18 Jan – 5 May 2024
Esplanade Mall Level 3 Community Wall
Drawing from her personal experience of learning and teaching the erhu, 印映 reflections impressions by Hong Shu-ying unfurls through an ensemble of works encompassing video, print and annotations to reflect on imitation and mimicking as a way of learning. At the source of these works lies the famed 1950 erhu audio recording of Mirrored Moon in the Erquan Spring (二泉映月, Erquan Yingyue) by Abing. A seminal figure in the realm of the erhu, Abing is a Chinese folk musician revered for his innovative playing style and legendary—but largely undocumented—contributions to musical compositions for this two-stringed bowed instrument.
Despite its poor audio quality, Abing’s 1950 recording of Mirrored Moon in the Erquan Spring served as the reference for transcribing the erhu classic into cipher notation (or jianpu), evolving into a systematic method for disseminating and learning the composition. Subsequently, performance recordings and user-made videos of the piece have been created, owing to its widespread popularity, considerable significance within cultural contexts, and its role as a valuable resource for learning and instructing the erhu. Intrigued by the proliferation of these recordings, this exhibition sees Hong delving into videos of Mirrored Moon in the Erquan Spring by both professionals and amateurs of erhu on platforms like YouTube and Youku. Through processes of cropping and screenshotting various lunar and hand imagery as well as representations of Abing, Hong extracts the parallels and variations in these materials, observing how they imagine, shapeshift and form diverse time capsules of expressions.
Finally, undergirding the works is the significance of notations and annotations in learning and playing the erhu. These annotations offer a comprehensive guide, providing technical and interpretational insights essential for learning a piece. For Hong, they also act as a conduit for the transmission and preservation by establishing an informal lineage from erhu teachers and other performers, as well as fostering a continuum of understanding and interpretation.
Hong Shu-ying (b.1997, Singapore) is an artist working with metaphors she finds in sights, sounds and spaces familiar to her. Informed by her lived experiences and growing up in Singapore, Hong’s process-led methodologies often culminate in books or an ensemble of prints and videos. In many of her recent projects, she combines and collages found images and imageries to delve into informal archives that are either communal, personal, or a combination of both. Hong has participated in exhibitions and festivals in Singapore, China, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand. She was awarded the Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Photography (2021) and featured in the 6th Women in Film and Photography Showcase by Objectifs, Singapore (2021).
18 Jan – 5 May 2024
Great arts experiences begin with Esplanade&Me. Join this membership to enjoy ticket specials on shows at Esplanade, early bird specials, promotions at Esplanade Mall, unlimited access to Offstage and more.