Alongside the exhibition HOPE—Patricia Piccinini, Tai Kwun Contemporary will be presenting Patricia Piccinini’s Choice, with films selected by the artist Patricia Piccinini. Having inspired her artistic practice, the chosen films resonate with her creative thinking and approach. The audience will therefore be offered interesting insights into the artist's vision.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
27 June 7:30 pm–9:30pm
Director: Jim Sharman
UK and US | 1975 | 100 min | Colour | English｜IIB
A cult-defining classic filled with camp, wit, and eroticism—a young couple falls prey to a transvestite scientist in an eerie mansion, forced to join in on a party with a houseful of quirky characters. With exaggerated costumes, elaborated dances and rock songs, the production offers a twist and tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies from the 1930s—including Frankenstein—but here the scientist created a muscular man “Rocky” to fulfill his desire of perfection.
Behind its musical comedy/horror form, the film celebrates the differences of life. The homosexual subtext in the grotesque characters was ahead of its time—a decade when conservative fear of homosexuality prevailed—in representing queer characters, and more broadly, in delivering a message of self-liberation and showing one’s own originality. Echoing the recurring theme of celebrating all forms of life and different kinds of beauty in Patricia Piccinini's work, this transgressive film calls for the acceptance of the unusual and the distinctive.
28 July 7:30 pm–9:00pm
Director: James Whale
US | 1931 | 70 min | B&W | English｜IIA
Terrifying with its striking visuals, this iconic science fiction horror, adapted from a classic literary work, follows an obsessed scientist who attempted to create living beings by assembling body parts of corpses. Eventually he succeeds in bringing the “Monster” to life—yet being maltreated and cast off because of his differences, the “Monster” turns towards savagery, with tragic results.
While the film touches upon the theme of “creation”, Patricia Piccinini reflects on the film through issues of care and responsibility: was Frankenstein “really a bad parent”? What is the responsibility of parents to their offspring? Injecting a strong sense of empathy, the artist even upends the original narrative of the “Monster” by creating an “anti-Frankenstein story” in The Couple (2018) – the offspring finds romantic love and a comfortable home after escaping from the laboratory. In the work, the artist establishes a world where monstrous creatures are being cared and nurtured, as in her long-standing oeuvre.
16 August 7:30 pm–9:15pm
Director: David Cronenberg
U.S. | 1986 | 96 min | Colour | English｜III
Accidentally fusing himself with a housefly during an experiment involving a technological breakthrough in teleportation, the scientist gradually transforms into a human/fly hybrid, and then a grotesque monster. As a metaphor for disease and as a tragic love story, this signature remake of body horror, with intense shock sequences by David Cronenberg, hints at the disastrous consequences of scientific hubris.
The human animal hybrid in the film reminds one of Patricia Piccinini's creatures—though not as lovable as hers, but rather more horrific, on both physical and psychological levels. Similarly, in exploring bodily mutations and humanity’s rash impulses with regards to scientific and technological developments, the film, like Piccinini's work, unveils the emotional dimensions of rational narratives.
Venue: JC Cube
* This will be an open seating event. The films have not been classified yet. If they are subsequently classified as Category III film, audience must be aged 18 or above.