Circular Causality 循環因果 (2018)
A multiple monitor installation deconstructing a series of documenting family therapies
Numerous TV monitors of varied size: 14″ sony CRT pro monitor, 9″ sony CRT pro monitor, 4″ sony CRT pro monitor x 2; a portable Projector; Brightsign Media player x 5; microcontroller; motorized rotating table, screen with projection
Circular Causality comprises a rotating table, a screen and television sets showing different moments of a deconstructed family therapy situation. Basing the work on therapist Dr. Wong Oi-ling’s Case study: Child in Dilemma, the installation explores fragments of tension among those who seek this form of therapy. In many cases, it has been revealed that a “patient’s” problem derives from the accumulating problems of other family members. For instance, when a child is brought to a family therapist for their “misbehaviour”, often it is caused by issues related to the parents themselves. In this work, the relations among different parties in family therapy – children, parents, therapist – are dissected through captured dialogues and visual scenes. Ng’s focus is to experiment with narrative storytelling in cinematic installation using multiple screens, a genre with a lineage that includes key works by Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s multi-channel The House (2002) and The Hour of Prayer (2005), and Deep Play (2007) by Harun Farocki (1944-2014).
《循環因果》由一張設置旋轉盤的圓桌、一個屏幕和多個電視所組合而成，重演並解構一次家庭治療的處境的不同時刻。此裝置以治療師王愛玲博士的案例研究（《夾縫中的孩子》）為基礎以及素材，探索了那些尋求家庭治療的成員之間的張力和拉鋸的片段。 在許多個案中，「患者」的問題被揭示，看來都源於其他家庭成員所積累的問題。 例如，一個孩子因為「行為不當」被帶到家庭治療師時，其實發覺孩子的問題往往是由與父母本身的問題引起。 在此作品中，家庭治療中所涉及的各方關係 – 孩子、父母、治療師 ，都透過對話和視覺場景的紀錄被剖析。吳子昆利用多屏幕在電影裝置中進行敘事， 著眼點在於實驗敘事於裝置的可能性。這種多屏幕敘事裝置的探索早有先例，令人想起藝術家如芬蘭藝術家 Eija-Liisa Ahtila的多窗投影作品The House (2002) 和 The Hour of Prayer (2005)，又或剛離世不久的德國藝術家 Harun Farocki（1944-2014）解構2006年世界杯總決賽的 Deep Play（2007）。
Using the study by family therapist Dr. Wong Oi-ling, Case study: Child in Dilemma, as a starting point, aspects of modern human relationships are examined through this installation. Circular Causality tells a family story through the spatial montage of a rotating table of multiple televisions plus a separate projection screen, and offers an alternative narrative to single screen storytelling.
Each of the televisions differs in size and is placed in relation to the others on the rotating table. Each shows video of a family member and represents their particular role in the family. The biggest television represents the mother since she has a more dominant role in the family in this case; the father is represented by a medium size television as someone whose power is between the mother and child; while the child switches between two smaller televisions in their fluctuating role. The family therapist’s image is not shown but represented through subtitles or voice overs, an observer outside of the family. A 360 degree view of the living room is projected onto a screen situated apart from the table, while the slow motor of the rotating table synchronizes with the rotating camera movement of the video.
In Dr. Wong’s case studies, similarities were found in typical family problems. Often the so called ‘patient’ at the beginning, usually the child, was not the problem. The child’s actions were a reflection of, or reaction to, difficult family situations caused by the parents. Instead of being the problem, the child was usually the victim of family situations. Through the voices of different stakeholders projected from the directional speakers, and the rotating images of the family members presented, the audience is brought to the dissection of relations among different family members through fragments of dialogues and scenes. Circular Causality is not a study or demonstration of family therapy, but a window to let the artist look into contemporary human relationships.
This work is Ng’s further experimentation on the possibilities of narrative expression using a rotating table with multiple monitors, a machine he created in his previous work, (G)Local Empathy System. The rotating machine has been extended from merely a tool and container to a machine that creates a dynamic with the content, in this case modern family relationships.
NG Tsz-kwan (HK) graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1997 with a Bachelor degree in Fine Art and earned his Masters at Central Saint Martins, UAL, in 2000. His practice is devoted to electronic and video art, and he has exhibited in London, Berlin, New York, Helsinki, Japan and Korea, in addition to numerous exhibitions in Hong Kong. He also maintains a design practice in which he applies interactive media design to the commercial and exhibition sectors, and explores the use of different media for integrated design solutions. Ng co-founded yU+co.[lab] in 2006 when he partnered his interactive multi-media design company, N.T. Lab, with award-winning Hollywood-based creative design firm yU+co. In 2007, Perspective Magazine commended him as one of the 40 outstanding design professionals under the age of 40 in Greater China. Ng continues to lecture in multimedia, electronic arts and design-related departments of various universities and institutions throughout Hong Kong.
His most recent solo exhibition was (G)Local Empathy System, the first part of the major exhibition series, Writing Machine Collective 6th edition, Cinema Expanding: Visualising the Unseen, Hong Kong, September 2018.
吳子昆，yU+co. [lab} 的創辦人及執行創作總監；公司是由他早年創立的多媒體設計公司N.T. Lab 與荷李活創作設計公司yU+co. 合作而成。他於1997 年獲香港中文大學文學士，主修藝術；並於2000 年獲英國中央聖馬丁藝術設計學院碩士。吳子昆專注創作互動媒體裝置，作品多次於本港及海外展出。亦擅長互動媒體在不同層面的應用，曾於多間本地大專院校任教相關科目。2007 年獲《透視》雜誌選 為「四十驕子」之一，該獎項的主要頒授對象為大中華地區40 位40 歲以下的傑出設計師。
IT Elements 科技應用
Real-time mechanical control 實時機械控制 / micro-controller 微控制器 / multi-channels video synchronisation 多視頻同步/ ultrasonic directional speaker 超聲定向揚聲器 / 360 video shooting and processing 360 回環錄像拍攝及處理