The world's first Guzheng X Electronic Music X Black and White Landscape Analog Photography X Multimedia Visual Art Work

In merging guzheng music and black-and-white landscape prints from film photography, multimedia methodology accords a new lease of life to old objects. This showcases the Oriental ideas of returning to nature, dynamic flow, leaving room for imagination (such as the Chinese art technique of liubai, or ‘leaving patches untouched by colour’), a vision that crosses time and space, and the artists’ insistence in adhering to traditional skills, heritage, the innovative spirit and development. Interview session is conducted in mandarin.

Artistic Director / Producer / Composer / Guzheng: Wan Xing
Black-and-White Analog Photography: Qiu Yangzi

Host: Hong Kong Cultural Presentations Section (Leisure and Cultural Services Department)

In 2024, Soundscape is also performed in the solo concert by Wan Xing in Hong Kong City hall.

世界首部 古箏 X 電子音樂 X 黑白山水菲林攝影 X 多媒體視覺藝術 作品

上下四方曰宇,古往今來為宙,身處當下,又有何憂?音樂家萬幸打破傳統的五聲音階,設計了一個新的音階,用古箏和電子音樂譜為聲影墨色的譜寫了原創的音樂。 通過箏樂與黑白山水菲林攝影照片的融合,以多媒體的方式讓舊物呈現出新的生命力,展現東方文化返璞歸真、氣韻生動、簡約留白、源遠流長的意境,以及藝術家對傳統技藝的堅持、傳承、創新和發展。


藝術總監/策劃/作曲(電子音樂、古箏) / 演奏: 萬幸
攝影 / 航拍:張浩正

2024 年1月,聲影墨色也在香港大會堂音樂家萬幸的個人同名音樂會上成功演出。

Soundscape Creation Process Sharing

Wan Xing (W): Yangzi, good afternoon.

Qiu Yangzi (Q): Teacher, good afternoon.

W: I am very glad, Soundscape this original artwork is our first co-operation. Also, it is the first time we combined Gu Zheng and Black and White Analog Photography to create an audio-visual artwork.
As I know, this type of multimedia artwork is quite innovative in Hong Kong, London, and other parts of the world. It could be treated as pioneering, and as a premiere. I remember when you shared these black and white photos with me, their vividness and vitality, simplicity and emptiness, relationship between cloud and stone fulfilled with spirituality has touched my heart. It is precisely the simplicity of black and white images that gave me more room for imagination and creative inspiration. I would like to ask you, regarding these black and white photos, what is the source of your creative inspiration?

Q: Thank you, teacher. When I created the series, it was mainly to express my feeling for nature. The ever-changing clouds and eternally immutable stones, they seem different yet interconverted with each other. In fact, they are one, they all start from one. I wish to create a scene not only for watching but also for living, for traveling, a scene of pure land in my heart. I would like to ask you, what was your creative process when you composed this piece of music?

W: These photos lead me to adopting electronic music for the creation of a cosmic and surreal space. In this space, Gu Zheng is like mountain and water, cloud and stone. Sometimes it is also light and shadow, sometimes it is a sentient being, (sometimes) it is life. For me, a (sentient) being is like a tiny speck of dust in the vast universe. When setting the tuning of the composition, I specifically broke the traditional pentatonic scale and designed a new scale. I thought this kind of timbre and mood would be more vivid and the performance would come from the heart to bring out the feeling of this moment and become a musical piece full of imagination and vitality. I wanted the music to be integrated with photos, nature and the universe as a whole. As we know, now it is the era of digital dominance, so why would you choose black and white analog photography as a creative medium?

Q: When I compare analog and digital photography, the technique I am currently using (8 by 10 large-format photography from the 19th century) produces a better result compared to digital photography, in my opinion. It helps me to enlarge the final outputs to a larger scale in the darkroom. It could reach over one meter in width. At the same time, the creative process is more like a meditative progress. The exposure setting, focus adjustment, darkroom enlargement and printing, the whole process makes the result unpredictable until the very last moment. Whenever I meet the final output, it is like a unique encounter, it is also a meditative practice through a creative process. Black and white images allow viewers to fill in colours in their mind when they see them. For my understand, it is closer to the feeling of reality.

W: It is a very good experience and (a pleasant) creative process. Gu Zheng and analog photography technique, they are both tools from the past. We combine innovative art concepts and surreal ideas, or even unique artistic perspectives, we create artworks by adopting the musical instruments and photography techniques from the past. And then they are presented through multimedia. What they express is the feeling of the current moment, which could also be regarded as a type of contemporary art. Such creative process indeed combines a process of heritage, innovation and development. I hope this original audio-visual artwork could bring a refreshing feeling to the audience. Thank you, Yangzi.

Q: Yes, thank you everyone.