YAN Wai Yin 忻慧妍 x RNH Space: 

Black Bird, Frost Flower and Pink Falling Stars


2 July - 22 August 2021


Curatorial Statement

In Norse mythology, perching on the one-eye Odin’s shoulders is a pair of ravens. Named “Hugin” and “Munin” (Old Norse: “Hugr”-“Thought”, “Munr”-“Memory”), the ravens fly across the earth each morning to bring words. Perhaps regardless of which wanderland we are to arrive, “thought” and “memory” will still linger, resonating with the black birds gliding in the sky.

Black Bird, Frost Flower and Pink Falling Stars denotes three situations: the continuous reinspections in final partings (ritual), the needle-like crystals (form) extruded from plants in frigid climate, and the trajectories of fleeting (phenomenon). Positioning herself in between these three anchors, artist YAN Wai Yin ceaselessly dissembles, evaluates and reshapes the experience of some unpredictable passings from the perspective as the “person involved”. Through gazing, or through creating a certain distance in between herself and the subject matter, Yan briefly holds another view, as a bystander, ambling in this seemingly unavoidable grief, and gradually responds one step after another, at her own steady pace.

Yan’s works of video and images are often interwoven with the juxtaposition of various literary texts, found materials and her diaristic records. Rather than speculating about these various backgrounds and subtexts, it is crucial to note that such an approach from Yan solely focuses on recounting some interim distractions throughout her production process. By hovering at the cracks of different time-spaces, Yan assembles, overlays, and repositions scattering fragments into a discourse, connecting the distanced stars into an intimate audio-visual whisper.

Although Localized Blindness might resemble an eye test at first glance, underlying rounds of the direct yes-no questions gradually reveals a kind of in-depth observation and self-healing process. Images of the sky, birds, and landscapes are often repeated and weaved into the work. In certain moments, some footages are so uniformly enlarged and distorted as if they are some attempts to conceal the ambiguous, and the almost too subtle and unreachable thought paths from the artist.

Falling, a photographic series echoing with the video, comprises five sets of still image collages looking at the different facets of falling. Does falling always mean tumbling, losing grip from height, or somewhat just another metaphor for another state of loss?

Things overlooked are oft easily forgotten once vanished. Yan improvises, amidst her personal experience and sensitivity, a variety of dreamy landscapes from piecing together the often unnoticed quotidian fragments. Presenting as the “first person” throughout the narrative, she faithfully retraces the memories, or as she described, to head towards an imaginary exit.

This is a place where a courageous one sends a last goodbye, albeit the seemingly gloomy and downcast undertone that triggers the making of these two pieces. Regardless of whether one decides to take a pause, or to delve into rounds of questioning, imaging, and rethinking the numerous interpretations of loss by means of intense art-making in order to sort out all struggles and speechlessness, these two approaches both reflect, all in all, an attempt to be unconstrained.

Perhaps RNH Space could be seen as a tiny yet intimate time-space capsule in this exhibition. Here, viewers could take a closer look at the multiple layers of condensation constructed by Yan before stepping back on the corridor once again. Even if the memories of these imaginary might fade and stay as a sheer layer of mist or vanish into thin air, the exhibition Black Bird, Frost Flower and Pink Falling Stars still wishes to unfold an alternative observation on a passing journey, or to solely offer a quiet companionship on the pretext of art.

傳說北歐神話中,獨眼的奧丁有兩隻烏鴉,各自站立在他的左右肩膊上,每天清晨飛往人間為他帶來消息,一只叫福金(Hugin),另一只叫霧尼(Munin),名字蘊藏「思想」(Hugr - Thought)與「記憶」(Munr - Memory)之意。似乎無論跨到哪個異處地境,思想與記憶定然猶如黑鳥般左右旋繞於晝夜天際。







或許RNH Space的位置恰巧營造出一個時空洞的格式,鑽進狹小的空間細看忻慧妍於兩件作品中的沉澱,離開之際再次步上長廊。即使每層影像的回憶只餘下一層單薄的霧氣附隨,展覽「黑鳥,霜花與粉紅流星」寄望能為觀者呈現離別的另一種旅程,或僅以創作制造一個靜謐陪伴的借口。

About YAN Wai Yin 忻慧妍

YAN Wai Yin (b.1994) works and lives in Hong Kong. She has been a member of Floating Projects Collective since 2015. Yan excels at the juxtaposition and insertion of literary texts in narratives. Through shifting personal observations and the temporal, emotional distance in different texts, Yan inscribes quotidian fragments of memories lingering in space and objects. Her film “Localized Blindness” was awarded the Best Experimental Award in the 20th South Taiwan Film Festival. Recent exhibitions and screenings include: European Media Art Festival (DE), Timestamped: Selected Films from Yan Wai Yin, de Art Center, Beijing (CN), no-body’s room - The Room Projects (FR) & LUX London (UK) and ANIMA - the 7th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition in 2020 (TW).

忻慧妍 (生於1994年) 生活及工作於香港。自2015年來為據點。句點成員。忻氏擅於選用文學中的語句並置穿插於敘述過程中,透過轉移個人觀察與不同文本的時空情感距離,刻劃殘留於空間物件中的日常瑣碎記憶。作品《局部失明》 獲第二十屆南方影展最佳實驗片。近期展覽及放映包括:歐洲媒體藝術節(德國),戳時間:忻慧妍作品選(的藝術中心,北京),no-body’s room - The Room Projects(法國)和LUX London(倫敦)及阿尼瑪ANIMA- 2020年第七屆台灣國際錄像藝術展(台灣)。

Public Programme

Experimental Film Screening & Artist Talk
《 局部失明》𝐿𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑧𝑒𝑑 𝐵𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠
忻慧妍 YAN Wai Yin

映後講座講者:藝術家忻慧妍、RNH Space創立人江小陽
Post-screening talk speakers: YAN Wai Yin(Artist), Yang Jiang(RNH Space Founder)

《局部失明》(2019)為新晉藝術家忻慧妍所作,涵蓋個人檔案、拾得資料、童話與文學作品,以眼科檢查/觀察診斷的形式構成一部半自傳式的錄像作品。一個人離世後還淨下什麼?影像記錄了忻氏2019年一些幾乎令人窒息的自我對話:她——作為經歷了連續幾段逝去的個體;另一個她——作為目睹身邊人事物轉變的觀察者;以及其他聲音,不論是從書本或個人巧遇中,左右呼應主題和局外人之間的距離。《局部失明》獲得第20屆南方影展最佳實驗獎。忻慧妍於放映後與策展人江小陽對談,分享其影像創作的各種視覺語言實驗,以及種種貫穿日常影像與抽象斷裂的觀影體驗之中的細密洞察。Constructed in the form of an eye test/observational diagnosis, Localized Blindness by emerging artist YAN Wai Yin is an autobiographical-fictional narrative that consists of personal archives, found materials, fiction, and literary essays. What is left after the passing of an individual? The film documents a dreadful, almost suffocating conversation between “me" (Yan) - an individual who experienced consecutive passings of people; and “another me” - an observational being who witnessed the changes of my accompany; and the other voices - from books and personal encounters that echo the distance between the subject and the outsider. Localized Blindness was awarded the Best Experimental Film at the 20th South Taiwan Film Festival. YAN Wai Yin was in conversation with curator Yang Jiang after the screening, to discuss her intimate observation through continuous experimentations by various means.

*Organised by 香港都爹利會館 Duddell's Hong Kong

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