Akeroyd Collection


Ellen Pau, Yau Ma Tei Massage Body Movies (油麻地拍身推拿), 2023

First shown at 480.0 Gender and Art Space as part of a group exhibition titled Cyber Lover/Hater, Yau Ma Tei Massage Body Movies reconfigures a lost Super-8 film of Pau’s from 1984, titled Body Movies. The original work contained roaming, close-up shots of a woman’s body, with the camera assuming the gaze of a masseur to explore the intrigue of the form, and the disconcerting scrutiny such a display demands. Drawing on 480.0 Gender and Art Space’s location in Yau Ma Tei, an area of Hong Kong known for its multitude of massage parlours, this new iteration uses AI to edit, process, and combine these close-up shots of the woman’s body into depictions of the neighbouring area, forming a critique of the gendered nature of technology itself and mirroring the scrutiny imposed on women’s body in today’s digital age. The spinning blades of the LED holographic fan the work is played through heighten this sense of confrontation and complicity in formal and affective ways. While such LED signage and visual infrastructures are ubiquitous in massage parlours, the kinetic nature of this display makes it hard to capture any secondary documentation of the piece. This safeguards the privacy and integrity of the female model, preventing any further dissemination on the internet or digital media.

MediumLED motion video installation, 187 x 74 x 60 cms
Duration184 x 74 x 60 cm, 3 minutes 12 seconds