Phoebe Man Birthday cakes

Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes
Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes

Performance "Birthday Cakes" by Phoebe Man Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes Performance "Birthday Cakes" by Phoebe Man
Phoebe Man Birthdays Cakes Performance "Birthday Cakes" by Phoebe Man

Phoebe Man
Birthday Cakes
Edible sculptures, photography and performance.

Umbrella Plaza
4 Inkjet prints, 50cm × 50cm

Birthday Cakes is a participatory experiment and performance.

Not many people will reject beautiful food. However, when the generally socially unacceptable words are written on it, will they still consume the food? If people eat it, what is the meaning of eating it? Here is a built situation: When the protesters of Umbrella Movement faced some unreasonable complaints and insults from some people, they responded by singing the birthday song, dispensing blessings to resolve the grievances. Inspired by their "birthday song", I am thinking of making "birthday cakes". Instead of celebratory phrases, on the work "Birthday Cakes" are the statements that triggered controversies, for example, "The Sino-British Joint Declaration is void." "Hong Kong is China's direct -controlled municipality." Is this a blessing or a curse? Delicious or hard to eat? Real cakes were served as a form of performance in the exhibition. To eat can mean digest and agree with something or disagree with something and eat it with anger. It is up to the audience to decide how to eat the cakes.

A viewer said she did not like the words "Hong Kong is China's direct controlled municipality" but because she was so hungry, she ate it. Another viewer disagreed that "Police are frank and openhearted" (which is a quote from a Hong Kong Commissioner of Police) but he thought a city must have police, so he ate a piece of cake. Some people refused to eat the cake and some people shared it with others. The cake served as a symbol and a built situation for people to rethink how to face the unacceptable reality.

Reference of Birthday song in Umbrella Movement

Photo of performance by Phoebe Man & Aaron Fung



4圖像: 50cm × 50cm

「生日蛋糕」是參與式的藝術實驗和行為藝術。 沒有多少人會拒絕美麗的食物。 然而,當一般社會上不能接受的話寫在上面時,大家還會吃嗎?


一位觀眾不喜歡「香港是中國的直轄市」,但是因為她很餓,所以她吃了蛋糕。 另一位觀眾不同意「警察光明磊落」(引自香港警務處處長的話),但他認為一個城市必須有警察,所以他吃了一塊蛋糕。 有些人拒絕吃蛋糕,有些人和他人分享。 「生日蛋糕」是一個象徵,也是一個情境,讓大家思考如何面對不可接受的現實。


24/1/2015 – Mobile Democracy Classroom, Umbrella University, Umbrella Plaza, Hong Kong.
22/4/2015 - 21/6/2015 Duddell's presents: ICA Off-Site: Hong Kongese, curated by Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and organised by Duddell Hong Kong.Venue @ Duddell's.

Phoebe Man Birthday cakes
19/3/2015 - 15/5/2015 Change-Seed (改變種子): Contemporary Art from Hong Kong & Beyond
, Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, United States.

Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes
Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes Phoebe Man Birthday Cakes


When "Birthday Cakes" were shown in Seattle, the US audiences have special feeling of the cake which is related to the word "police". The viewers were very creative and wanted to share the cakes with strangers and a viewer wants to collect the word which represents 'China'.

Hong Kong's Phoebe Man talks about her edible art. Kylie Knott. South China Morning Post, April 4, 2015.
Art and politics collide on fringes of Hong Kong art fair . Tara Joseph, REUTERS, Mar. 13, 2015.
專訪:"香港人"策展人阿利雅·阿爾塞努西 & 阿卜杜拉·阿圖爾基, 戴偉平, artnet, 2015.3.10
London's ICA heads to Hong Kong . FT weekend, Collecting, March 7, 2015.
ICA In Hong Kong - Satellite Show to ABHK. ArtBinder, March 13, 2015.
【香港巴塞爾直通車-快訊】都爹利會館全新藝術展覽 以政治藝術蛋糕揭幕, 胡亦婷, 雅昌, 2015.03.13.
幻彩玻璃天幕展示逾億名畫, 明報, 2015.03.13.
Sometimes, Art is a Piece of Cake . Low Lai Chow. BlouinArtinfo International, March 17, 2015.
政治作為正確的姿態─香港這副招牌(2015藝博專題之二). 梁寶, 香港獨立媒體網, 2015.04.03.
'Change-Seed' Serves Surrealism with a Touch of the Political. Michael Upchurch. Seattle Times, April 3, 2015.
Exhibition Showcases Diversity of Hong Kong's Contemporary Art. Eva Cohen. International Examiner. April 6, 2015.

The people in the photos were just people in the Umbrella Plaza. They might be or might not be the protesters.

The research of this project was supported by a grant from City University of Hong Kong (Project No. 7004300).
The exhibition of this project in Seattle was supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council.