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Dominic Thorpe

first performed on April 12, 2014
Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Hong Kong, China
performed once in 2014


Boston, MA


I generally create long durational performances, but for the Festival of Performance Art in Hong Kong I was asked to make a 30 minute performance. The festival was the culmination of the week long Performance Art Laboratory Project that included 25 international artists.

In keeping with my practice, I didn’t arrive in Hong Kong with a plan for what I would do. Instead I intended to create a performance in response to the site. Throughout the week we had been meeting in a converted factory building, home to a number of art related businesses and studios, so I had several days to consider the different locations that were possible to use for my performance. The place that intrigued me the most (and that I chose to use for my performance) was on the eighth floor with a space open to the sky and a covered area at one side. The floor was made of cement squares, outlined in vibrant green grass.

My initial visit to the space was in the pouring rain, but then the weather cleared and I began to consider it differently. The light of the space was nearly blinding when the sun shone on the white painted walls and I was struck by the shadows cast by the structural elements of the space.

I discovered that if I set my chair on a certain square in the space I would be fully lit in bright sunlight at 2 pm before a shadow would move from my toes, rise up my legs, up my body and pass over my head so that I was completely covered in darkness by exactly 2:30 pm.

The audience entered at 2 pm, sitting under the covered area, looking at me sitting in a chair in the glaring light, waiting for the performance to begin. In time they noticed that the performance had, in fact, already started.

With the tips of my fingers I traced the line of darkness that slowly moved up my body.

The sun performed.

At 2:30 pm, when I was fully engulfed in the shadow, I left.