Collision: Hong Kong Art in New Haven

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Fri, June 21, 2019 | 5:30-7:00 pm
Collision: Hong Kong Art in New Haven
Alexion Pharmaceuticals
100 College Street, New Haven, CT

Join Yale-China Arts Fellows Sarah Xiao and Nicole Pun as they share how their residency in New Haven has shaped their art. Nicole and Sarah will share presentations about their process on site-specific work, including interviews with the queer community through a reading adapted from the movie Boys Don't Cry (1999), and a movement and sound performance called From / To Nothing.

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Catching up with Arts Fellow Nicole Pun

The New England weather proved to be Nicole’s greatest challenge when she first arrived. That coupled with the fast-paced lifestyle along the NYC-Boston corridor was an unfamiliar experience and severe adjustment. Physically unwell, Nicole found it difficult to focus on her work and then became frustrated about her unproductivity. After receiving some medical attention, purchasing a humidifier, slowing down her pace and resting more, she soon rebounded, felt stronger, and declared, “I know how to cope with this harsh weather now.” First lesson learned.

A second lesson that Nicole found to be important during her time here was on resourcefulness. After a sharing by one of her professors about a visual artist who cleared her own home to showcase her own work when no gallery was willing to show her work, Nicole realized that as an artist, she does not have to wait for opportunities to arise, but rather should “make my own space and invite people to come.”

In February, Nicole put on a pop-up exhibit at the Ely Center for Contemporary Arts during Yale-China’s Lunarfest. Her exhibit, Come Tell Me a Story and I Will Tell Your Fortune involved inviting participants to share their memories involving fortune cookies while she videotaped their conversations. The number and the diversity of people who participated and generously shared their stories surprised her. She was fascinated that something so small and seemingly insignificant as a fortune cookie could arouse such attachment, could trigger such significant memories, and could bring complete strangers together.

Another of Nicole’s experimental projects, a gender performance piece, involved discussions on queer hate crime with the Yale Drama students and some members of the queer community in New Haven. Specifically, Nicole rewrote a scene from the movie Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and filmed the facial expressions of the participants as they read gender parts that might be unfamiliar to them. She is planning to present these videos during the New Haven International Festival of Arts & Ideas. She hopes that such collaborations between different communities would allow them to hear each other and that the public at large would be engaged in thinking more deeply about the queer culture. Such discussions of gender issues are relatively uncommon and new in Hong Kong. Nicole anticipates sharing what she has learned from listening to these different voices in the U.S. and to engage the Hong Kong art scene at home in this dialogue.

Join us for the Festival!

Yale-China Arts Fellows and HKETO-NY Arts Activators will be at the 24th International Festival of Arts & Ideas! Don't miss it!

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Don't miss Sarah Xiao's performances with her collaborator Liam Bellman-Sharpe on June 15: To/From Nothing

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