Hong Kong based comic and animation artist Kongkee is interested in the relationship between people and place. His animations, comic publications and online comic blog are often humourous and fun whilst also displaying a mature sensitivity to the subjects he deals with.
During his residency Kongkee will host workshops and discussions with older Cantonese speaking people in Manchester to research personal journeys of migration and dislocation. Their movements across the vast geographical and cultural distance between their previous home and their new abode will be represented in a new animation work for Tatton Park Biennial 2008. The work will reflect the varied journeys of the expatriates merged with an exploration of the migration of plants and the plethora of flowers and shrubs regularly used in English gardens which hail from China. Using his unique comic drawing style, Kongkee will blend the stories of the older Chinese people he works with into a story of plant migration by looking into the way plants travel and take on a different significance in their new locale.
Kongkee (b. 1977) is an active member of Hong Kong’s vibrant arts scene. In 2003 he co-founded ’29s’, a creative group which encourages artists from different disciplines to collaborate through independent publishing projects. He has created several comic publications including the dark city fairy tales Imperfect Shoes, the comic album Hijacking and posts the online comic Rice-gas. His animation Name of Wu Mei received a Special Mention by ifva Short Film Festival 2005 and was selected by Hong Kong Art Biennial 2005.
As well as his Breathe residency, Chinese Arts Centre have been working with Kongkee on the exhibition Dragon, a series of works and installations at Tyne and Wear Musuems exploring the dragon as a powerful symbol in both Anglo-Saxon and Chinese culture. A newly commissioned comic animation by Kongkee responding to the theme will be showing at Monkwearmouth Station Musuem, Sunderland while Canadian Chinese artist Karen Tam will be showing site specific paper cutting installations in the cafe in National Glass Centre and Bede’s World. The exhibition opens 24 May 2008.
Kongkee’s Breathe residency forms part of Tatton Park Biennial 2008, a new contemporary art event for the UK. Supported by Arts Council England, North West; Cheshire County Council; The Northwest Development Agency; Manchester Airport; The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation; The National Trust and Tatton Park, the Biennial will be staged from 2 May to 28 September 2008 and is presented as part of Cheshire’s Year of Gardens 08. Visit www.tattonparkbiennial.org for more information.
The residency is also part of Asia Triennial Manchester 08, the UK’s first Asian art triennial. Featuring an exciting programme of exhibitions, residencies, commissions and events, ATM08 presents some of the best contemporary art from across Asia. For more information visit www.asiatriennialmanchester.com.
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