Group exhibition: Classic Craft, Modern Meaning
Curator: Karen Chan
Location: public tram of Hong Kong
My artwork, Piu Piu, it's about recreating a lost experience in the famous tram of Hong Kong. Many years ago, carrying birds by public transports has been forbidden by law, because of the bird flu. The hobby of songbirds owning has been killed at its core, as bird owners couldn’t commute to the public parks or Dim Sum places to exhibit their little pet.
I don’t want to only revive the memory of this traditional hobby, but to allow the passengers to reexperience what it is to commute with these cute living companions. I want to bring back the birds in the tram.
The starting point of this project was to learn from a local Hongkonger master, Chan Lok-choi, 71 year old. My approach was to not think about where will be exhibited my work, or which technique I could use, before having spent a good amount of time with him. I wanted to learn of his skills of course, but also of his stories and everything about the old Hong Kong and the bird hobby. After several months, I reached a certain level of technicity and knowledge, and I finally develop my original concept and designs. Preserving the authentic techniques was intentional and a due respect to the master’s teaching, but also to the curator’s intention of keeping alive old crafts alive though the hands of modern artists.
My work usually involve motion, as I see the world as a perpetual morphing entity, - even if it only loops on itself, at least it’s not frozen. I couldn’t simply place a static picture of a bird in the cage. It had to own its own life and be able to jump around. By analyzing the motion of small birds, I realized that there’s almost nothing between two of their poses. They are either looking left of looking right. There’s no “in-between”, as we say in animation. So, I used the lenticular print technique to achieve this effect of having few radical different positing of the birds, as if they are jumping from one position to another. As people keep moving in the tram, they see the birds in perpetual motion. It is a living piece.
South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Tramways 香港電車, See生活, Hong Kong Trams Culture Preservation Society, AuntieKat文創研究碎碎念