小島靜舍外東灣的風景 View from Minim
Minim, a space in Peng Chau, is about 15 kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. The 300 square foot village flat has basic living facilities and faces towards Tung Wan. The space welcomes art administrators and artists to do things that they don’t otherwise have the time to do in their hectic schedules: meditation, reading, painting, workshops, creation, and dancing. It’s a comfortable space.
Away from the City
The idea of Minim began with Cheung Chi-wai who became aware of the needs of dancers and art administrators. “I would like them to get away from the city, and have a good balance between life and rest.” The photographer, who has worked on productions of difference scales, thinks Minim responds to ‘Fast Culture’ that causes people to lose autonomy and control of their lives."
小島靜舍的周邊環境 Drawing of Minim’s neighborhood
畫Comic: Fu Ka-wing, Funny
To give people a chance at getting away from the city’s commotion, the village retreat has very simple decoration and only essential furnishings, with the idea of inspiring people to purify their souls and enjoy the present. Cheung has made Minim a space with minimal constraints. He doesn’t impose limits on activities conducted there and booking procedures are simple. Artistic creation is welcomed. In the middle of the retreat is a bathtub, one of Minim’s most important and symbolic objects: “A container for inspiration and emotions.” Cheung says, “Immersing oneself in a bath is a time for relaxation and creative inspiration.” Once, someone used the bathtub for drama. Cheung has also used it as a setting for shooting a tattoo atlas. Over several years, Cheung has collected essays and writings from guests, excerpting stories to compile them into a database. These stories carry the emotions evoked during moments of peace, little details of life, and processes of creation. He thinks that the database allows him to understand what those in the art circle need now.
Minim’s main target are people from the art circle and Cheung’s friends. Because its size is limited, and he wants to preserve the island’s tranquillity, he doesn’t advertise Minim. Cheung sees it as his way to contribute to the art community, where he has worked tirelessly for so many years, “I photograph for art and theatre groups, and using part of the income to invest in this project allows me to give back to the people from the art circle whom I have worked with.” Sharing this open space at a bargain price, he is willing to offer discounts and accept instalment payments for those with financial constraints. “While the rent also helps Minim in its operation, he hopes that friends from the art community can receive help from it, and Minim will eventually develop an operational model that can flexibly utilize spaces and resources.”
郭嘉源的「身體的決定」接觸即興工作坊 Contact improvisation workshop by Kwok Ka-yuen
攝Photo: Cheung Chi-wai
Focus on the Now
The small and flexible Minim has attracted a lot of people. Sometimes it co-organizes events such as writing, photography, workshops relating to body and dance, and informal exchange gatherings. Kwok Ka-yuen is one of Minim’s regulars.
Two years ago, after checking in at the retreat, he discovered the ineffable charms of the place. Since then, he has held several contact improvisation workshops near Minim and the Peng Chau Municipal Services Building. The core of his workshop is the development of the body and the senses. At the beginning of September, Kwok Ka-yuen also held a workshop entitled "Let the Body Decide", because he felt that Minim provided a suitable environment for participants to listen to their own bodies: “This is a ‘half-open’ space, [where participants can] enjoy advantages of the safety of being indoors but also be close to the outdoors.” The waves and wind outside help the participants attain a state of serenity so the body can understand the mind.
He says contact improvisation is the process of pursuing the present, expressing and understanding the state of mind of the ‘now’. However, before having an insight into your own mental state, you must keep your body quiet and listen to its needs: “If you can't even sit still, you can't do it. I hope the workshop will allow participants to stop worrying. Getting them into the workshop is the best way to get them to focus on the present and put aside their worries for a moment.”
小島靜舍的細小而靈活吸引了不少人租用為工作坊場地，甚至與靜舍合辦活動，主題有關於身體和舞蹈的、寫作、攝影、輕鬆的交流聚會、瑜珈等等。The small and flexible Minim has attracted a lot of people. Sometimes it co-organizes events such as writing, photography, workshops relating to body and dance, and informal exchange gatherings.
圖片由張志偉提供 Photo provided by Cheung Chi-Wai
Minim provides a suitable environment for the workshop. Cheung noted that Kwok’s workshop was also exploring the possibility of a retreat. He said: “Minim’s space is not limited to its 300 square foot dimensions. Tung Wan, the nearby temple, and even the wet markets can also be Minim’s extended space.” Once, Kwok volunteered to clean up the religious site in exchange for permission to hold a workshop there. Since then, the people have been very welcoming and have let him use the open space in front of the temple.
Cheung has been listening, observing, and trying to find the "just right" operational mode, hoping that Minim can respond to the needs of his art circle colleagues and friends.
小島靜舍網站 Website of Minim: http://www.minim.hk