Rethinking the mid-autumn festival display in contemporary settings
In Hong Kong and Taiwan, a train platform is evocatively called 月台, literally “moon stage.” A few stories account for the allusion. Some say it was the name of a podium in the courtyard of a traditional compound house, where families gathered to watch the moon. In another version, it is a pun on 越, meaning passage. On a melancholic note, it describes a place for parting under the moon. To the Moon was presented on a rare urban lawn, planted on top of a former dumpsite, during Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
The festival was once an occasion to celebrate harvest. People savoured every bite with gratitude to nature and hard work. Now an overstock of mass-produced mooncakes is always sold at slashed prices. Inside near vacuum plastic wrappings, do we still feel the warmth of the sun, the vitality of soil and the purity of water? In a post-industrial society, urban life dashes forward on a one-way track. Nature is extracted, consumed, and then trashed. In the thunder of motors and a suffocating miasma, where are we heading?
Inspired by UNESCO’s publication Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth, the project evolved around five imaginary towns with stories created by a group of 10-year-olds. In every town, one natural element – water, wood, fire, earth and gold – transforms into another. A train routes through them in a renewable cycle. Sitting around these future towns, we listened to stories told by both children and grown-ups. We also heard the journey of water, smelled the life of ash, tasted earthcakes and felt the touch of a million years. I tried to hold the moon on my palm: could this be a blueprint for our future?
Artist-tutor of Children Workshop: Bing Bing
Creative Supporting Team: Natalie Chan, Vicky Do, Catherine Kam, Cecilia Lee, Agnes Nong
Storytellers: Chu Yiu Kwong, Uncle Hung, Vincci the Teacher, Longtin, Bosco Poon, Shekwan, Ada Wong, Yeung Sau Churk
Participating Children in Workshop and Storytelling: Chan Christy, Chan Chung Ming, Chan Hoi Lam Nicole, Chow Pok Hing, Chu Suet Man, Ho Hei Ming Jade, Ho Sze Yu, Hui Marcel, Jim Yee Ting, Law Ho Yee, Lee Siu Tung Jasmine, Tang Ming Sum, Tsang Hoi Yeung, Wong Long Yiu
Academic Advisor: Vincci Mak
Technical Designer: Jason Wong
Live-feed Video Support: Cheuk Wing Nam
Production Manager: Reyes Tan
Publicity Coordinator: Miu Law
Storytelling Coordination: Stephanie Cheung
Documentation Video : Leecat
Project Curator and Producer: orleanlaiproject
Special thanks to Cho Siu Yee, Lam Che, G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College (Primary Session), HKBU – Academy of Visual Arts and Osage Gallery