Solitude Cinema - CODAworx

Solitude Cinema

Submitted by Kwan Ng


Location: Hong Kong, China

Completion date: 2018

Project Team


Ng Tsz Kwan


Linda Lai

Fabrication, Installation



Science fiction turned reality…
Big seductive smiles, streamlined bodies, hybrid creatures, flickering display screens of all sizes staring at us like celestial bodies, the lure of consumption, 360-degree surveillance, ceaseless flow of intimate exchange… Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner back in 1982 is surely not an exaggeration to the contemporary persons.

The ubiquitous presence of moving images in our daily surroundings is nothing new to us. As small as the digital display on a wrist watch or as big as the LED walls on the façades of a building, images cum media contents scream at us in every corner of our public space, and that includes buses, taxis, MTR trains, lifts and escalators… Surfing and browsing on our laptops or mobile phones is a seamless activity: messages in and out, movies streamed by Netflix, a favorite news program and more, all alternating or simultaneous on a single device unit.

What we see is how we see: screen mediation, tool innovation
Not long ago, screen size options were limited to 4:3 or 21:9 aspect ratio, that is, the TV we watch at home or movies in the cinema. Display formats and viewing situations were more or less predictable – on a couch by the TV was routine, and alternatively in a comfortable seat in a pitch-dark cinema with a silver screen.


Dynamic emotions, a rollercoaster ride...
Visitors will “journey” through a passage of dramatic fragments. What we normally called “editing” is irrelevant. In my work, shots used are “found” from multiple existing films rather than shot. The temporal ordering of shots, though preserving the linearity of a passage, highlights in fact the holding up of finer units of a shot on specific surfaces. How does such a design affect the visitors’ sensory experience? How does it change their perception of the individual images, which are supposed to be familiar material drawn from popular cinema? How does the mobile viewing journey enacted by my customized display machine synchronize with our senses? Will such synthesis surprise us beyond the sum of its parts?

In a 7-stop journey, visitors experience the ebb and flow of emotions, extracted from scenes of popular Cantonese cinema in the 1960s, as they impress visitors through contrastive display devices, from 5” LCD screens to 10m x 3m wall projection. The seven stops are: (1) Intimacy & Suspense, (2) Holo Shot, (3) Repulsion & Expectancy, (4) Sequential & Repetitive, (5) Double-crossing, (6) Portraits, and (7) Ending that Never Ends.


Re-purposing: from goal-driven communication to free discovery
For 18 years, Ng has been designing multimedia display for the commercial sector, whereby controlling audience and display relation is his routine. In this exhibition, he turns his skills and experiences to the context of artistic exploration via unusual storytelling. When freed from commercial objectives, how would he transform “experience design” into a critical enquiry? Would the visitors be able to own the experience for themselves? Would they be able to invent new meanings out of ordinary melodramatic textures?

Additional Information

[TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION] The major component of this artwork is an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV), the AGV magnetic guide trail, RF remote control, projection screen, projector, video player and sound system. One Operator will be needed. | [Specification of the AGV] Dimension – 950mm(Height) x 900mm(Length) x 650mm(Width) | Material – Metal, electronic parts, magnet, a remote controller | Weight – 60kg | [Specification of the AGV magnetic guide trail] Dimension – 30mm(Width), 3mm(Thick), Length of the guided trail varies according to the exhibition venue | Material – Magnetic tape (for guiding the AGV), die-cut sticker (to put over the magnetic tape as the cover on the floor, also for holding the shape of the trail.) | Weight – Approximately 2-5kg (Varies according to the length of the guided trail) | [Video could be shown in different sizes and different formats. E.g. Projection on screen or monitor. Depends on the venue size and condition, could show in 2 channels to 8 channels video.] | [Specification of projection screens (depends on actual condition)] ~4x2.8M | [Specification of projectors] 4000-7000 lumens, WXGA - Full HD | [Specification of media player] Full HD with GPIO