‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ is the famous opening line of Charles Dickens’ book A Tale of Two Cities, which depicts the complexity of the French Revolution and the parallel ugly world of London life that took place at the same time. Despite the horrors of mob violence portrayed in the novel not occurring in Hong Kong in the present, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ is nevertheless the ideal description of the current situation in Hong Kong and beyond.
Both Sides Now II attempts, through moving image works, to explore national identity and culture, and to raise questions about both China & Hong Kong and the UK. Comparisons between both countries arise – revolution and referendum, richness and austerity, lions and tigers. And unicorns.
Both Sides Now II – It was the best of times, it was the worst of times is the second phase of a long-term project that proposes (historical) re-readings of artists’ moving image from Hong Kong, China and the UK. By selecting video works of art, animations and documentary films, produced by Hong Kong and UK artists from 1989 to 2014, the project will reinterpret the experience of here and now by looking into the potentially excluded and forgotten moving images of Hong Kong.
In the new edition, videoclub (UK) and Videotage (HK) bring together internationally-recognised artists from the fields of video and film during a several month-long programme from June – August 2015. To build on the ideas posited from the success of Both Sides Now – Somewhere between Hong Kong and the UK, 15 art organisations in the UK, China and Hong Kong will take part in various extensive screenings, exhibitions and artists-in-residence programmes.
Both Sides Now is part of the new initiative Acentered – Reterritorized Network of Europeanand Chinese Moving Image, which is a project umbrella that interlinks extensive media art institutions in China and Europe. To build on the ideas posited from the success of Both Sides Now, Videotage and videoclub are planning to further initiate exchanges between Europe and China with an eye towards the future of experimental moving image. Acentered will continue to explore moving image from regional, national and global perspectives. By initiating long term collaborations between extensive European and Chinese art institutions, Acentered will aim to stimulate minds and broaden horizons for institutions and individuals alike on both sides of the world.