Borrowed Land Part 1: Doppelgängers

When I first moved to Zhuhai in 2023 I was excited to discover a wild stretch of land just five minutes walk from where I chose to live. The space looked as if it had been used and abused by industry, abandoned in haste and then reclaimed by nature. There were very few people there so it was an excellent place to go to walk and think. One day when I was out there, trying to get lost, It struck me that there was something unusual even uncanny about this place and a little research confirmed this: it was artificial land reclaimed from the sea. 

Over the last year I have been returning to this temporary wilderness and trying to find a way to tell the story of the place. Perhaps story is not the precise word I am looking for here, I am more interested in the ragged totality of the place and the conflicting ways it makes me feel, than in any neat narrative that explains it away. When I go there, for instance, the place makes me acutely aware that we are living in a time of climate crisis and uncontrollable AI, a time when we have the power to profoundly change the world around us but not necessarily the power to control it.

Macau has a longer and more extensive history of land reclamation than Zhuhai so I was delighted to receive a residency invitation from Ox Warehouse. Perhaps because Macau has so many old colonial era buildings, I was reminded of the European gothic tradition and the figure of the doppelgänger: someone who looks identical to you, who may indeed replace you. The double not only has this historical connotation, it also has a very contemporary resonance in how AI is mimicking us and threatening to make us redundant. What’s more, to come back to our sense of place, locations can also be reproduced and replaced. Well, they can until nature says otherwise.

During my short stay in Macau, I made a number of performances for the camera which drew upon this interest of mine in landscape and which responded to the specific conditions I found here. These videos are designed to work both individually and to connect with one another as a whole. They explore the feeling of artifice and replication, not just that of the land but also how this gets inside us as individuals. The broader research that this exhibition stems from, is called Borrowed Land. This is a three year project that aims to bring together performance, landscape and ecology. 

Borrowed Land is supported by BNU-HKBU United International College. Future editions are planned for Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, the three other cities, also expanding into the sea around the mouth of the Pearl River.

Investment Ritual Video

〖藝術家自述 Artist Statement〗𓂃𓂃𓂃

在2023年我首次移居至珠海時,發現離我居所只需步行五分鐘就能到達一片荒野,這使我感到興奮。 那片荒野看起來好像曾經歷工業活動的使用和濫用,然後匆忙地被拋棄,再被大自然重新佔領。 那裡幾乎沒有人,是非常適合散步和思考的地方。 有一天,當我外出到那片荒野,並試著自由放鬆時,我突然意識到這個地方有些不尋常,甚至有點怪異。稍微研究後證實了這一點:這是填海造地形成的人工土地。

過去的一年,我一直回到這片臨時的荒野,試圖尋找一種方式來敘述這個地方的故事。也許「故事」不是我要精準表達的詞語,我更感興趣的是這個地方整體的凌亂以及它讓我產生的矛盾情感,而不是任何能夠完全解釋它的精確敘述。舉個例子,當我去那裡時,這個地方清楚地讓我意識到我們的時代正面臨氣候危機和無法控制的人工智能(AI),這是一個我們有能力顯著改變周圍世界卻不一定能夠控制它的時代 。

澳門在填海造地的歷史比珠海還要長且廣泛,因此我非常高興收到牛房倉庫的駐地創作邀約。或許是因為澳門擁有許多古老的殖民風格建築物,讓我聯想到歐洲歌德式傳統和「分身」的形象:一個與你長得一模一樣的人,而且可能會取代你。 這個「分身」不僅具有歷史意義,也在當今AI模仿人類並威脅人類價值的背景下,引起非常現代性的共鳴。此外,回到我們對地方的感知,地方可以被複製和取代。沒錯,直到大自然另有安排。

在澳門的短暫駐留期間,我進行了多次行為創作的拍攝,這些作品融入了我對景觀的興趣,並應對我在這裡發現的特定條件。 這些錄像作品既可單獨觀看,也可與其他錄像作品一起作為整體觀看。 這些創作探索了人造和複製的感悟,不僅關乎土地,還有這種感悟如何滲透到我們作為個體的內心。這次展覽源自於更廣泛的研究,名為「舶來地」。這是一個為期三年的項目,旨在將行為創作、景觀和生態融為一體。