By Wayson Poon
Last year, I joined several exchange and research programs from Hong Kong to Europe and Japan. As a man full of curiosity to different things, my insight to the world around me is however often limited. Therefore, it usually takes a while for me to review my gains in these programs and their connection to my position as an artist. I’ll try to put my thoughts into several areas in this self-review.
The Formulation of Strategies
As the host of the Collaborative Creative Lab, Dick Wong led a discussion about the strategies of creation. This inspired me to know more about the process of creation for different artists, as well as my own. In the following year, I tried to listen to others, then give my feedback when communicating with other people. My purpose was to absorb more wisdom while building a more constructive manner of communication. One of my discoveries was that by asking more questions related to all parties of conversation and taking time to tune into the same channel, our communication would be more effective and smooth. It would be easier to add more opinions from various perspectives after this, and by listening and observing together in the present, our future relationship will also become closer.
How does an idea become a piece of work? There must be an origin. Instead of mining the past, I’d rather feel the present and push my creation. I want to put my thoughts into each step I take. But will I be able to use my wisdom and knowledge to the full to get a proper insight for all my questions?
I worked as a part-time in Hong Kong Youth Hotel Association from last March to last May for a steady income. I was surprised to fond that working in the hill helped to clear my mind to deconstruct my choreography works. Now, my weekly travel to the mountains has become a must, and the bond between my creation and the nature has been tightened. Daniel Yeung once mentioned the concept of Qi Tong (氣通), which is what I’ve always tried to achieve when preparing my body for creation. It is hard to realize, but I’ll be patient and get there one step a time.
People always put their trust in my organizing ability, but as my view expands, my flaws become clear, and the first thing I need to do is to face them. On the other hand, I can be quite stubborn at times and unwilling to accept any criticism when put in high pressure. When I calm down, I can still see my issues. I believe that creation has no set pattern, just like an unknown mountain. One can get as much information as t hey need from the internet, but they’ll have to be there to know how their body, mind and the environment will react.
Movement Research and Dance Language
This is an important topic for my development, which would probably take my whole career to study. My final goal will be discover the Mode of Moving Body, but I don’t know how it would work out for now. I would often wonder “where are the bodies of the performers” as an audience. Of course, I can see their bodies, but I can’t see their thoughts about the body as a concept. It is natural to put one’s own knowledge when watching other people’s works. For me, methods concerning culture and history, science and nature, perception and action are all full of risk, for there maybe only one successful run from an unrepeatable present.
My official self-statement writes that I “follow the inspiration of Chi from Tao De Ching, use Liquid Body and 5 Rhythms to explore the body, develop and build a unique language of motion with every individual body”. I realized that the three materials I’ve mentioned may not sound familiar to everyone, especially when I’m abroad. So in the past year, I tried different methods to introduce the concepts to dancers while helping them to feel the journey of dance. Fortunately, the breakpoint for my movement research came in the middle of my travel, during my visit to Sweden and Finland last July. I discovered a method that allows the feeling come before actual dancing. The dancers will feel the flow of Qi first, let this feeling ferment during the movements of bodies, and slowly switch the quality of their dancing, allowing the body to move freely in the present. However, the Feeling cannot be too much and too complicated, or the motion will get lost eventually. The key is to focus on one point and go deeper.
I don’t want to use the Form to define what impression the motion of body should bring to the audience for now (some may even argue that it’s not dancing at all). Instead, my goal is to discover the motion in mind during the motion in body. What would each person’s present be like? I don’t really care. It is the variety in the presents that would push the communication among people. During the Technology and Dance program in Japan last October, we uploaded the apps we created to the open cloud for download and further development. This is not the first time during my movement research. I agree with this open manner of sharing, for artists will have their own development in different aspects, and my goal is to communicate with more people and listen to more thoughts. One thing I need to master is to ask more targeted questions when talking to each artist. Where there’s no question, there will be no answer. The more detailed my questions are, the more through the answers will be.
I want to express my appreciation to this platform, without their trust and support to my unknown future, I wouldn’t be here now.
Hong Kong Dance Award Fellowship 2017 香港舞蹈年獎2017獎學金
Creative meeting point: Hong Kong × Finland 國際創意交流：香港 × 芬蘭
Residence program in ilYoung Dance Company 2017
KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2017 京都国际舞台艺术节2017
“RAM CAMP in Kyoto 2017” 山口媒体艺术中心［YCAM］
Aesthetic Value and Creation of Work
As Indian philosopher Osho once said, dance must become a natural thing for everyone. I have to admit that his thoughts about dancing have great influence to my works. His words give me much motive of creation and lead me to think about the meaning of dance and people’s feelings about dancing. One of the most important points is anatman, no ego. I think a piece of work does not need to demonstration the aura of the artist, what’s most important is the power of the work itself, the information and the present. However, I’m still looking for company on this path.
Works are the source of my power and my existence for I’m a soul thirsty for communication. A piece of work that doesn’t communicate is a failure, and I’m meaningless in such pieces. But based on the limited experience and knowledge I have, I believe that one’s works need to be developed gradually according to one’s capacity. In this process of stop-and-forward, the most powerful final piece will be born. My creation contains something I already know, but I try hard to include more unknown. I also try to bring 10% unknown to the theatre, let the audience finish the work with me. Communication goes both ways, and my performance is not simple entertainment. I hope that the experience in the theatre will be rich and various, instead of simple and dull.
My personality doesn’t allow me to add a lot of pressure to others in my work, because I trust the strength of each person. I also show my respect to the audience by allowing their thoughts to go wild, which is also what I hope my works will demonstrate. All materials will be transparent. I hope the audience will see themselves in my work, just like in a mirror.
When composing this Self-review, I realized that there is still so much that cannot be express with words. However, I hope what I’ve got here can introduce me to more people and lead to more thought and developments about certain things. My next piece of work will launch in October 2018, and my rehearsal starts in March. I’ll welcome advices from my friends during this process. Hopefully, the life of my work will not be limited in the theatre alone. Since my thoughts and study about the art of dance are all happening in the present, they are inseparable to the society and my own experience. My vision is to construct an environment of dancing where my audience are invited to join in a journey that can only come to life through dancing. However, the distance to my goal is yet to be find out. Luckily, I’ve still got my entire lifetime for this.