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U Leave Me Breathless

Friday, September 7
8 PM
Sun-Yat-Sen Square
(at the corner of Clark St. and De La Gauchetière St.)

ARTIST
Grace An (Sunshinable)

CURATOR
Thy Anne Chu Quang

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Karaoke, meaning “empty orchestra,” originated in Japan. With the advent of the karaoke machine in 1971, the practice became widely democratized in the 1990s and spread across communities in Asia. Producing an experience that is both collective and intimate, impassioned voices are shared in enclosed spaces, in the form of karaoke rooms or family living rooms. On the evening of September 7, 2018, U Leave Me Breathless leaves these doors ajar, embedding karaoke within the public infrastructure¹ at Sun-Yat-Sen Square in Montreal’s Chinatown

U Leave Me Breathless (2018) is a digital installation introducing a downloaded 3D character inspired by the Vocaloid™ Hatsune Miku, developed by Crypton Future Media and Yamaha Corporation. Passersby enter a private box to sing their hearts out. Voices echoing in the square are accompanied by karaoke videos projected to the public, crafted by Grace An using found footage. Blue sky backgrounds with fluffy clouds recall classic karaoke tackiness. The 3D character dances in K-Pop style. She is the protagonist of all the videos, and the avatar of all anonymous singers.

An expands notions of community and anonymity in public spaces through her creative process. U Leave Me Breathless differs from her illustrated works released under the alias Sunshinable.³ An manipulates open-source digital characters and effects shared on forums and sites such as DeviantArt, which she orchestrates using free software and applications with the support of a team comprised of a programmer, translator, and friends.

Though some makers of materials asked not to be credited, An would like to acknowledge the many contributors of U Leave Me Breathless. In the 1970s, Daisuke Inoue left the karaoke machine unpatented, allowing for rapid commodification. Today, the labour of online communities creates products with many layers that belong to none and everyone.

Karaoke creates a performance space accessible to anyone with a voice. U Leave Me Breathless escapes the judgment and frustration⁴ often associated to public vocalization. The installation creates a context where the codes of participation do not revolve around singing in tune. Here, in the open air, dissonant voices are welcomed.

¹ Outside, George Michael. October 1998. https://youtu.be/gwZAYdHcDtU

² Chinese community loses cultural center, sounds alarm about gentrification, Dan Spector. September 2018.
https://globalnews.ca/news/4423087/chinese-community-loses-cultural-center-sounds-alarm-about-gentrification

³ Sunshinablehttp://www.sunshinable.com

Sinatra Song Often Strikes Deadly Chord, Norimitsu Onishi. February 2010. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/world/asia/07karaoke.html


Song List

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Aretha Franklin
No Tears Left to Cry, Ariana Grande
Stand By Me, Ben E. King
Oops!… I Did It Again, Britney Spears
(They Long To Be) Close To You, The Carpenters
Believe, Cher
Karma Chameleon, Culture Club
Friday I’m in Love, The Cure
Private Eye, Daryl Hall & John Oates
Say My Name, Destiny’s Child
I’m Coming Out, Diana Ross
You Leave Me Breathless, Ella Fitzgerald
September, Earth, Wind & Fire
Killing Me Softly With His Song, The Fugees
Outside, George Michael
I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
Make Me Feel, Janelle Monáe
All For You, Janet Jackson
Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson
In The End, Linkin Park
Always be my Baby, Mariah Carey
Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
True Faith, New Order
Wonderwall, Oasis
Gigantic, Pixies
Kiss, Prince
Creep, Radiohead
Under the Bridge, Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Umbrella, Rihanna
Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinéad O'Connor
Today, Smashing Pumpkins
Tainted Love, Soft Cell
Wannabe, Spice Girls
U Don't Have To Call, Usher
How Will I Know, Whitney Houston

Pour que tu m'aimes encore, Céline Dion
La vie en rose, Edith Piaf
Le temps de l’amour, Françoise Hardy
Alors on danse, Stromae
Ces soirées-là, Yannick

만남 (1989年), ‏노사연
러시안 룰렛, 레드벨벳 (Red Velvet)
여수 밤바다, 버스커 버스커 (Busker Busker)
강남스타일, 싸이 (PSY)
어머나, 장윤정
걱정말아요 그대, 전인권
Dance The Night Away, 트와이스 (Twice)
그대라는사치, 한동근
기도, 홍삼트리오
뚜두뚜두 (DDU-DU DDU-DU), BLACKPINK

月亮代表我的心, 鄧麗君 (Teresa Teng)


Credits

FOOTAGE
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/asia-852378
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/scenic-video-of-beach-1246161
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/footage-of-sunlight-857041
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/animated-video-of-flock-of-birds-853849
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/formation-of-clouds-855507
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/footage-of-cloud-formation-855441
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/video-of-clouds-on-a-sunny-day-1259362
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/time-lapse-video-of-clouds-1110242
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/blue-sky-video-855005
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/beautiful-blue-sky-857225
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/clear-blue-sky-855781
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/video-of-blue-sky-and-clouds-856024
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/pink-roses-in-bloom-1188439
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/video-of-flower-blooming-855183
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/close-up-video-of-red-flower-1270168
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/a-butterfly-on-a-flower-1171468
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/wind-blowing-at-flowers-under-a-clear-sky-852438
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/video-of-trees-under-clouds-852198
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/time-lapse-of-clouds-858036
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/cattails-around-the-pond-video-1269964
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/windy-meadow-852278
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/red-rose-in-full-bloom-855976
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/red-rose-on-the-floor-855930
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/birds-chirping-855287
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/video-of-sea-of-clouds-during-sunrise-855617
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/forest-sky-cloudy-sun-852050
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/timelapse-video-at-a-lake-852330
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/beach-waves-and-sunset-855633
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/dramatic-view-of-sunset-at-the-beach-855779
https://videos.pexels.com/videos/sunset-855623


SPECIAL THANKS TO
Chinese Association Of Montreal Inc.
Daniel Marquez
Raoul Olou
James Zhang from The Chinese News, Les Nouvelles Chinoises

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