EX: 1/30/2012
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Hanart TZ Gallery(汉雅轩)
2012.12.18 Tue - 2013.02.28 Thu
Opening Exhibition
12/18/2012 18:00
401 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong (Central MTR Exit D)
T: +(852) 2526.9019; F: +(852) 2521.2001
Opening Hours
(Mon-Fri) 10 am to 6:30 pm
(Sat) 10 am to 6 pm
(Sun & Public Holidays) Closed
Chang Tsong-zung (Johnson Chang)

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Happiness Building I
[Press Release]

Hanart TZ Gallery and School of Creative Media at CityU jointly present Chen Chieh-Jen’s latest project Happiness Building I, showing the film Happiness Building I and its production process. Two sessions of discussion hosted by Gao Shiming and Chang Tsong-Zung will be held on the opening day. You are cordially invited to join us at Hanart Square on 18th, December 2012, from 1.30 to 6.30 for the talks, before opening cocktails.

Before filming Happiness Building I, Chen Chieh-jen invited young people representing various segments of society and in need of steady work to compose poetry or prose describing parts of their lives. Next the artist wove together their impressions using a fictional narrative to explore atomism and exile at-home, which have resulted in a society of isolated wanderers deprived of real community, family or household on which they can rely.

Chen constructed a set resembling an old rental-apartment building for this video. Using minimal movement and no dialog, Chen strings together the individual stories of fictional residents preparing to move from the soon to be renovated building. Characters include an unemployed man, a young woman orphaned at an early age, a gay woman whose father committed suicide as a result of long-term unemployment, and a female sound artist who left home after her parents separated because she could no longer face her broken home. Outside the building, Chen films a single woman exhausted from protesting against laws concerning dispatched workers; young women who work at dismantling computers at an electronics recycling center; a disabled stage actor involved in both Taiwan’s theater world and a long-term protest called Silent March; an archivist who dropped out of school due to dissatisfaction with the educational system; and a social activist who comes to help elderly residents living alone to move out, but is greeted only with piles of boxes…. These strangers gather in the courtyard of the building on the afternoon before renovation. Exchanging silent glances, they begin to help the social activist move boxes belonging to the elderly residents who had gone missing.

Using the production set as a public space makes the Happiness Building I project more than just a film. It transforms traditional production relationships and viewing patterns into an experiment of temporary community formation in an atomized society, and gives a presentation of the perspectives of production assistants. The project also constructs a platform together with the audience, where views regarding the community fabric might be exchanged.

Co-Presented by :
Hanart TZ Gallery
School of Creative Media at CityU