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- ＃Satan Smog is comin’to town
- ＃Places in the west turn orange
＃I am a human air detoxifier
＃Satan Smog is comin’ to town
- As alarming air quality triggers poignant comments in social media, artists from around of world are responding to climate change with their crafts. There is however always a question of whether the precarious issue is aestheticized, or whether art is serving as a form of green PR. The approach taken by Aria, a multi-arts production derived from a research of the Hong Kong Baptist University’s Augmented Creativity Laboratory, is to combine science and art to sensitize—we invite the audience to contemplate the facts of pollution with their senses.
- Artistic imagination transforms the Forsgate Conservatory into a multipart set for the promenade performance. In this refreshing urban sanctuary, which evokes the greenhouse effect and biospheres as our potential future realities, the audience meander through a forest of “night’s magical exchange,” a desertifying Anthropocene suffering from “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”, and a void of disappearance. Their guides are wafty dancers. In each scene, this ethereal song reverberates in whispers and gasps of the Hong Kong Children’s Choir, who sings their fellow choristers’ thoughts about air:
- Someday humans will listen to air
Air won’t smell of garbage but
Strawberry candy and flowers
- Sharing the same stage with the young singers, Theatre of Voices appears in holograms to take this song to stratospheric heights. Their words are blurred by a layer of static, with intensity varying accordingly to ten years of pollution data. In the final scene, the vocalists chant “the grey of Victoria Harbour” in a gush of fog, dissipating in front of the incessantly lit skyscrapers. There, air takes its time to urge the audience for a pause—to listen to, see and feel air in our immediate present.