Silent Music Plane 1967
Chi Wo Leung / Hong Kong
City University of Hong Kong
In this installation, a paper plane was made of the magazine cover of LIFE (June 2, 1967), which ran a story of the escape of famous Chinese musician Ma Sitson from China. It flies on strings at variable speeds synced with the tempo and level of two songs: Long Life Chairman Mao (1966), and Yesterday (1965). But the playback music is barely heard by the audience.
In May 1967, a year after the nationwide Cultural Revolution took place in China, large-scale anti- colonialist riots broke out in Hong Kong. Lots of Chinese propaganda slogans and music were broadcasted from the loudspeakers at the Bank of China Building in Central, Hong Kong. It was loud and heard everywhere in Central. Then the Hong Kong government installed 6 large military speakers on the roof of the nearby Government Information Services office building, playing loudly the jazz and western pop music including The Beatles to counteract the propaganda. In the “Hong Kong Under the Gun” issue (July 31, 1967) of Newsweek magazine, there is a line in its cover story, “Many of the rich and the middle class have had their airline tickets bought and paid for months, or even years.”