Mak, Hoi-san Anson

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links   Bibliography

 Mak, Hoi-san Anson – Critical Biography  Top

Anson Mak

Dr. Anson Hoi Shan MAK is a moving image and sound artist. She
currently works as Associate Professor in Academy of Visual Arts in
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong. Besides single channel
film/video, she also does phonography sound art and web-based
projects. She is especially interested in experimental ethnography and super 8 film.Recently, she is interested in research-creative works, bridging conventional researches methods and creative art works in the field of visual ethnography.Her film/video works are shown in various festivals e.g. Hong Kong International Film Festival, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Vancouver International Film Festival, Digital Cinema Seoul, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, South Film Festivals, Barcelona Independent Film Festival, The Los Angeles Asian
Pacific Film Festival, and International Documentary Film Festival
Amsterdam etc.  Her works are also included in shows at galleries,
M+’s moving image shows, 1a Space, ParaSite, Videotage, Taipei MOCA,
FACT Liverpool, Whitechapel Gallery London, CAFA Art Museum Beijing,
RockBund Art Museum Shanghai, Hanina Contemporary Art Israel, etc.

On The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing (2009)
On The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing (2009)

Music and sounds have been an integral component of Mak’s creative work from the very beginning. In the 1990s, Mak was a member of the indie pop band AMK (Adam Met Karl), and her output in various media reflects her personal fascination with music, sounds, and their combination with images. She began making experimental video shorts on Hi8, VHS, and Beta in the 1990s (a detailed filmography is available at Mak’s personal website) before switching over to DV in 2001. In the 2000s, however, Mak became increasingly interested in the textures afforded by the Super 8 format, and would often alternate or intercut between Super 8 and DV footage in her experimental work. In recent years, Mak has turned to field recording and phonography as a source of inspiration for her work. The documentation of sounds is another component to her creative endeavors.

One Way Street On A Turntable (2007)
One Way Street On A Turntable (2007)

To date, Mak has made two feature-length documentaries. One Way Street on a Turntable (2007) is an experimental essay film or assemblage that combines found archival footage, Super 8 mm material, as well as DV footage and field recordings into a multifaceted audiovisual portrait of Hong Kong. It is edited in such a way as to allow viewers to explore different “chapters” of the film in their own preferred order. The film also proposes looking at the territory from the insider/outsider perspectives of two women, respectively from Hong Kong and Mainland China. Mak’s more recent work, On the Edge of a Floating City, We Sing (2012), is likewise an experimental and heterogeneously textured documentary that looks at a number of musicians from Hong Kong’s independent music scene, exploring the roots that bind them to the territory’s society, politics, and cityscape. The film focuses in particular on artists from the groups my little airport, The Pancakes, and mininoise.

Filmography   Top

Feature Films:

Title (English)
Title (Chinese)
DirectorFrom The Factories我們來自工廈2015
DirectorWho is Afraid of Ghost?!邊個驚鬼?!2009
DirectorOne-Way Street On A Turntable唱盤上的單行道2007
Co-directed with Joanne Poon, Mirana May Szeto, Maryann King and Ellen Yuen
Din Gei Ham Lan顛雞喊欄1996
DirectorLook! Documentary…玩玩紀錄片1993


Title (English)
Title (Chinese)
DirectorOn The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing在浮城的角落唱首歌2012
DirectorA Wishing Well Under The Not A Big Blue Sky不是大藍天下的願望井2005
DirectorMoving/By Not Moving佇著良久… …2004
DirectorDo We Still Need An Incinerator?我們還需要焚化爐嗎?2001
Invisible Bodies (And So The Cities)看不見的身體 (所以及其城市)2001
DirectorDifferences Do Matter大不同1998
DirectorCelebration in the Time of Bitter Songs (Movement Version)節慶九七之勁歌甘曲(運動版)1997
DirectorCelebration in the Time of Bitter Songs (Music Version)節慶九七之勁歌甘曲 (音樂版)1997
DirectorMusic Video IV: women.subjectivity@body.politics音樂錄像IV: 四眼大傻妹1996
DirectorButterfly Lovers (New Version)新祝梁傳之流紅會1995
DirectorMusic Video III: Ding Tong (Aids Virus)音樂錄像III: 叮噹您之看見病毒看見您1995
DirectorMusic Video II: Step On It Through the Strom音樂錄像II: 風雨中驅車奔馳1993
DirectorMusic Video I: Sexual Politics Of Meat音樂錄像I: 肉的性別政治1992
DirectorTwo Or Three Things I Know About Them我略知道關於她們的二三事1991

Reviews   Top

On The Edge Of A Floating City, We Sing (2009) Reviews:

Douban – Dorothy (In Chinese):
Headline (In Chinese):
One Band One Day (In Chinese):
Personal blog – Kenny (In Chinese): 
Personal blog – Vapin (In Chinese):

One-Way Street On A Turntable (2007) Reviews:

Cinephilia (In Chinese):


Ming Pao (In Chinese):

Links   Top

Website of Anson Mak:

Website of From The Factories

Bibliography   Top

  1. Cheung, Esther M. K. “Authenticity and Independence: Fruit Chan and Independent Filmmaking.” Cheung, Esther M. K. Fruit Chan’s Made in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2008. 21-38.
  2. Coleman, Edmond J and Wah-shan Chou . “Tongzhi Identity Politics As Queering the Mainstream.” Coleman, Edmond J and Wah-shan Chou. Tongzhi: Politics of Same-sex Eroticism in Chinese Societies. Oxon: Routledge, 2013. 283-300.
  3. Flanagan, Tricia. “Hong: Cultural Transformation of the Public Space.” Reading Hong Kong, Reading Ourselves. Ed. Janel Curry and Paul Hanstedt. Hong Kong: City University of HK Press, 2014. 66-89.
  4. Grace, Helen. “Spectral Monumentality and the Face of Time: Virtuality, Distortions of Scale and Asynchony in Post-colonial Hong Kong.” Grace, Helen. Culture, Aesthetics and Affect in Ubiquitous Media: The Prosaic Image. Oxon: Routledge, 2014. 27-43.
  5. Leung, Helen Hok-sze. “Archiving Queer Feeling in Hong Kong.” The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. Ed. Donald E. Hall and Annamarie Jagose. Oxon: Routledge, n.d. 398-411.
  6. Mak, Anson, MaryAnn King. “Hong Kong Tong Zhi Movement: Through the Eyes of Queer Sisters” in Rose Wu (ed.), Hong Kong Social Movement: Forces From the Margins, Hong Kong: Hong Kong Women Christian Council, 1997.
  7. Mak, Anson, Ken Hui, Joanne Poon and Mary Ann King. “County report on Hong Kong”, in Rachel Rosenbloom (ed.), Unspoken Rules, Sexual Orientation and Women’s Human Rights, San Francisco: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, 1995.
  8. Reynaud, Berenice . “New Visions/New Chinas: Video – Art, Documentation, and the Chinese Modernity in Question.” Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices. Ed. Michael Renov and Erika Suderburg. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. 229-257.
  9. Tang, Denise Tse-shang. “Political Space.” Tang, Denise Tse-shang. Conditional Spaces: Hong Kong Lesbian Desires and Everyday Life. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011. 98-112.
  10. Wu, Rose. “A Story of Its Own Name: Hong Kong’s Tongzhi Culture.” Other Voices, Other Worlds: The Global Church Speaks Out on Homosexuality. Ed. Terry Brown. New York: Church Publishing, 2006. 40-57.