221A image Things that can happen – Performance –  Julian Yi-Zhong Hou: Fire Makes No Sound

221A @ Things that can happen Performance Julian Yi-Zhong Hou: Fire Makes No Sound


Julian Yi-Zhong Hou's audio performance Fire Makes No Sound explores ancient Chinese court music as survived through Japanese Gagaku and its qualities of flute registers representing various mythological characters - the base and bodily human, the heavens, and the dragon that travels amongst them. The different registers here assume contemporary characters: Bad Breath, Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum), and the Smoke that travels between. Scripted spoken language, paired with digitally composed music, result in discomfiting layers of computer-generated voice and swelling synthesizers. The audio is unsettled and shifts between a slightly cool, therapeutic tone to something less ponderous and more cunning.

Four costumes are displayed as backdrops to the performance. Made with quilted and applique patterns, these bespoke garments are derived from architectural and mechanical infrastructure reminiscent of 1980s High-Tech design, which respond to ideological representations of late capitalist ideas around transparency of capital and the ornamentation of infrastructure.

Jesse McKee, 221A’s Head of Strategy, host a series of events at Things that can happen over the spring which respond to Hong Kong’s role as one of Vancouver’s major sources of international capital.  Corresponding to this city reveals a frank processing of the emotional weights that Hong Kong’s capital excerpts on places like Vancouver and beyond.  Not expecting to find the face of this capital and address it, instead, the programme’s ambition is to support the individual and social ways that we are responding to the influences of capital’s effects. Mark Fisher writes in his final book, The Weird and the Eerie, 2017, that “capital is at every level an eerie entity: conjured out of nothing, [it] exerts more influence than any allegedly substantial entity”.

Earlier in April,  the screening program Governing the Effects of Retrograde took place. At the close of this residency, a letter linking the events and artists will be published. This writing and programming will generate discussion and research towards potential infrastructures that could be established between 221A and Things that can happen.

Fire Makes no Sound is a 221A commission, supported through a residency, as part of the Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures public program in 2017. Produced with Kara Hansen and Shizen Jambor.

With thanks to The Chu Collection and British Columbia Arts Council for the support of this residency and programming.

Julian Yi-Zhong Hou的聲音演出



期間, Jesse McKee將會主持一系列的活動,主要關於個人敍述中跟建築及人工建構的環境的的崩壞、重整及記憶。在這個無論在政治氛圍、經濟環境,還是持續推進的數碼生活均是混沌非常的狀態下,這次駐場計劃也回應了香港作為加拿大溫哥華一個主要國際金融資本來源的角色。


Julian Yi-Zhong Hou 的創作環繞影像、紡織物、聲音、音樂及表演。他來自加拿大温哥華。

「無聲之火」是由221A 籌辦的2017年度的公共計劃Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures 的駐場計劃一部份,與Kara Hansen 及 Shizen Jambor 聯合製作。
我們感謝221A 團隊、The Chu Collection、以及British Columbia Arts Council 支持是次駐場計劃。


Play video

Julian Yi-Zhong Hou, Fire Makes No Sound, 2017. Audio performance, 21 minutes. Courtesy the Artist and Things that can happen, Hong Kong

Project Support

BC Arts CouncilThings that can happen