Graphic performance

What happens when you connect HKU first-year graphic design students with a theatre teacher and a set theme? Their art based research led to new ways of creating and storytelling. I’ve asked them about their experiences as designers and performers.

Do you ever go to a party, but you don’t really want to because they will find you weird… Ella, Lea, Indy, Vera, Maria, Nikki and Keanu tell how the discomfort of a party eventually becomes a graphic performance.

‘We took a party as a starting point and the accompanying social pressure to participate. You present yourself with a mask to deal with peer pressure. The longer you hold on to a mask, the harder it gets until it stops. Because everyone should be happy at a party, you stay in your role as long as possible until it hurts.

You can see this peer pressure in the performance. You want to keep the mask on for as long as possible and you fight against yourself in silence. Depending on the situation, you always have a new mask. The performance is called Supraspinatus because these muscles keep the masks in the air with us until it stops. Our supervising teacher has given us tips but has also left them very free to work out the performance. ‘

“You want to tell people something and you use a combination of media. With performance, you are literally your work and you are pulled out of your comfort zone. Graphic Design is a much broader study than we initially thought. You will be introduced to many tools that you can use to tell your story. It is very autonomous and that is great. Open up, just act and you learn from each other through collaborations. ‘