Steps of Yu

Cello, voice, and movement collide in this intriguing installation-concert about the Great Flood in ancient China.

 

edition 2024
Steps of Yu
May 4 — 2:00pm
May 4 — 3:30pm
Free - OBORO

Description

Fili 周 Gibbons (we/they) is the 2024 artist-in-residence for Interval, a short-term artist residency program in digital media set up by OBORO artist-run center and Festival Accès Asie, creative partners since 1999. In an approach inspired by incubators, the public will be able to experience the work Steps of Yu and meet the artist at  OBORO New Media Laboratory. May 4, from 2pm to 5 pm (performances of 50 mn at 2pm and 3:30pm). 

Steps of Yu is a sound tapestry and ritual performance based on the semi-mythological account of the “Great Flood” of Ancient China. The artist combines cello, voice, and body performance, in a quadraphonic installation.

Early Chinese historians described the Great Flood as an intense period of ecological catastrophes, displacements and famines dated to 2200 – 2300 BCE. Though this event predates Chinese nationhood, the representation “China” has always been a land defined by a maze of rivers and water. This geography later became associated to a 9-section grid known as the 洛書 luoshu, a symbolic representation of cosmological space and inner/outer worlds.

The Steps of Yu refers to a symbolic path walked through the luoshu by culture hero 大禹 “Great Yu” who was able to stem the flooding by promoting coordinated cooperation of early Chinese peoples. Drawing loosely on this narrative, Steps of Yu will offer a space for reflection on ancestry, cultural flux, and resilience through a woven sequence of soundscapes, field recordings, embodied performance, and music. Spoken commentary in French, English, and Mandarin.

“Like endless boiling water, the flood is pouring forth destruction. Boundless and overwhelming, it overtops hills and mountains” — 史記 Shiji

 

Crédit visual artist : Paloma Dawkins (animations and projections)

Biography

Fili Gibbons

Fili 周 Gibbons (we/they) are a musician and sound engineer of mixed Chinese and Canadian ancestry based in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal. Their artistic practice is a synthesis of cello performance, audio creation, embodiment, and traditional memory systems, and employs these as potencies for the expression of plural identities, and the transmission of cultural memory. Drawing from many years of practice in cello performance, improvisation and audio production, they frequently collaborate across genres with artists from Canada and abroad (Devon Bate, Paloma Dawkins, Yaya Diallo, Rajni Shah). Deepening their connection to sound further through recording studies (M. Mus, McGill University), they continue to explore audio practice through interdisciplinary collaborations, and community-oriented sound projects.

Partner

OBORO

Founded with the conviction that living transcultural artistic experiences contribute to the betterment of humankind, OBORO is an artist-run center that favors the development of art practices locally, nationally, and internationally. OBORO’s sphere of activity encompasses visual and media arts, performing arts, new technologies, and emerging practices.

OBORO’s more specific mandate is to support creation in various cultural practices; to encourage innovation, experimentation, the exchange of ideas, and the sharing of knowledge.

With

Fili 周 Gibbons

edition 2024
Steps of Yu
May 4 — 2:00pm
May 4 — 3:30pm
Free - OBORO
in collaboration