Vertical Narratives - The Hong Kong Agent (Visual Poem)





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Published on Nov 6, 2011

The Hong Kong Agent - 18 short documentary films about Hong Kong - http://www.hongkongagent.iolini.com/

In this episode the Hong Kong Agent transforms his report into a poem........http://www.hongkongagent.iolini.com/

juxtapositions of space and time.
hyper polished surfaces reflect wealth in rows of designer boutiques endlessly repeating up endless malls
escalator as art
down on street level it's either Blade Runner close and dense humanity and food stalls reflected in the clusters of neon signs above or
wide avenues with once again repeating dried herbal medicine shops
shark fin mounds take centre stage on white tiled floors
outside on the footpath mounds of dried lizards stretched across bamboo frames spill into the gutter their dulled eyes reflected in the thin stream of water collected from outflow hoses of
a thousand air conditioners
refrigerator drones chorus down
the gothic crumbling cathedral of Queens Road West
meanwhile back at the Centre
it's all sanitised artificial space colony living
descend to the lower levels
without ever having to touch the ground or breathe tainted air
shop and shop and shop and eat and shop and shop and eat and ....... collective pastime?
hungry ghost, Ghost in the Shell
the dead, the living, Tao-Buddhist fear
even ultra architecture can't escape the ghost factor
Feng Shui or else!

A mysterious agent arrives in Hong Kong on an unspecified mission. Without a map and relying solely on his intuition -- the agent drifts -- his encounters with activists, sidewalk shamans, a feng shui master, teenage hopefuls, artists, shopping arcades, ghost buses and psychedelic trains become intriguing clues with which to de-code the city and its inhabitants. Throughout the work the agent gives first person narration in the form of 'poeticised' reports. His interpretation of the events he witnesses and participates in, provide an idiosyncratic yet insightful reading of life in Hong Kong. Local perceptions are explored in scripted scenes in which characters relate personal experiences and engage in compelling dialogues on subjects ranging from Chinese government rule to shamanic healing.

The Hong Kong Agent is a cross-media multi-platform art project about China's special administrative region (SAR) Hong Kong. It can be experienced as a video art series, gallery installation, radio program, online interactive & locative media. At the heart of the project are eighteen audio-visual episodes that follow the adventures of an enigmatic protagonist, simply referred to as The Agent. His poetic renderings of what he experiences, and the stories and dialogues of numerous characters he encounters reveal the richly layered complex world of Hong Kong.

I've decided to make all 18 episodes available on YouTube. If you'd like to keep updated please subscribe to this channel. Best wishes, robert iolini

Written and Directed by Robert Iolini
Genre:Video Art+Documentary+Experimental+Fiction
Original Format: 16.9 HDV Colour + B/W
Sound: Stereo
Duration: 80 Minutes
Language: English/Cantonese
Pre Production: Hong Kong SAR China
Post Production: Byron Bay Australia June 2008
Post Produced by Frank Haines Films
Music by SNOBLIND, Dickson Dee, stealstealground, Robert Iolini

Chan Tsz Ting, City University School of Creative Media, Beatrix Pang, Oscar Ho, Professor David Clarke, Anson Mak, May Fung, White Noise Records, Chris Lau - Emergency Lab, Ellen Pau, Dr Linda Lai, Alex Hui, Cally Yu, Yang Yeung, Habitus, Pocky + Donald Chan, Inmedia, Videopower, Professor Meaghan Morris, The Deyin Qin Society, Professor Hing-yan Chan, Giorgio Biancorosso, Steven Pang, Eno Yim, Nicolas Sauret, Helen Grace, Dr Katrien Jacobs, Andrew Guthrie, Wesley Tang, Ma Kak, Karin Leung, Professor Tai Lok, Dr Lai Chi-Tim, Feng Shui Master - Alex Yu, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Special thanks to: SNOWBLIND, DICKSON DEE and STEALSTEALGROUND for permission to use their wonderful music throughout this work. Extra special thanks to anthropologist Dr Phillip Mar for his enduring support, exhaustive research and for instilling in me an ethical and scientific approach to field work. Between January 1 - July 31, 2007 Robert was Artist in Residence in Hong Kong. @ Robert Black College HKU - Residency supported by Australia-China Council. @ ACO (arts & culture outreach) Foo Tak Building Wan Chai - Residency supported by Asialink (funded by the Australia Council, the Federal Government's arts funding and advisory body)
Robert was also Visiting Scholar/Professional @ Journalism & Media Studies Centre The University of Hong Kong Post production funded by Screen Australia formerly AFC - Australian Film Commission Experimental Digital Media Production Fund Strand X


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