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Howie Tsui, Retainers of Anarchy, interactive installation, Vancouver Art Gallery


Michael Brendan Baker interviews Vancouver-based artist Howie Tsui. His latest work, Retainers of Anarchy, is a multidisciplinary project — including paperworks, sculpture, built structures, animation, and video — organized around a large-format video projection and an interactive installation component to be exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery in spring 2017. It will be Tsui’s first solo museum exhibition and, in terms of its scope, the largest work he has yet produced. The project is a response to a video project commissioned by the Chinese government for the 2010 World Expo that depicts a Song Dynasty festival in a manner that is arguably inauthentic and certainly problematic in terms of its depiction of a cohesive body politic. Retainers of Anarchy will use the wuxia genre of martial arts fiction and fantasy, and the real world setting of the Kowloon Walled City, to examine turmoil, dissent, resistance, and community while exploring Tsui’s own relationship with Chinese popular culture and his experience of the dynamic links between mainland China and Hong Kong.


Reprinted with permission of the publisher


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences


School of Humanities and Creativity




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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Baker, M. (2015). Retainers of anarchy: In conversation with Howie Tsui. NoMorePotlucks, 42. Retrieved from

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