As things change and time washes over everything, we all know that nothing can be retained and nothing can’t be lost. With the advent of technology on earth, such as photography and video media to help people "retain a moment" or "freeze time", people have a sense of God, and it seems that we can do something to change the present situation again.

The opportunity of "Reimagines Heritage" is the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant incident. Although urban development is always accompanied by urban renewal and redevelopment decisions, the end of the seafood restaurant was different. According to online reports, the restaurant was heavily indebted due to the epidemic, and it was finally decided that it would be closed in March 2020. I didn't go on-site but I have been recording all the news about Jumbo I found on the internet, but what's the use of it? Frankly speaking, I don't know. As a curator, I only know that these material needs to be kept in mind, and what it might become with the help of technology, which is exactly what I said at the beginning of this article, because what can become different with the arrival of technology. In modern society, all the changes are so natural, the road that looks perfect today will be rerouted tomorrow, and the theorem that was believed yesterday can be overthrown and proved again today, which means we crave for renewal and adventure? Is this the way and the direction of mankind to change the future? I was reminded of Marshall Berman's book "All That is Solid Melts Into Air" and Karl Marx’s famous quote:

“All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.”

Karl Marx

Apart from looking back at history under the slogan of collective memory, is it not possible for people to look at the present calmly and experiment with the possibilities of "preserving", "recording" and "collecting" on their own? In the era of digital technology, how can we look at the relationship between Technological Obsolescence and Cutting-edge Technology? Are people and stories the bridge between the two?

“Reimagines Heritage” is an experimental project that ranges from a main website containing the artists’ old and renovated works to an exploration of the theme of a Jumbo Restaurant, and opens up the mind to amplification through an open space that showcases the artists' creative and experimental process, and encourages everyone to remember what they consider precious in their own ways. Two media artists in this project who are specialised in exploring the local cultural heritage through various technology, they are Vvzela Kook and Siu Ka Heng, and we are trying to explore the possibilities of preservation from different perspectives. Vvzela uses painting as a method of research, as seen in her previous Transmedia project “Confidential Records” series; through her extensive research on the history of Kowloon Walled City since 2016, and with reference to futuristic theories and predictions, she uses the paradoxes and threats arising from the development of Artificial Intelligence that surpasses human beings as the basis for the whole project. Transmedia is the main story axis of her project, including a series of creation to explore the proposition. The series involves a variety of creative elements, including text, animation, 3D printing and audio-visualisation. Siu Ka Hang's work “The Lost Metropolis: State Theatre” presents the space and history of the State Theatre in North Point, through virtual reality technology to engage audience online. Two artists also use their respective expertise, including painting, photography and 3D scanning technology, to collect creative elements and present to the public their attempts and experiments of creation and preservation on the topic of the Jumbo Restaurant.

Places are not separated from people and incidents, and in the process of exploring them, artists use their methods to find fragments to construct contents and experiences. This project contains explorations to reach out to the public, including the website, online and offline chit-chat salon, a podcast between Hong Kong and Taiwan curators, as well as original storytelling podcasts to broadcast sentiments about memories and places. These attempts are to break through the barrier of "digital oblivion"; as digital technology becomes popular in our society, everyone is taking a picture of something as if it were a memory of the moment, but they do not forget that digital emptiness is a way of losing more than ever before. We can all do better, even if all the solid things will eventually dissipate, who said that the virtual cannot be retained.


《Reimagines Heritage》的契機是珍寶海鮮舫事件,雖然城市發展總會伴隨著都市更新重建的決策,然而海鮮舫的落幕比較不一樣,據線上報導所指,疫情使餐館負債累累,最後決定在2020年3月停業,消息公佈後不少媒體爭相報導,也有許多市民用自己的方法與珍寶告別,筆者沒前往現場卻一直把網上找到有關珍寶的新聞通通紀錄下來,但以後有什麼用?老實說,不知道。作為策展人,只知道這些素材是需要被留低的,它或許會在科技加持下變成什麼,這正是本文一開始所說的,因為科技的到來有什麼是可以變得不一樣的。在現代社會裡,所有的變化變遷都那麼理所當然,今天明明看起來完好的道路,明天又被改道重修,昨天相信的定理今天又可以被推翻重新引証,這意味著更新及冒險?是人類改變未來的手法與方向?於是想起馬歇爾‧伯曼的《All That is Solid Melts Into Air 一切堅固的事物都煙消雲散了》一書, 以及馬古思的名句:



除了以集體回憶為口號的去回顧歷史,人們其實是不是可以冷靜地觀看當下所有,並以自身出發去實驗「保存」、「紀錄」以及「典藏」的可能性?在數位科技全面普及的時代,我們又可以如何去觀看過時技術 (Technological Obsolescence) 與頂尖科技 (Cutting-edge Technology) 之間的關係?人和故事是不是就是正正能連結兩者的橋樑?

《Reimagines Heritage 一切堅固的東西都煙消雲散》是一項實驗計劃,包括主軸網站裝載藝術家的翻新舊作以至以珍寶海鮮舫為主題的探索過程,以及通過展現藝術家創作及實驗過程的開放空間展開放大眾思維,並鼓勵每人用自己的方法去記存認為珍貴的東西。項目藝術家是兩位擅長以技術/科技深討本地文化遺產的媒體藝術家,分別是曲淵澈及蕭家恒,我們嘗試以不同的面向去探討保存的可能性。曲淵澈 (Vvzela Kook) 以繪畫方法做研究,在她的藝術項目《機密錄》(Confidential Records) 系列可見;通過自2016年以來她對九龍寨城歷史的廣泛資料搜集與研究,並同時參考未來學的理論與預測,以人工智能發展超越人類並產生的矛盾與威脅作為整個超媒體 (Transmedia) 項目的故事主軸,創作出一系列的作品探索命題。作品系列涉獵多種創作元素,包括文本、動畫、3D打印、聲演導覧等模式進行。蕭家恒的作品《情迷香港:皇都戲院》 (The Lost Metropolis: State Theatre) 通過虛擬實境技術呈現有關北角古舊建築 - 皇都戲院的空間與歷史。兩位藝術家亦分別通過各自的專長,包括繪畫、攝影以及3D掃描技術等去採集創作元素,就珍寶海鮮舫一題向大眾呈現創作與保存的嘗試與實驗。