Be a Hong Kong Patriot, Part 1, Love Takes the Victoria Peak


Love Takes the Victoria Peak was the first of the Be a Hong Kong Patriot series. The title of the artwork in Chinese modeled upon the revolutionary propaganda operas, 樣板戲, in the cultural revolution in the communist China. The original opera was the Taking of the Tiger Mountain, 智取威虎山 (1958).

After the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, we experienced one of the severe economic recessions. The government encouraged the Hong Kong people to consume locally and also invest in the stock market in order to demonstrate their patriotic love towards the nation. And from the daily media portrayal, the senior government officials in Hong Kong could shed into tears whenever they were watching the Chinese national flag raising together with the national anthem. Nevertheless, it was just a couple of months that they were watching the British national flags and the God Save the Queen anthem. I wonder how they could develop such intense emotion in just a few months. Were they faking?

The artwork was shown in Para-Site (Hong Kong) in 2002. It was one of my first Internet installation works. In the venue, there was a vibrating dildo hanging from the ceiling. A national flag of China was also attached to the dildo. The motion of the vibrating dildo was controlled by a micro-controller connected to the public Internet. The artwork retrieved real time stock information (Hang Seng Index) from the Internet. The higher the increase of the stock index would trigger larger movement of the dildo and thus greater waving action of the Chinese national flag. The falling stocking index and the closure of the market would keep the dildo standing still.