The Rise and Fall of Textile Industry in 20th Century Hong Kong: Labor, Technology, Governmentality: Conversation on Lining
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About this panel:
This panel between artist Ho Rui An and Professor Elizabeth Wijayawill focus on discussing Lining, a film that depicts the rise and fall of the textile industry in Hong Kong between 1946 and 1997. Besides introducing the economic dynamics between mainland China and Hong Kong in the intervening years between the Communist takeover and the mass opening of factories in mainland China, this panel will branch off into a conversation about Ho’s practice, as the artist makes forms of labor, technology, and governmental control a locus of his filmic reflections.
Lining (2021) examines the rise and decline of the textile industry in Hong Kong against the historical shifts in labour, technology and capital taking place between the then-British colony and mainland China between 1946 and 1997. Beginning with the movement of Shanghai’s cotton mills to Hong Kong on the eve of the Communist takeover, the narrative extends into the Reform era during which Hong Kong’s industrial base was in turn displaced to the mainland, this time concentrated around the southern region of Guangdong. Weaving together archival material, interviews with former factory workers and managers and observational footage shot between Hong Kong and Guangdong, the film describes the transformation of Hong Kong from an industrial to a real-estate-centred financial hub while tracing the material networks that have connected the city to the mainland long before the official launch of China’s economic reforms.
Ho Rui An, Artist
Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. Across the mediums of lecture, essay and film, his research examines systems of governance in a global age. He has presented projects at the Bangkok Art Biennale; Asian Art Biennial; Gwangju Biennale; Jakarta Biennale; Sharjah Biennial; Kochi-Muziris Biennale; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Kunsthalle Wien; Singapore Art Museum; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Japan. In 2019, he was awarded the International Film Critics’ (FIPRESCI) Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany. In 2018, he was a fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program.
Dr. Elizabeth Wijaya, Assistant Professor, Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto
Dr. Wijaya's research interests include global Chinese cinemas, contemporary East and Southeast Asian cinemas circulating through international film festivals, eco-cinema, cine-ethics, media theory, critical theory, and continental philosophy. She is particularly interested in the material, historical, and symbolic entanglements between East Asia and Southeast Asia. Her current book project, Luminous Flesh: The Visible and Invisible Worlds of Trans-Chinese Cinema is a study of the political and philosophical stakes of the transmission of the past, corporeally and temporally, in post-1980s Chinese cinema in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. She is co-editor of the special issue on Derrida's 1999–2001 seminar on the death penalty, "Survival of the Death Sentence," Parallax Vol.22, Issue 2, 2016.
Moderator: Jacob Zhicheng Zhang, Ph.D. Student, Art History, University of Toronto
This event is hosted by the East Asian Studies Graduate Student Union. Part of the The Fantastical and the Real: 2023 EASGSU Film Talk Series