Sounds Like Print

Sounds Like Print | Serene Hui: Siren

Sounds Like Print

Sounds Like Print | Serene Hui: Siren

Tacit Listening: On deafness and muteness

Tai Kwun Conversations: Sound Imprints

Date & Time

19 Nov 2023 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Close on Mondays


Artists' Book Library


Free of charge


Siren is an installation and performance by Hong Kong and the Netherlands-based artist Serene Hui. Initially conceived for Scold, Gossip and Siren (2022), it is her most recent work for Tai Kwun Contemporary following her inclusion in trust & confusion. Here Hui concentrates on the last section of her larger multidisciplinary trilogy for a display (27.09 - 26.11.2023) in the Artists’ Book Library. This includes five publications printed as “blueprints” to mimic standard musical scores. Presented on music stands that serve as pedestals, Hui further overlays parts of the scores with plexiglass sheets. These are inlaid with a multitude of references, from Roman minuscule characters to the abstract images found within the 15th century Voynich Manuscript. Often considered to contain either “scientific” or “magical” text, the absence of legibility, unlike many other languages, instead conjures a visual imaginary through the act of “reading”.

In fact, Hui’s references go further, tapping history’s songbook for obscure modes of speech, such as speaking through oracularism (divine inspiration), xenoglossia (foreign languages), and glossolalia (unknown languages) as source material. Hui also gives voice to “siren calls” through the ages by inviting flautist Isaac So to perform her now complete set of songbooks (19 November), thus enabling previously unidentified, unconventional, or unrecognisable sounds and languages to coalesce, converse, and communicate in new ways for audiences.

Curated by Ingrid Pui Yee Chu and Dr Edward Sanderson, and co-organised with Daniel Szehin Ho.

Photo: Serene Hui

#SoundsLikePrint #SereneHui #Siren #ArtistsBookLibrary

Special thanks to flautists Izaskun Erdocia and Isaac So, and Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong.

Artist Bio

Serene Hui

Serene Hui (b. 1992) is an artist working between Hong Kong and the Netherlands. Her research-focused, multidisciplinary approach engages primarily with installation, audio and live art, printmaking, and text. Hui's approach, involving the exploration of her own context, uses the geographical distance from personal lived experiences to investigate the wider socio-political impact of how meaning is made, and who has access to making it. Currently invested in the ways epistemological colonialism affects social structures, languages, psychology, and its potential susceptibility for manipulation, Hui addresses obscurity and nuances to be found in displacement – meaning to transform social conventions, normative ignorance, and language ambiguity while critically reflecting on contemporary systems in her work.

Serene Hui's works have been included at TENT, the Netherlands; Research Academy, Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich; and in Hong Kong at Para Site and Tai Kwun Contemporary. She has participated in residences at MMCA Seoul, South Korea and Nida Art Colony, Lithuania, among others.