Just as we spend much time looking at information through a smartphone daily without looking at the appearance and construction of the smartphone itself – we speak Cantonese and read words in Traditional Chinese characters every day in Hong Kong without spending much time to learn and to take a closer look at the language and the characters.
What if we look at a Chinese character as just a character, and listen to the pronunciation of a word as just a sound? What if symbols are completely disconnected from the usual way we form words into comprehensible sentences?
Unlearn / Relearn\ challenges us to step back and detach from our entrenched understanding of how language works by deconstructing the very structure of language, and presenting an alternative way to experience rebuilding words with sound.
Vanissa Law is a composer who is passionate about interdisciplinary art practices. Her wide-ranging artistic output covers the traditional acoustic compositions for instruments and voice, experimental interactive electroacoustic works to creative multimedia theatre collaborations.
Classically trained in her early years, Law steered her focus towards electroacoustic music composition whilst studying for her Master’s degree at Ball State University in the United States. Her doctoral research was on the use of gestures in electroacoustic music – inspired by gestures used by musicians and non-musicians alike, which she incorporated into her work by translating gestures into sounds and images. In 2014, she was granted the Fulbright Research Scholar Award to conduct a 10-month research at the Louisiana Digital Media Centre, which culminated in the Soft Instruments Project featuring electronic music interface custom-made for people with developmental disabilities to make music more safely.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Law has lectured on music technology, interdisciplinary design and music composition. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Queen’s University Belfast working on a sound art performance project funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.