Touch Me, Touch Me Not

1:00 pm
Grand Stair

Glove (The Pleasure of The Glove)

Ellen Pau
3 min

Fly, Fly

Jiang Zhi
5 min

Measures of Distance

Mona Hatoum
16 min

Cut Piece

Yoko Ono
9 min

Exergie - Butter Dance

Melati Suryodarmo
6 min


Xu Zhen
3 min


Nalini Malani
1 min


Patty Chang
5 min


Ellen Pau
7 min

The nine films brought together in this programme focus on the body as a site of desire, violence, and emancipation. Its physicality on screen is rendered palpable through solitary performances in the private and public realm which are challenged by intrusive external forces, including the voyeuristic gaze of the viewer, that question agency and autonomy in the face of society. The body that we own and govern exists in a constant field of tension between intimacy and estrangement, proximity and distance, external and self-perception.

Ellen Pau’s Glove (The Pleasure of the Glove) offers an impressionistic interpretation of touch through the mysterious presence of a surgical glove. In Jiang Zhi’s Fly Fly a hand flies through the interior of a cramped apartment suggesting that freedom can be achieved through imagination and the transgression of physical reality. Mona Hatoum’s Measures of Distance ponders on the effect of distance through the reading of an epistolary exchange between a mother and daughter. Yoko Ono’s legendary Cut Piece shows the artist sitting on a stage with men cutting pieces from her clothes, slowly unveiling her fragile yet resilient and confident naked body. Melati Suryodarmo’s Butter Dance powerfully depicts resilience through the artist's dance on a piece of butter, falling and rising, persistently pursuing her performance. In Xu Zhen’s Rainbow we witness the violent slapping of a naked torso solely evoked through sound and an increasing accumulation of welts. Nalini Malani’s Penelope pays homage to the Greek queen’s cyclical weaving ruse by animating multi-limbed creatures and eyes projected on her that she fends off. Fountain alludes to the Greek mythological figure of Narcissus, depicting artist Patty Chang performing in front of a mirror to reflect on female self-representation and -perception. Ellen Pau’s Blue depicts video-processed images of wars and a woman dancing in front of her own shadow to evoke emotional trauma throughout history.

Glove (The Pleasure of The Glove) | Ellen Pau. Glove (The Pleasure of The Glove), 1985. Photo: Courtesy of Videotage © Ellen Pau

Fly, Fly | Jiang Zhi. Fly, Fly, 1997. Single-channel digital video (colour, black and white, sound), duration: 5 min. 17 sec.. M+, Hong Kong. © Jiang Zhi.

Cut Piece | Yoko Ono. Cut Piece, 1964, filmed March 21, 1965. Performed by Yoko Ono in New Works of Yoko Ono, Carnegie Recital Hall, New York. Film by David and Albert Maysles. Film, 16mm, black and white, and sound (stereo). 8 min, 27 sec.. © Yoko Ono

Exergie - Butter Dance | Melati Suryodarmo. Exergie - Butter Dance, 2000. single-channel digital video (colour, sound), duration: 6 min. 29 sec.. M+, Hong Kong.

Rainbow | Xu Zhen. Rainbow, 1998. Single-channel digital video (colour, sound), duration: 3 min. 13 sec.. M+, Hong Kong. © Xu Zhen.

Penelope | Nalini Malani. Penelope, 2012. Single-channel digital video (colour), duration: 1 min. 7 sec.. M+, Hong Kong. © Nalini Malani.

Fountain | Patty Chang. Fountain, 1999. Single-channel digital video (colour, sound), duration: 5 min. 30 sec.. M+, Hong Kong. © Patty Chang.

Blue | Fion Ng Yin Chun. Geu Nui Gei, 1997. Photo: Courtesy of Videotage © Ellen Pau