COMPLAINTSCHOIRS OF HONGKONG
Perhaps let us redefine Tau Sou (Complain) in a Chinese context: 'Tau' (Tou in Mandarin) originally means 'throwing', and later it also related to a subject's active actions, e.g. 'Tau Piu' (Voting); 'Tau Gei' (Mail something to somebody). And it also means linking up of different people or parties, e.g. 'Ching Tau Yee Hap' (Congenial in feelings and thoughts). 'Sou' literally means 'speaking', and this verbal expression usually associated with pessimistic personal feelings, and even social critiques. In the light of these explanations, Complains would be something more than it used to be: It would be a joined action, an active participation of the general public; It would be a free, public expression through various art forms, e.g. Literature, Music, Visual Arts, etc.
Confucius once said, "The Odes serve to stimulate the mind. They may be used for purposes of self-contemplation. They teach the art of sociability. They can be the ways to complain." Similar to The Odes, Complaints Choir of Hong Kong is a project to encourage singing, or any kind of artistic expressions of the people, by the people, and for the people. And it is also an experiment to rebuild a binding force in a diversified but divided society.
THE COMPLAINERS COAT OF ARMS - EXPLAINED
1. Believe In Social Order/
Complaints are often dismissed as something that disturbs the harmonious run of institutions, or even obstructing the development of an economy. People who say so put themselves into an omnipotent position, where they have perfect knowledge of what is to be done. And the complainers are just talking nonsense, so they are in the camp of saboteurs. Obviously, we believe in the opposite.
2. A Castle Wall/
The complicated structure of a castle is analogous to nowadays bureaucracy. Here we have a castle wall, without entrance.
3. A Banana/
It is the ever copied Andy Warhol Banana. Tasty Looking and good for health. In 2008, a councilor of the Legislation Council threw a banana to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, protesting his plan on having elderly citizens’ income audited when they apply for social subsidies. Healthy excrements resemble the shape of banana. So it’s a sincere wish for good health to our chief.
Our way of complaining: Sing it out loud!
4. A Cock & a Duck/
The cock and the duck may speaks to each other now, under the presence of international language and nowadays much celebrated multiculturalism. But it is under the background of not having consensus of the words so that we have to, or shall we say, we can, communicate.
5. Complain Complain Complain/
‘Hong Kong people only excel in complain complain complain. They better really do something.’ This saying of the wife of our ex-Chief executive Tung Kin Wah, pretty much summarize the attitude when on is facing mountains of complaints. However, when we are already working round the clock; and NGOs are doing this and that to save the day, round the clock, either; before we do something about our complaints, we shall think about why we have these complaints arisen.
"Every time I visit Hong Kong (from Amsterdam, where I base), I would look for something to let me fall in love with this city, again. It’s not easy. June 2009, I was asked to host a lyrics writing workshop for a group of Complaints Choir of Hong Kong volunteers. There and then, I found it. Right, the many many complaints I heard did make me wonder what kind of place Hong Kong has become, but then the Complaints Choir itself was enough for me to love my city, again." Chow Yiu Fai
Choir Member are Canny Leung, Addis Fung, Jo Wong, Frankie Yau, Freud Li, Vincent Lam, Alex Yiu, Clara Tam, Sum Chan, Chole Ho, Joe Loong, Denice Cheng, Tommy Ho, Beckie Leung, Thompson Tong, Christina Chao, Ruby Lee, Carmen Choy, Ellen So, Vangi Fong, Henry Kwok, Dorathy Tam, Juno Tsoi, Karman Leung, Janet Ho, Sylvia Cheung, Little Tomato, Damon Tong, Ron Lau, Irene Tsui, Victor Fok, Thickest Choi, Stephen Lau, Leung Hin Chun, Emily Wu, Galileo Cheng, Yiu Ho, Ka Lee Li, Virginia Yeung, Leo
Musicians: Ho Shan, Barry Lee, Chow Yiu Fai
Workshop Tutor: Chow Yiu Fai
Music Coordinator: Celia Leung
Coordinators: Vangi Fong, Thompson Tong, Haze Cheng, Jamie Wu
Organizer: Pep! in Partnership With 1a space
Supported by Katterwall Roundtable Cultural Collective
Special Thanks to ACO, HKICC, Anlou Lo, Lee Chun Fung, Kiki Ho, Donald Yeung, Ng Wan Ching, Wong Ka Wing
Rehearsal Venue Sponsor: HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity
Seminar Venue Sponsor: Kubrick