= Reflection 感想 =

With no real understanding of the tension between “sound” and “writing”, I only sensed a vague connection between the two when I first learnt about this programme. Aside from the concept of onomatopoeia in Chinese language, and my favourite comics often represented the condition of sounds with words. Catherine led us to rethink the essence of “sound” at our first workshop. The mission of “writing sound” was, in fact, not as easy as one might imagine.

“Sound” is a kind of physical presence that does not carry “meaning” in itself; on the other hand, “writing” has a semiotic presence that exists to represent something else. “Listening” is a reception of acoustic waves, but our brains are too accustomed to sort words by sounds and neglect the meaning and the act of listening itself. One example is the sounds of birds. Every species, every bird, and every time it sings, can sound different. But have we ever tried to listen more carefully?

Chan Sai-lok’s workshop focused on the writing part. What cannot be represented by words (symbols) can only stay in human consciousness with difficulty. We explored different possibilities of using words as a form of symbolism – apart from the established representations, what other purposes could they serve?

I have really enjoyed this journey, this temporary getaway from the world of symbols. We returned to the existing facts and from there reconstructed the world of representations with “symbols”. Such a process allowed me to take a closer look at what is hidden in the world of representations.