In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
The Ground is a composition which takes inspiration from the long-term observations of human practices within farming and agricultural context of the Pearl River Delta.
Like the cycles of soil that recovers from fertilizer, The Ground has no beginning and no end.
It's pulses and rhythms are the Mirrored Gardens' traditional brick walls. Its timbers and textures are its piles of rocks and the aggregates that form these rocks.
It's sound libraries and samples are compost. Some were cut and collected over years, others are unused footage and recordings from past projects.
It's instruments are the swamps, the stones, and the wood of this place. Flutes share air the way ponds do with water, analogue pedals and electronic software filter and distribute sound the way farming spiral structures support plants.
It's space is the neighborhood's fish ponds and their invisible connections. And like an aging tree in the bottom of a river, it is a space to invite musicians and artists to use it as a record, a bow, an orchestra. A studio, a garden or a temporary place to cultivate sound.
– Tarek Atoui
Tarek Atoui invites us into an ecosphere of sound via The Ground project. As if to follow the whispering of time, Atoui only gives poetic descriptions instead of definitions to The Ground.
The Ground presents to us an open system for sound creation that has a nonetheless intricate and compound spatial and compositional structure. It consists of a series of instruments specially constructed (transformed through observations) for The Ground, its own sound playing system (which provides an everyday sound situation and different modes of musical performance) as well as an exercisable, conversational and experimental space/sound structure for musicians, artists, listeners and practitioners intended for continual explorations of possibilities of growing.
Just like the observation of the ponds per se was not for creating structures of sound and space, each element in The Ground's sound structure seems to be achieved "unintentionally". Atoui sees himself as one of the guest musicians invited by The Ground to listen to the potential sound that can be offered by the ground; and it will set off from here, inviting more musicians, artists, listeners and practitioners to explore its potential possibilities.
The Ground will host the following musicians at Mirrored Gardens:
Born in Nebraska, US, currently resides in Hong Kong. Working at an intersection between sound, performance and visual art forms, his projects span fields such as music, video and installation, with an approach that often juxtaposes obsessively-fixed elements with improvised or temporal aspects. After receiving a BA in Film Studies & Photography, he moved to Paris and formed the electronic music duo The Berg Sans Nipple, releasing seven albums and making hundreds of performances around the world from 2002-2012.
From Innermongolia, he is a professional drummer, who has worked with multiple bands. His works include Rock, Jazz, Noise and Inprovisation. He is at the same time a vanguard electronic Musician. Being almost obsessive about constructing minimalistic ambiences, his works are full of exquisit and whimsy compositions which shows his characteristic aesthetic of sampling and collage.
Takuro Mizuta Lippit
Aka dj sniff, is a musician and curator in the field of experimental electronic arts and improvised music. His musical work builds upon a distinct practice that combines DJing, instrument design, and free improvisation. He has performed internationally at various venues and festivals around the world, and has released 12 DJ mixes and 4 albums, which includes collaborations with Evan Parker, Otomo Yoshihide, Martin Tetreault, and Paul Hubweber. He was appointed as Artistic Director of STEIM in Amsterdam during 2007 to 2012.
Born in Chongqing, China, Wu Na started learning guqin at 9 under the guqin artist Mrs. Zhao Jiazhen and later Mr. Li Xiangting. She became the first postgraduate student majored in guqin performance from The Central Conservatory of Music in 2004. Wu Na is an active trans-disciplinary performer, often collaborating with musicians from various fields including jazz, rock, and experimental music. She actively explores the meaning of guqin improvisation in the context of our contemporary life. Now she is a guqin teacher at the music academy of the Capital Normal University and has established Man Xue Tang, the first guqin online education platform.
Folk singer, music producer, founder of Music Portrait and Echo Action. The third son of Tian Qiaoyun and He Pingsuo, he has released band albums Please Enlarge a Picture of My Cousin and Footsteps Bursts. Released solo albums include: Birds That Can Fly High Don't Land on the Backs of Oxen That Can't Run Fast, Identity of the performance, Silly's Ballad and Soundtrack collection 2006-2013.
Tarek Atoui is an artist and composer, working within the realm of sound. His work often revolves around performances that develop from extensive research into music history and tradition, and explore new methods of collaboration and production. At the core of his work is an ongoing reflection on the notion of instrument and how it overlaps with the acts of composing and performing.
Atoui's use of sound challenges and expands our established ways of understanding and experiencing this medium. His project WITHIN, for instance, departs from Deaf Culture to find new ideas for building instruments, composing and performing. On The Reverse Collection, instruments of unknown age and origin in an anthropology museum, get played and recorded then a new collection of instruments is created from exclusively listening to these recordings.
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