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Jonny Ng

Flood/echoes

A response to Kinly Grey’s echoes (2021) by Jonny Ng with references to music by Franz Schubert and improvisation from Camerata players.

Flood/echoes by Jonny Ng from Camerata’s City in the Sun, performed at Museum of Brisbane. Musicians: Alice Buckingham, Anna Colville, Brendan Joyce, Elias Kokkoris, Helena Wang, Jason Tong, Jonny Ng and Katherine Philp. Filmed by Vanessa van Dalsen. Audio by Luke Woollett.

About Jonny’s piece

“Some of the thought-provoking themes explored in the exhibition City in the Sun only came to light after having the privilege of being able to spend a decent amount of time experiencing the different artworks on display. At first glance, there’s dazzling colours, magnificent textures, a definite feeling of optimism and auspiciousness. But if you scratch the surface, just underneath the façade of a sunshine-filled, subtropical paradise of pineapples, palm trees, lobster and “a good orchestra” that was adopted by Brisbane at the time, you will find a complex identity and at times a very questionable and uncomfortable history.

I was drawn to Kinly Grey’s work echoes because at first glance it’s such a fun and interactive work and coming from a science background myself, the use of Schlieren imaging, which allows you to see the heat that emanates from your skin, was instantly appealing. Kinly says about their artwork, “I’d like you to consider, in a more poetic sense, how you might be ‘touching’ the world around you. How your being might emanate from you, in ways you perhaps underestimate.” echoes is an individual experience of light, heat and humidity that looks beyond the one-dimensional depiction of sunlight often used to represent Brisbane and this made me think about the absolute contradiction of this – the devastating 2011 floods and our perhaps unknowing impact we have on our environment. This led me to the Wasserflut or Flood movement of Schubert’s Wintereisse or Winter Journey, a typical example of lieder, a 200-year-old European tradition of setting poetry to music. My musical response to Kinly’s artwork includes a video I’ve created to try and capture the interactive nature of Kinly’s work and to express my feelings about this exhibition.”

– Jonny Ng

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