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What is a Keileon?

Thousand Paper

What is
Hidden Keileon CIC?

Keileon (麒麟) is neither a dragon nor a tiger, neither phoenix nor peacock; It is a chimaera of mythical creatures, the impossible combinations of animals born to this beautifully chaotic world. You have probably not heard of this word before, because there are plenty of spellings out there from different East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) heritages (กิเลน, kỳ lân, 기린). However this time, it is from a London-based, Hongkongese narrative - Keileon. The old Hakka saying: Keileon hides as the people are troubled. Keileon dances as the world is at peace. (百姓愁,麒麟走;天下和,麒麟舞。)

 

No one has ever seen Keileon as turmoils constantly appear in corners of our world. Until the day the voiceless are heard, the suppressed are freed, and justice prevails, Hidden Keileon perseveres in presenting works liberating minds, bodies and spirits.

We are luring the hidden Keileon (麒麟, กิเลน, kỳ lân, 기린) out of its cave as it hides from the troubles in the world. No one has seen a Keileon before as the world has never been at peace. We are fearful of the changes it would bring but are also longing for the joy of discovering the unknown.

We are Angela Wai Nok Hui, Bonnie Chan, Sandra Lam, Ghost Chan, John Chan, and Jeffrey Choy.

Meet our team here to learn more about each of our roles.

Paradoxical Gasp

What do we value?

We believe in…

Creating safe and brave spaces for all 

Demonstrating collective, non-hierarchical collaboration

Exploring possibilities and imagination through the arts

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What do we do?

We create the hard-to-imagine and yet-to-exist.

 

Our Mission

We are six multidisciplinary artists, strategists, thinkers, researchers and curators focused on making change. We collaborate with people from migrant and queer communities like ourselves to imagine futures with justice and freedom for all. We dream up and lead community building and life-affirming cultural projects across the UK and beyond.

We build safe and brave spaces for all. We demonstrate a fluid and non-hierarchical collaboration. We make use of the transformative power of arts and culture to create new possibilities and ideas.

Our name ‘Hidden Keileon’, is inspired by a mythical symbol of hope, reflecting our commitment to amplifying the stories and cultures of overlooked communities. We make the unseen seen, the unheard heard, and the unimagined a reality.

Our Vision

Futures with justice and freedom for all.

We bring in our lived experiences through community building and life-affirming cultural work. Our practices are deeply entangled with our migrant identities, histories and our relationships with places and people. We host strong community spaces and produce innovative arts projects for our participants and audiences from migrant and queer communities.

Community building

We connect people around the world to talk about migration and fight racism. We actively create brave and safe spaces for co-learning and peer development where everyone comes in as lived experience experts.

 

By sharing stories that need to be heard and creating experiences that bring people together, we're opening up new ways to think about the future. Our work builds strong, happy relationships within our communities and starts important conversations about social and political issues. We're making sure our community's struggles are seen and heard, pushing for real change.

 

For instance, our Peer Exchange Programme (2024) engaged over 60 community members in a series of knowledge exchange and skill-sharing activities in areas like trauma-informed practices, non-exploitative multicultural learning, and ecological health. The evaluation shows participants felt empowered. It also led to outcomes like building allyship and creating a learning community where multiple study groups start to produce projects that look into the relationship between arts and ecology, migrant mothers’ well-being, etc. These projects support artistic expression and enhance community welfare.

Life-affirming cultural work

We use art in theatres, galleries, and unique spaces to highlight the tough experiences faced by many due to inequality and injustice. We partner with like-minded organisations to create impactful events that touch all the senses. We deliver our programmes in collaboration with venues committed to social justice, opening up space for knowledge sharing and tackling tough social and political issues. We dive into conversations and research regarding migrant welfare, queer experience and geopolitics. In turn, we are surfacing the collective struggles of our communities and pushing policymakers to address the issues.

 

For instance, our PHF Ideas and Pioneers Fund awarded social innovation project ‘Radio Neighbourhood’ (2020-ongoing) has brought people of different social classes and cultural backgrounds together as a series of public performances. Not only the artists but also the audience have felt less isolated and more connected with each other in the (post-)pandemic world. There has been a greater understanding of migrant experiences and respect for different voices in our society. Some audiences have also changed perceptions of others living in their neighbourhood with an increased sense of gratitude, compassion for self, others and place, creating safer and more inclusive living environments.

Press Coverage

Review: Paradoxical Gasp, The Crypt Gallery (Review), Bethany Chandler, Everything Theatre, 21 Nov 2022
https://everything-theatre.co.uk/2022/11/review-paradoxical-gasp-the-crypt-gallery/

‘I thought about Bruce Lee’: how Hong Kong artists in Britain struggled to feel from afar the pulse of their home city, and to represent it (Feature), Ethan Paul, South China Morning Post, 27 Mar 2021

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/article/3126895/i-thought-about-bruce-lee-how-hong-kong-artists-britain

 

Aberfeldy Street celebrates Poplarism with art installation (Feature), Ruby Flanagan, Poplar LDN, 2 May 2021

https://poplarlondon.co.uk/art-aberfeldy-street-poplarism-shumghostjohn/

Radio Neighbourhood on Bloomsbury Festival (Feature), Bloomsbury Radio, 22 October 2021

https://anchor.fm/bloomsburyfestival/episodes/Radio-Neighbourhood-speak-with-Bloomsbury-Radio-e192a60 

Togetherness, e-flux, 2020

https://www.e-flux.com/readers/362465/togetherness

 

Performing ‘Home’ - Hongkongese contemporary art duo Ghost and John, .ART, 2020

https://art.art/blog/performing-home-hongkongese-art-duo-ghost-and-john 

 

Share your Story: ShumGhostJohn ‘Thousand Papers 千紙’ - Weaving Together the Stories of Resistance, .ART, 2020

https://art.art/blog/share-your-story-shumghostjohn-thousand-papers-weaving-together-the-stories-of-resistance

 

Adopter Stories: Barter Archive – An archive of the people, by the people, for the people, .ART, 2020

https://art.art/blog/adopter-stories-barter-archive 

https://boomkat.com/products/let-me-tell-you-something-c970fc85-d35b-4981-b126-8137a95120f2

 

Percussionist Angela Hui, The Works, RTHK, Aug 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OkDaCtzbOQ&t=31s

A Hongkong, la bataille mémorielle du mouvement pro-démocratie, Libération, Sep 2020

https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/09/28/a-hongkong-la-bataille-memorielle-du-mouvement-pro-democratie_1800746/

 

History reversed: Hong Kong book industry looks to Taiwan, combs through back catalogues amid fears over new national security law, SCMP, Aug 2020

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/article/3096133/history-reversed-hong-kong-book-industry-looks-taiwan-combs

 

Security Law: Hong Kong authors look for safety and freedom in Taiwan, Hong Kong Free Press, Aug 2020

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/08/04/security-law-hong-kong-authors-look-for-safety-and-freedom-in-taiwan/

Practicing Multilingual Identity: Interactive Children's Theatre, Encore: TEDx Royal Central School, Nov 2019

https://www.ted.com/talks/practicing_multilingual_identity_interactive_children_s_theatre 

The UK’s only Cantonese children’s theatre is coming to Greenwich, Weekender, 19 Feb 2019

 

Snow in Midsummer: Interview with Bonnie Chan, Royal Shakespeare Company, 2017

https://www.rsc.org.uk/snow-in-midsummer/interview-with-bonnie-chan 

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