Dickson Dee & The Gong Strikes One - Cao Fei’s ‘Prison Architect’ Live OST with Naamyam & Electronics

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Tai Kwun Contemporary

Art After Hours: Cao Fei’s ‘Prison Architect’ Live OST with Naamyam & Electronics
藝術不夜館: 曹斐的《監獄建築師》南音和電子音樂現場

Dickson Dee - electronics
Chan Chi Kong, Lee King Chi (The Gong Strikes One) - Voice, Guzheng, Paiban, Flute
Nero Lee - Erhu

Prison Yard

At the narrative heart of ‘A hollow in a world too full’ solo exhibition by Cao Fei is the newly commissioned work ‘Prison Architect’. This work explores existentialism as a means of self-redemption, questioning at once the relationship of the self to the self, and that of humans to space. As the artist’s attempt at reconciliation with the world and human nature, Tai Kwun Contemporary presents an outdoor performance of Naamyam with The Gong Strikes One, led by Dickson Dee, the music composer for Cao Fei’s work ‘Prison Architect’. This performance will feature Dickson Dee, Lee King Chi, Chan Chi Kong, and Nero Lee. As a form of Cantonese narrative singing that gained popularity in the early 20th century in Hong Kong, Naamyam and is traditionally accompanied by instruments such as the guzheng (or zheng, a type of Chinese zither), paiban (wooden clappers), and yehu (a two-stringed instrument played with a bow).

The Gong Strikes One made their debut in 2012. They showcase vocal and instrumental passages from Chinese opera works while preserving the flavour of drama and experimenting different musical settings of the genre. Narrative singing is one of the favourite genres of the group: they perform their own original naamyam pieces and are currently working on rearranging the classic Chinese opera ‘The Purple Hairpin’ into a narrative singing setting. In 2017, they presented their first theatrical work, ‘I, Wu Song’ at the Studio Theatre at Hong Kong Cultural Centre. "才" is the notation used in the Luogu, and is used as a short for "hammer" or "mallet". "The Gong Strikes One" is the name of the gongs and drums, and there is also the meaning of continuous performances, such as "a hammer and drums for ten days", that is, the meaning of continuous performances for ten days.

Dickson Dee has been engaged in the music industry for more than 25 years. His career started from importing European independent labels to Hong Kong, China and Taiwan; followed by establishing his own music label Noise Asia, organizing concerts etc. His experience includes distribution, import/export, creation, publishing, promotion, artist management and other kinds of works in the industry. He has made a great contribution to the development of independent music in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

Chan Chi Kong, learning huqin,, Chinese vertical bamboo flute, Chinese Opera with father since small. He graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in Chinese Opera, majoring in opera accompaniment. He has worked as a musician, toujia and music designer in various theatrical troupes. In 2012, he established “The Gong Strikes One" and actively created a Namyaam rapping to reconstruct and reproduce the opera works.

Lee King Chi, graduated from the Music of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majoring in zither; then studied for a master's degree in philosophy at the Music Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. From 2014 to 2017, he coordinated the Interpreting Early Cantonese Music Lecture Series for The Chinese Opera Information Centre, and hosted a number of singers and musicians to perform the early Chinese opera.

Nero Lee studied at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Master of Music (double majoring in Erhu and Gaohu), is a local active Huqin performer and Chinese music conductor. He has studied different kinds of Huqin with Peng Ruisheng, Huo Shijie, Yu Qiwei, Chen Yaoxing and Huang Anyuan, also studied command skills with He Wenchuan, and went to Beijing to study erhu. In 2017, he was invited to be a musician of The Gong Strikes One, playing bamboo violin, coconut hu, Qinqin and other musical instruments. So far, he has participated in the opera and Naamyam performances like ‘I, Wu Song’ . He is now a freelance musician with a combination of modern and traditional techniques. He is good at traditional Chinese music, pop music and adaptations, and is active in different types of art activities.

Art After Hours is an event series presented by Tai Kwun Contemporary that will talk with you, sing with you, and strive to always show you something new. Usually taking place every Friday at 7pm, Art After Hours welcomes all visitors to experience contemporary art in Hong Kong live. Artists, writers, public intellectuals, and curators are invited to engage in talks, performances, and screenings.