Calling for Participants: Hou Junming and his Fathers in Asia, 2016, Hong Kong

March 30, 2016

Homosexuals and their fathers

Deadline: 30 March, 2016

In the age of declining paternal authority, what role does your father play in your lives? How would you describe your father?

Six years ago (2008), I started a series of interviews that turned into an on-going art project that I called the Fathers in Asia. I really wanted to know how people looked at their dads, and how would they assume the role of a dad when they become one, and what kind of influence had his or her dad left upon someone’s life. When asked about their fathers, most of interviewees said it’s the first time they had ever been asked to give a thorough reflection on the matters between them and their fathers. Surprisingly, to those of them, the figure of a father seemed like something far and alien. The “father”, they said, was something they had struggled to know and to understand.

That’s why I thought it might be easier to use some animal figures to paint the images of “dad”. Some interviewees used animals such as elephants, lions or hawks to describe their memories about the relationships with their fathers. Through this kind of mental “graffiti”, I can see that the memories started to take shapes and colors and to some extend, even changed the way they would have looked at them. It seemed to me that at the end of the day, the result was more of a rekindled sense of compassion, love and better understanding.

To me, it also says something about the richness and variety of the roles that a dad plays in someone’s life. Just like each of us is unique, surely, everyone’s father is quite different. This year (2014), my own father had just left me. Maybe it’s the way of life, maybe because of my project, but I think something in my heart has repaired the bond between the two of us. Just before his death, I could see that he didn’t appear like the daunting chastiser anymore, nor did I want to run away from his presence. We two could finally sit side by side and in the last hour of his life, I thanked him while holding his hand, saying the last words before he leaves me.

Project plan

Taiwanese artist Mr.Hou Junming has conducted different research projects in different cities in East Asia (Yokohama, Taipei, Taizhong, Bangkok and Jiayi) on the subject of “father” based on field studies and documentation.

The Department of Fine Arts of CUHK is now inviting Mr.Hou for a 45 days’ project in residence during the year of 2016. He will be continuing his research and art project on Fathers in Asia while holding conferences and workshops during his stay. In addition, there will be an exhibition at the end of the project to celebrate cultural exchanges and further ties between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

  1. Interviews and workshops: 2016.3.27 – 4.20 (subject to change)
  2. Exhibition: 2016.6.4 -6.29
  3. Venue: New Asia College, CUHK
  4. The Department of Fine Arts will help to recruit 6-8 interviewees from both sexes. Candidates will be selected from a diversity of social backgrounds and age groups and joining in Mr.Hou’s project. The exhibition will be followed with a printed catalog that combines past artworks from previous projects in Yokohama, Taipei, Taizhong, Bangkok and Jiayi.

Calling for Participants

  1. All gays and lesbians are welcome (in the case of bisexuals, preference is given to those who are self-identified as biological males)
  2. All age groups are welcome (preference is given to those who are not related to art professions in a formal way; ideal candidate should be either between 18-25 or above 40)
  3. Mandarin Chinese is the preferred mode of communication (translation of Cantonese to Mandarin can be provided if necessary)
  4. Project starts from 2016.3.27 to 4.20 (subject to change)
  5. Each interview should last for about 2-3 hours and can be negotiated to take place at any time of the day
  6. Each interviewee will have approximately 2 chances to meet with the artist
  7. Questionnaire will be provided during interview and followed by some graffiti work (please see the images for reference)
  8. Below is an example of past questionnaire, subject to minor changes (the artist would like to pay visit to interviewee’s home after completion of the artworks and invite interviewee to write their comments)
  9. All interviews will be conducted at a gallery space in Shatin, and if necessary, can be moved to CUHK or to be negotiated by the interviewee and the artist
  10. All interviews are based on real names and will be accompanied by photographs and video recording, all names will be open to the public during the exhibition
  11. Enquiry and application : (Ms. Lo) (Please include the contact information.)