Location Nano Festival of Contemporary Attitude
23-29 October 2004 Bucharest
Hsia-Fei Chang (Taiwan/France)
Performance - 23 October, Galeria Noua, 20.00h
Academiei no 15 (opposite Architecture University)
This year we got to talk about micro-exhibitions
and portable ones. With the 2020 Dis Location we are entering the nano
domain of economically produced festivals. Based on personal contacts
and fortuitous encounters, nano-festivals could fill in the organizational
gap by being more easy to manage, control, promote and reproduce(?!).
There is a sizable world out there, outside the
banner world of extended names and lists scrolling down indefinitely.
Nano-festivals should enjoy their own small-scale basis and bias, never
trying to expand and compete with more popular fiestas. Leaving aside
the bombastic line-ups, nano-festivals should strive towards a selection
of works and performances that would get stepped over or missed by larger
brothers and sisters in arts. Eventually these festivals would combine
practicality with enjoyment. All too often the enjoyment of organizing
something and watching it happen is completely lost behind a deep mire
of needs and greater wants that dominate bigger and larger festivals and
organisms. With nano-festivals, the pleasures of every-day decisions and
efforts are better encapsulated as concentrated foods for the brain and
body. They deal with the reachable, the possible and the repeatable.
Hsia-Fei Chang (Taiwan/France) has performed inside the Galeria Noua.
Both Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Southern mainland
China and Japan have a peculiar way to build up and promote `the idols'.
These idols, as entirely artificial beings are highly controlled entertainment
end-products. Generally, they thread on a very narrow path gracing a particular
look and music style. Their career depends on keeping up all these necessary
conventions. They seem forever blocked in certain postures and prefabricated
personas with prefabricated biographies. Hsia-Fei Chang at the Galeria
Noua performance was exhibiting all the trappings of the idol-world and
a way out from it. By exchanging and uniting several performances into
one, by playing between the live and the play-back; the instant hit of
the faceless glamour girl falls apart. The power of the assembly line
`idols' is always there; it is strident, mixing refinement with vulgarity,
and it shocks you because of the easy way it takes your breath away. It
is very hard not to see Hsia-Fei as the travelling Canton pop star, and
her wigs, silver shoes, and her purple silks all fit too well…
Maybe that is why so many Bucharest eyes and cameras felt a kind of embarrassed
recognition as they watched and clicked, in their own drab and straight-faced
postures inside the Gallery.
Hsia-Fei manages to make you pick the pink plastic flowers from under
her feet(those lovely attendants gontz and cosma), sticking them on her
white cut-out guitar that was never meant to play a single disturbing
note. She reaches the teeny bopper in you, the screamer and the roadie,
makes you feel like the weary, tender-hearted clerk in the karaoke lounge,
who just came in from his local fetish store. As a constant watcher you
want to keep on the props standing, you feel cheated if the magic stops,
or if the golden wigs fall for the last time, or does it really matter
if the country western girl gets mixed up with the Shanghai diva and her
Hsia-Fei offers you a heavily-perfumed glimpse on the same strange and
less than perfect world inhabited by the characters of Perfect Blue (*the
famous Japanese animation focusing on the idol industry and its victims).