HKNLversations – Reinventing Home
Home is not something you have, or do not have
Home we create, you, me, we all together
Home is my body
Home resides in our collective breathing
our conversation, our shared smile
This cross-cultural art research cum exchange project (2014-2019) between Hong Kong and the Netherlands was inspired by two performances “Second Tower of Babel” (STOB) on Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong, and Breaking Bricks (BB) by Contemporary Dance Platform Utrecht & Amsterdam (DI U&A). Their works crossed paths, in 2014 in Hong Kong, where Marloes van Houten (founder/artistic director of HKNLversations, acquainted with DI U&A) danced in the STOB performance. Thematically, the works found each other in their objective to explore deconstruction, chaos and re/new construction. They go beyond the labeling between beauty and ugly in search for authenticity amidst a city/world that is rapidly changing. They do so in artistic dialogue with each other, Hong Kong and Dutch artists, hence the name HKNLversations. Since 2017 the dialogue also includes China.
The collaboration focusses on the theme Reinventing Home: from deconstruction to reconstructing a place/space/body known as home. ‘Home’ herewithin does not refer to a physical and geographical place, in the first place, but to a metaphorical place/space that qualifies as ‘home’. What does home mean to us, and how do we construct our identities and sense of belonging?
In Hong Kong, workshops and masterclasses were given, and several productions were staged based on the sub-themes outlined above: ‘Forge Portmanteau‘, ‘Poiema‘, ‘Peer to Pier’. End 2016, we started to work on the theme: post-colonialism, diversity and self-censorship, cultivating into the performance ‘Speak‘ and the dance film/performance/photo series ‘Catapult‘. You can read more about the work we have done in Hong Kong here. In the Netherlands, Iris van Peppen’s kicked of with a movement research entitled ‘Instinct’ which developed into a short dance film (now touring globally) and a full length dance theatre show staged in the Netherlands in 2016. Since 2017. The Netherlands team started to focus on the challenges and opportunities of multiple generations and ethnic diversity in the quest for ‘reinventing home’. The first movement research and performances conducted with this focus are Muscari Armeniacum and Deep Fall Puppet.
See here for more information for the artistic research and performances of The Netherlands team.
Under the umbrella of the ‘Reinventing Home’ theme, artistic director Marloes van Houten invited Dutch singers (Jeanine La Rose, Henk Kraaijeveld), musicians (Mark Alban Lotz), choreographers (Iris van Peppen, Ilse Evers and Rosa Allessie) and multiple Hong Kong and China based artists into a creative dialogue. This is how a cross cultural interdisciplinary art research cum exchange started, where artists travel back and forth, and new performance material is being created in a collaborative way.