On my recent trip to Taiwan for the Global daCi/WDA Dance Summit 2012, I visited the Taipei Artists Village with Taiwanese artist, Chien Wei Wu. It was here that I was introduced to artist in residence, Andrea Pagnes from VestandPage. Andrea was on his way to Hong Kong to work with the Centre for Community Cultural Development (CCCD). As I was stopping off there en-route back to Adelaide, he suggested I make contact with activist and author Mr. Mok Chiu Yu, Chief Executive of the CCCD.
The Centre for Community Cultural Development was founded in 2004 and is a non-profit charitable organization committed to the promotion of community cultural development. The CCCD engages artists / organisers through various artistic media to assist Community Residents’ expression of identity, ideals and expectations in order to construct a cultural force, so as to promote social change and to create a holistic arts society. Through such activities, cultural capacities, and a world of justice filled with arts and creativity maybe built.
The CCCD is based at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC). This building is an award winning architectural conversion from the former Shek Kip Mei Factory Estate, which was a stronghold for cottage industries half a century ago. It opened in 2008 and operates as a self-financed, registered charity. As an arts village, JCCAC houses over 100 artists/art organisations pursuing their work in a wide array of art-forms, from painting, sculpture, ceramics, glass art, printmaking, installation, to photography, animation and video production, music, dance and drama.
Mok invited me on a tour of the building and introduced me to some of the local and visiting artists working in the area. Together we attended a performance at the Cattle Depot (To Kwa Wan) called ‘Curious Fish’ by Butoh artist Kan Katsura and ‘Scare Crow’ by Drum Theatre at the Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity.
The Centre for Community Cultural Development supports the development of a dance group for people with and without a disability called the Symbiotic Dance Troupe (SDT) which is led by DanceAbility teacher, Yuen Kin-leung (Maru).
Mok, Maru and I struck up an interesting conversation about the possibility to continue the development of some of the CCCD’s work through the SDT. I have proposed a dance project (bitter//sweet) that responds to the desires of the CCCD to engage local residents living in the Shek Kip Mei area to engage in more creative projects through the Jockey Club.
bitter//sweet will research and investigate the relevance of the British occupation of Hong Kong after the Opium Wars and the handing back of the territory to China after its 99-year lease. It will ask questions of the participants about their identity and the way in which they associate to the changes they’ve witnessed in their lifetime.
For more information about the Centre for Community Cultural Development, click here
Photo: Philip Channells