Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thank-you for your tenderness 謝謝你如此溫柔

Feeling aloft is great especially when you are inside the mega-shopping atrium. You turn around at mid-point of an expressway escalator that takes you from G/F to n/F. The scenery is spectacular, a reeling sensation running aloft the horizon.

At vanishing point, you see city gurus doing the atmananda sequences behind the glassy facades covered with sweaty mist, simmering inside and with glimmering lights for navigation of the atmananda sequences. At viewing of their sun salutations, postures become your guiding lights to ascend at higher altitude…

At the sides, you look out to the tranquil cityscape – Portland st. A red light district that had passed its’ hay days, with a few remains of “3-tasty massage, fresh school girls, part-time housewife, Russian Blondie…” signage, twinkling like a constellation around those magnet store advertisements (nokia, slim-fast, H&M)… at where the facades of the old district had been “resurfaced” for installation of multi-storey high posters and flooded with metal halides, dedicating the white nights experience to the neighbors in case their windows have not yet been blessed by the magnet store advertisments coverage.

At the midst of feeling serene, tenderness and reassurance, you look up to the starry night of a digital projection (the atrium ceiling) while being overwhelmed with gratitude from the voice of 山口百恵「さよならの向こう側」. A return of the lost Portland st. tenderness in resonant with the MV played by the mega plasma under your feet-

last song for you
約束なしの お別れです
後姿 みないで下さい
Thank you for your kindness
Thank you for your tenderness
Thank you for your smile
Thank you for your love
Thank you for your everything
後姿 みないでゆきます

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


We take many things for granted in this world, especially for architecture. We assume the world to remain at every moment we turn our back behind… Walls, windows, doors shall be stationed and awaited for our next time around to remember, of the forgotten past in truthful display, always being purposeful and never betray our memory.

At 1408, Stephen King called it “evil” when the world behind stop being "there" for us and where architecture starts to transgress when we passed through.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Please note: the photo shown above is Pill, seated, appears with Jeff Daniels in David Harrower's play Blackbird at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. (Joan Marcus/Manhattan Theatre Club) and NOT the cast from Hong Kong.

Background –
Two years ago David Harrower's devastating play Blackbird thrilled and shocked audiences at the Edinburgh International Festival. This controversial production, directed by the legendary German director Peter Stein wowed the critics and transferred to London where it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play. Hong Kong audiences will now have the chance to see the play's Asia premiere directed by Toronto's Jovanni Sy and starring one of Canada's leading stage performers Ashley Wright alongside Hong Kong's award-winning actress and director Bonni Chan. Blackbird is a brilliantly written, powerful and provocative two-hander about the reunion of a middle-aged man and a woman, with whom he had a sexual relationship when she was twelve years old. The man was sent to jail and on his release assumed a new identity and began rebuilding his life. Fifteen years have passed. She has thought of nothing else and on discovering a photo of him in a trade magazine, she sets out to find him, with shattering consequences.
-by Theatre du Pif

Good slave had finally gotten to see David Harrower’s Blackbird for the Asia premiere, with such an intriguing and brave story line, good slave had very high expectations -
The devastation of being in an unforgiving love, the manifestation of the dissent and foreseeing its catastrophic nature… the returning of the perpetrator-victim chain and passionately bind together, with ephemeral joy in every recollections and doubts, love imprint upon the pathological self…

When good slave is in ecstasy (having high hopes) as in love, good slave writes scribbles as above and it normally ends in devastation. Good slave had walked into a disastrous site, a masterpiece of writing eradicated by weak casting. The over-exaggerated acting, with intentional jittering of speeches and purposeless gesture/facial expressions, conversations became lost soul drifting and loosing its pivoting depth. In the midst of rubbles (i.e. conversations), good slave was in despair. During the attempt to reconstruct David Harrower’s glory from the ruins, “the writing of disaster” by Maurice Blanchot came to good slave mind. Good slave was staring at the words displayed inside the subtitle box, and trying to replace speeches with words, a solemn silence replaced the living presence... until the reconstructions from those traces (written words from the subtitle box) became certain divinity that spoke from the absence, the oracle revealed itself - the glory of David Harrower’s writing, of silencing of background noises (jittering speeches from the actress) that filled the lost soul with hope and abyss…

Director’s Notes -
What drew me to Blackbird is the bravery of David Harrower’s writing.

If you were to put one hundred adults from anywhere in the world together in one room, it is overwhelmingly likely that all one hundred-regardless of race, age, gender, or political philosophy – world agree that the sexualization of children is morally reprehensible. Yet in the face of this, David Harrower takes one of the last taboo subjects and dares to question what we almost unanimously hold to be true.

Harrower succeeds in doing this by refusing to make Blackbird an “issue play”. With this subject matter, it would be all-too-simple to write a morality take. But Harrower steadfastly refuses to give his characters easy labels; no one is evil or innocent, perpetrator or victim.

In fact, Harrower hasn’t written a play about child abuse at all. Blackbird is an achingly painful love story between two damaged souls. Abuse just happens to be the incident that binds them irrevocably. Harrower neither condemns nor condones their past actions. He is more concerned with exploring the complexities of the human heart. He asks if it possible for a middle-aged man to truly love a child.

But it is not enough for Harrower to challenge conventional wisdom. Just as we, the audience, are gaining new perspectives on the nature of love, Harrower subverts our expectations once again in a shocking, visceral manner.

It’s not merely the subject matter that makes Blackbird such a brave piece of writing. With his Spartan verse, Harrower strips his characters bare. Blackbird is a masterful layering of codified language. At the start of the start of the play, Ray and Una first address each other with carefully rendered masks of normalcy. By the play’s end, old wounds are reopened, fifteen years’ worth of bottled-up rage and hurt are brought to surface. Blackbird demands that its actors expose their deepest fears and insecurities for all to see.
-by Jovanni Sy