As part of the An Exact Vertigo project, Hong Kong Exile, an interdisciplinary arts company and registered non-profit organization based in Vancouver, will be hosting a talk on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. and a workshop on Saturday, April 9 at 3 p.m. at UNIT/PITT Projects. An Exact Vertigo aims to engage Vancouver’s contemporary dance and art communities in discussions on critical theory, text and movement
The project hopes to broaden the traditional audience and offer space for artists to reimagine their practices in a new context.
Exile as inspiration
Hong Kong Exile’s artistic investigations are insightful treatments of pressing political and artistic challenges and include vital undertakings with local and international arts communities.
“One emphasis is on cultural politics and the inclusion of under-represented identities,” says Lim.
In an effort to push their creative vision and interdisciplinary process, members of Hong Kong Exile Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Milton Lim and Remy Siu go beyond the traditional aesthetics of dance, theatre and music. Their works aim to contribute to a vital, diverse and critical arts community that reaches beyond Vancouver.
The members of Hong Kong Exile most often get asked about their name.
“Hong Kong Exile was a piece of music that Remy composed back in 2012,” Milton Lim explains. “We all felt like we could identify with the title. It spoke to us as part of the Chinese-Canadian diaspora – our sense of ’otherness’ or ‘exile’ between our two homes. It was also one of the first few collaborations that brought us all together as a group (Hong Kong Exile was presented with Exile, a piece of choreography).”
A dynamic trio
All three members of Hong Kong Exile are Vancouver-based. Contemporary dance artist Natalie Tin Yin Gan specializes in improvisation and interdisciplinary collaboration and is also renowned as a producer, dramaturge, dance educator and community artist. She holds degrees in both Contemporary Dance and International Studies. Theatre director and designer Milton Lim integrates digital media and live performance and is currently exploring linguistic landscapes and cultural space-making.
“It depends on the background of the artist, but I’ve been told that the discourse around racial politics is much more advanced in Vancouver compared to other cities. I don’t know if I personally believe that. In the theatre community, we’re also really well known for our collaborative nature and for site-specific theatre (theatre that takes place outside of the black box studio and is set in a specific location),” says Milton Lim.
Composer Remy Siu’s pieces have been performed in Canada and the United States by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, and the Turning Point Ensemble, to name a few.
Hong Kong Exile extends an invitation to Vancouver’s contemporary dance and art communities to participate in discussions on critical theory, text, choreography and movement through its engagement in An Exact Vertigo. The forum poses questions on the future of art within the next 40 years and sets out to discuss inclusiveness and participatory collaborations that avoid the dichotomies of viewer/performer and artist/citizen as well as the politics of place in artist-run centres.
“In Vancouver the politics of place are on everyone’s mind, because artist-run centres increasingly face the process of gentrification,” says Milton Lim.
For more information, please visit www.helenpittgallery.org.