二零一六年四月，＜得左，失左＞展覽，賽馬會創意藝術中心，香港 | Apr 2016, ‘We Gain; We Lost’ exhibition, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Hong Kong
二零一六年二月至三月，第二十一屆 ifva 比賽媒體藝術組入圍作品展，香港 | Feb-Mar 2016, The 21st ifva Awards – Media Art Category Finalist Exhibition, Hong Kong
二零一五年五月，長春社文化古蹟資源中心，香港 ｜ May 2015, The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage, Hong Kong
A record of the inheritance of Hakka from father
我將這兩年的學習錄音化為裝置， 重塑為客家話漂流、承傳的故事，分享閒談／學習過程中的種種，希望當中各式有遠有近，有粗有細的故事可獲發掘 。
（一）渡港 — 將父親由家鄉來港的故事錄音，分拆為數個喇叭和唱盤，按時序、地點擺放，化為一個虛擬的時間線、地圖 ；
（二）學舌 — 將向父親學習客家話的錄音，以一部展視客家話筆記的電視機、兩個喇叭和各式椅子，邀請觀眾可一同學習客家話。
- – -
My father is a Hakka (‘Hakka Chinese’ or ‘Hakka Han’) from Dongguan, China. He came to Hong Kong in the 70s and has lived here since then. As a half-Hakka born in Hong Kong, I could not even speak or understand one single Hakka word. However, not knowing parents’ mother tongues of their hometowns in Mainland China is the “norm” in Hong Kong.
After living with the taken-for-granted Hongkonger identity for 20 years, the “problematic” of not knowing the Hakka language as a Hakka suddenly emerged. I started to ask my father to teach me Hakka, trying to open up dialogue with him.
Learning & Talking
Over these two years, every time we spent time together, I asked my father to teach me the Hakka language with a recorder aside. The learning was impromptu and casual. I have learned some basic Hakka randomly, from my name, dishes on the table to more complex questions. I also recorded my father’s dialogue with his Hakka-speaking relatives and friends and tried to learn the tongue.
I invented a hotchpotch of Hong Kong Cantonese, Putonghua pinyin, English and self-invented marks for tones to write notes on the Hakka learned. The notes crystallise my Hakka learning and represents my relations with the language.
The learning process naturally expands to the Hakka culture, my father’s life in his hometown Dongguan, how he immigrated to Hong Kong and the stories after. Coming from the Mainland to Hong Kong for a better life is the story of my father and a lot of Hongkongers of the last generation.
I transform the recording of the learning with my father into an installation. The installation reconstructs the drift and inheritance of the Hakka language, and shares my talking/learning experience in the process. It creates a space for discovery of the multiple narratives in the process.
The installation can be divided into two major parts:
(i) On the way: The recordings of my father’s story from his hometown to Hong Kong are separated into several speakers and CD players. They are put according to time and location, forming a virtual timeline and map;
(ii) Pass on: The recordings of my father teaching me Hakka are re-enacted with a TV set, two speakers and chairs. It invites audience to learn the Hakka language together.
The installation comprises objects related to my father’s hometown and my family life, such as stools taken from home and firecracker scarps that are commonly seen in my hometown. It displays the linkages between two generations (of Hongkonger), two languages and cultures (Hakka & Cantonese) and two places (Dongguan & Hong Kong).
Learning Hakka is a process of “(Hakka) identity restoration” and reconnecting to another side of my father. It is a way to start dialogue and reflect the possibilities of language and identity. The installation uses learning Hakka as an entry point to examine Hong Kong’s culture and history and reflect on the identity of Hong Kong (people): what makes me (not) a Hakka? What are the criteria of being a Hongkonger? Are they ancestry, place of birth, place of residence, language and culture, or simply identification?
Talking about Hakka, this is essentially a Hong Kong story.
客家話學習筆記 ｜Learning notes sample
學舌 ｜Pass on
渡港 ｜On the way
學舌：「充得行」 ｜Pass on: “Is it okay”
渡港：兩遇打獵 ｜On the way: the hunters
其他裝置 ｜Other arrangements
媒體報導 Media Coverage:
資助 Supported by:
香港藝術發展局 Hong Kong Arts Development Council
長春社文化古蹟資源中心 The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage
技術支援 Technical Support:
羅潤庭 Edwin Lo
嗚謝 Special Thanks:
莫頌靈 Jolene Mok
( : – 向阿爸葉雲華致敬! – : )
( : – Salute to my father Yip Wan Wah! – : )