Central to this installation are photographs enlarged from polaroids, which depict blind ‘musicians’ busking on the streets of Hong Kong. The work investigates ideas of performance and posing, ritual and reality, drawing comparisons between the activity of the blind buskers and the role of the artist. It posits the question of whether the buskers are truly unable to see and are forced to make their living on the streets, or whether their pavement set-up might actually be an act of habit, a performance to an unseen audience. The artist, through the act of photographing them, becomes part of the Buskers’ private mise en scene.
Hiram To was Born in Hong Kong in 1964. He studies in Aberdeen, Scotland and since 1986 has lived in Brisbane, Australia where his work is becoming widely known. High Performance is a new work which was especially commissioned by Sunil Gupta for OVA/INIVA.
The INIVA franchise is funded by the Arts Council of Great Britain. Additional support for this installation has been received from the Australia Council and Visiting Arts.