳴。

值得一提的是,藝術家為是次展覽選取的中文名稱借用了「MK文化」的流行句子。「MK」一詞與「MK文化」於千禧年代開始冒起,定義廣闊、比較含混不清,並帶貶義,泛指不倫不類的非主流文化潮流。「MK」甚至可以延伸至一些與愛情相關的自創潮語,以一種矯情、俗氣、不入流甚至裝作叛逆的方式表達傷春悲秋。而隨著「MK文化」的沒落(或是轉化成我們現在難以辨認的樣貌),那種笨拙滑稽的「文化」反而成為另類的新經典和美學。徐氏對「MK文化」和惡俗美學很感興趣,亦嘗試於是次主題和作品中展現這些元素,揉合現在流行的「迷因」(meme),為所謂次等、品味惡俗的哲學和「MK文化」中的矯情平反,高舉步向失控、失態的癡情。

在展示藝術品的同時,是次展覽亦會連載由策展人江小陽撰寫的一部短篇小說,及一份由策展人和藝術家共同編選的八十、九十年代情歌歌單,希望能引起大無畏的浪漫主義者的共鳴。


About Hou Lam Tsui 徐皓霖

Hou Lam Tsui is a Hong Kong-based art practitioner and zine maker. Her practice centres on personal experience and feminism. She received a BA in Fine Art and History of Art at the University of Leeds, UK.
Selected consignment stores and reading places of her zines include Printed Matter (New York), Motto (Berlin), Pon Ding (Taipei), Book B (Hong Kong), and Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong).

徐皓霖是一位藝術創作人和小誌創作人,現居香港。她的創作圍繞私密經歷及女性主義。畢業於英國列斯大學獲藝術及藝術史(Fine Art and History of Art)文學士。
部分寄賣點以及閱覽點包括:Printed Matter(紐約)、Motto(柏林)、朋丁(台北)、Book B(香港)和亞洲藝術文獻庫(香港)。







𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺, 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙, 2021, graphite on paper

Honey, this is a book about lovelornness and obsession. The drawings, moving images, poetry, songs and prose fiction will show you it is ok if love hurts you.

Actually, this is perhaps the best way to get hurt.




𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺, 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙, 2021, digital collage
Handwritten text: Clara Wong

《我只要妖冶和卑微》Coquettish and Lowly Are All I Want

徐皓霖 著, Written by Tsui Hou Lam

摘錄Excerpt :

在夢中你腿貼著我腿,醒來之時
蝴蝶死了 卻永遠無法灰飛煙滅 那樣莊嚴
我想成為一名女巫勝過
魔法少女 勝過魔法使

Your leg touched my leg, in my dream, I woke
Butterfly be killed, never to ashes, solemn as it has always been
I wanted to be a witch, more than to be
A mahō shōjo, let alone a sorceress

*mahō shōjo: magical girl




𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺
《商品愛》
(𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙤𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙮𝙇𝙤𝙫𝙚), 2021
Moving images






𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺, 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙, 2021, Graphite On Paper


Affection trapped in a 20th century computer -

Having trouble keeping up communication. Tired of anyone telling me to be patient.




𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺, 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙, 2021, digital collage
Handwritten text: Clara Wong

《𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙 》

徐皓霖 著, Written by Tsui Hou Lam

摘錄Excerpt :

咳咳
我反覆練習恨你的咒術
黑貓、掃把、藥水和閃粉我都備好了

Ahem
Over and over again, I was practising a conjuration to be able to hate you
For which I prepared a black cat, a broom, potions, and glitter




𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺
《bb 我真係好傷心呀》
(𝙗𝙖𝙚, 𝙞 ’𝙢 𝙨𝙤 𝙨𝙖𝙙 ), 2021
Moving images

Bae, now I feel so sad whenever I look out from a window and see the sea.
望著個窗,望著個海······














𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺, 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙, 2021, Graphite On Paper



Here’s a joke:

My Medieval moonish lover, you’re allowed to do anything to me.

When you murdered me out of sheer boredom, I feel nothing.

I separated from my flesh and blood. Yawn.



𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺, 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙡𝙚𝙙, 2021, digital collage
Handwritten text: Clara Wong

《我忘掉,還淚》I forgot about that, the tears I once owed

徐皓霖 著, Written by Tsui Hou Lam

摘錄Excerpt :

這輩子我立志成為一個偶像歌手
穿起桃紅色的泡泡裙,套上黑色肘長手套,我背
縫上塑料大蜻蜓翅膀,沙啞的嘶吼
女聲還需多過一百年才會流行
我很傻,我忘記癡心早已過時
那是我下一個為你而做的定點行為藝術
你卻說叫我學學中森明菜
I aspire, in this life, to become an idol singer
Wearing candy pink bubble skirt, and elbow-length black gloves, my back
Being sewn on massive plastic dragonfly wings, my raspy girly voice
when I belt out won’t become trendy until a hundred years later
Foolish as I am, I don’t think of infatuation as out of fashion
I plan it as my next performance art, for you exclusively, site-specific
But you said why I can’t just be like Akina Nakamori





𝗧𝘀𝘂𝗶 𝗛𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗮𝗺
《bb 我頭先發咗個狂熱夢》
(𝙗𝙖𝙚, 𝙞 𝙬𝙤𝙠𝙚 𝙪𝙥 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙖 𝙛𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙢), 2021
Moving images

No matter how much I loved you, how hard I tried, The Iguazu Falls would never see you and me together.







(Prose fiction by 𝗬𝗮𝗻𝗴 𝗝𝗶𝗮𝗻𝗴)
Contents


Chapter 1. The love, a mutation

Chapter 2. ‘Eros’ , daily

Chapter 3. Kiss, destroys lips

Chapter 4. My love, transcends

Chapter 5. The Avici hell




Chapter 1. The love, a mutation

這一刻,我沒有哭。我只是全身僵硬地佇立著,希望下一秒就能死去,下一世由頭來過。

你是來自高維度世界的魔法少女。你不是反派,你那兩顆犬齒並非用作咀嚼人類。反而你一微笑就露出個尖尖,可愛到令人心軟化。不似人類大腦只能開發到5%,你擁有更高維度的知識,根本不需學習任何愚蠢並自欺欺人的人事。令人不解的是,你偏偏來人間學結他,因為彈奏傷感的旋律會令你莫名的開心。

你一向如此,做一件事如果不是為了開心就會令你不開心。但,你一邊追著開心跑,黑暗同傷心一邊追著你跑,你亦樂在其中。

而我,擁有一個極小但充滿陽光的島國,同十幾個子民。出了這個國度便無人識我,更不會有人放我在眼內。作為一個國家的女王,可能我還太年輕,性格這麼軟糯。

我有時好討厭自己太軟弱,但你安慰我說我不是軟弱,只不過是我愛人的方式好甜。


Chapter 2. ‘Eros’ , daily

雖然王國小到只有十幾個人,但要守衛一個王國同開間公司一樣,極麻煩。除了來自他國的干擾和蔑視,還有自己子民的不信任。他們總是反駁我、想拋棄我,我真的好灰心,發覺陽光並不能滋養萬物,特別是人心。

你說我值得受到更多尊重,於是過來幫我起城牆築城堡,建立家的感覺,鞏固權威。自此之後,國民真的更加馴服,鄰國亦常常派大使到訪。不知你對他們施用什麼魔法,但我知你一定有對我下重手,令我覺得你簡直是上天的恩賜。

我開始覺得,在我心中你變得好重要。還記得我初識你時,我就知道你內心比你表面看上去柔軟。因為你當時在彈著結他輕唱情歌,你的樣子溫柔到好似一個裝著暖水的泡泡。

我每次合上眼,都能見到我幻想出來的你的發著光的柔軟肌膚。我發過最開心的夢,就是攬著你,用雙腿纏住你的雙腿,靜默很久很久。


Chapter 3. Kiss, destroys lips

我真心希望,你若能一直這樣幫我、陪著我該多好。直到有一日,我發覺原來你的生命養分,被限定為你原本維度的一種毒藥水。難怪你來到這裡日漸消瘦,總是疲憊不堪。我覺得這件事好錯,你好可憐。

我提議你練習似人類般食飯,健健康康留在我們這個充滿陽光的地方,我一定會好好保護你。你笑說我別有用心,對你有非分之想。這麼快給你看穿。如果可以,真想親吻你。

不知出於什麼固執,你就是不願食飯,身體狀況每況愈下。因心痛你,我亦日日失眠,無法進食。可笑的是,我原本覺得人類的身軀有血有肉很健康,為了保護你,我想你也擁有這種腳踏實地的身軀。但如今連我自己都因體力不支,變成一具破爛的皮囊。

「是因為飯無味嗎?」

你說不是飯的問題。望著個窗,望著個海,你只是嘆息,有些事情道不清,說不明。

我說,你再考慮下吧。


Chapter 4. My love, transcends

你思考了44,640分鐘,最終決定,還是回去好。畢竟這裡不是你的家。

我說不要啊,你走的話,我的王國又會變回一個虛殼。

敵不過你覺得,這個國度由始至終都是一個虛殼,我亦不是一個實實在在的人。看似美好但如浮萍,如何能讓愛生根呢?「用你們人類的話來形容,我需要感受到自己是有血有肉的。但令我可以感受到自己有血有肉的方式,就是拒絕人類的血肉!人類的愛太膚淺,要修行好多世,有業力,不是萬有歸一的大愛。而我來自的維度,不需要這種愛。因此,我無法預見有一日我會愛你。」

原來你來到我身邊,只不過是對我短暫的救贖。


Chapter 5. The Avici hell

我頭腦好清晰,但我情緒好混亂。

我經歷過太多所謂的「稍縱即逝」,並且餘震都好痛苦。但是,如今要將你跟「痛」連繫上,應是我人生的痛中之最。因為你明明是我的快樂,我的窩心,我的愛,我心上最柔軟的那塊肉。

「有些事沒有發生,反而更加美好。」說罷你給我最後一個擁抱,便離去。留下的虛空,連輕輕的一聲再見都不能承受。

將遺憾當美好,是自虐的行為。我最遺憾的,是這一世沒有親吻過你。這一刻,我沒有哭。我只是全身僵硬地佇立著,希望下一秒就能死去,下一世由頭來過。


完。



Chapter 1. The love, a mutation

I am not crying. It is just me, all stiff, standing here, wishing if only I were dead, then I could spend all of eternity with you.

You are a mahō shōjo from a higher dimension. You are not a villain in this story, whilst your two canine teeth are not for chewing flesh of human. When you smile, you know, your canine teeth show a little bit of the tips from behind your lip, so cute as to melt my heart. Unlike the human brain which can only develop up to 5% of its capacity, a much boarder range of knowledge you have is beyond human’s grasp, making you contemptuous of all the stupid and self-deceiving human matters, except for one thing - guitar. You came all the way to Earth just to learn to play guitar, for the sad melody will only please you.

You have always been like this. If you cannot have fun out of something, it will make you unhappy. Nevertheless, whilst you are chasing happiness, darkness and sadness are chasing you. You just enjoy such dynamics.

As for me, I own a tiny but sunny island kingdom with merely more than a dozen people dwelling here. Outside of this kingdom, no one knows me, nor does anyone think highly of me. As the queen of a kingdom, I am just too young and too soft.

I sometimes hate that I am too weak, but you told me that I am not weak, that I just love people with a soft heart.


Chapter 2. ‘Eros’ , daily

Normally running a micro company can already be challenging, just so you know ruling a micro kingdom is nothing easier than that. Besides the interference and defiance from other kingdoms, there is also the lack of loyalty from my own people, who disobey and always try to abandon me. I felt discouraged and realised that sunlight is not nourishing all living things as we thought, especially not human hearts.

Insisting that I deserve more respect, you came to build castles and rampart for me, to establish a sense of home so as to empower my authority. Magically, my people have been more tame ever since, and our neighbours have frequently sent ambassadors to visit. I know you were using magic to tackle all these problems, and you must have enchanted me in high dosage. All I feel is that you are a gift for me from heaven…

You seem more and more important to me. I still remember when I first met you, you were playing guitar and humming love songs, so soft and gentle as if you were a warm bubble containing and warming everything in it, including my heart. I just knew immediately that you are softer inside than how you appear.

Every time I close my eyes, I can see your glowing soft skin, in my imagination. The happiest dream I have ever dreamt is that I was cuddling you, wrapping my legs around yours,  gently and silently for a long, long while.


Chapter 3. Kiss, destroys lips

I crave for your support, and I just want you to stay with me always. Until one day, I realised that your life by default relies on a kind of drug from your original dimension. No wonder you are slimming down and pining away here without it. I think this is so wrong, and I feel really sorry for you.

I think maybe I can feed you foods like feeding a baby, so that you can grow healthier on our sunny island, and I will definitely protect you. You laugh and think that I am obviously making a move on you. Yes, I am, and I really want to kiss you if I can.

You are stubborn somehow, and just resist any food. Your health is therefore going downhill. Feeling painful for you being like this, I lose sleep every night and cannot eat either. I originally thought that the human body is a very healthy and nourished life form, and I thought as long as you gradually gain flesh and bones you will be better protected. Now look at me, however, rotten in my own skin. How funny is that?

“You don’t like the taste of foods?" I wonder.

“It has nothing to do with the foods.” Gazing at the sea out of the window, you sigh, unable to say another word.

I tell you to take your time and have a think.


Chapter 4. My love, transcends

After 44,640 minutes of a lot of thinking, you come to a decision that it is better for you to go back. After all, here is no home to you.

I say please don’t. PLEASE. If you leave, my kingdom will go back to where it was just a construction of the nihility.

However, this is where the problem lies. The kingdom was, is, and has always been founded on no solid base, you think, and I am not someone that is any more grounded either, pointing to the fact that all these that appear to be nice are just floating without root, granting no foundation for love to grow. "To describe in your human terms, I need to feel that I am steadily flesh and blood, in which case I actually need to stay away from real human flesh and blood, if that makes sense! Human love is so superficial that it takes many lifetimes to practise - the so-called karma. The universal love, instead, is the authentic and healthy love that my dimension values. So you see, I don’t need your love, and I cannot foresee that one day I will love you.”

I finally understand that your appearance in my life is just an ephemera, not lasting but just long enough for you to be my short-term salvation.


Chapter 5. The Avici hell

My mind has some clarity, but the emotional chaos is totally ruling me.

I have experienced too many so-called "ephemerals" and the aftershocks were always painful. However, now you are defined as "my pain" which becomes the most painful experience in my life. You were my happiness, my love, you warmed my heart and became the softest spot in that heart. Now it is all gone.

“The feeling of sadness over something that failed to happen is somehow beautiful.” You give me one last hug, then leave. The void left behind cannot bear even a silent goodbye.

Considering regretful things as beautiful is a kind of self-abuse. What I regret the most is that I never got to kiss you in this life. I am not crying. It is just me, all stiff, standing here, wishing if only I were dead, then I could spend all of eternity with you.


The end.








Poems by Hou Lam Tsui and prose fiction by Yang Jiang above are published in book Plastic Love (待機愛)









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