Category Archives: source location

Dry Spell source

Dry Spell is mixed media investigation into climate change and the aggregated water crisis.

While floods and hurricanes command the media’s attention as effects of global warming, severe and intensifying droughts have been largely un-reported even as the percentage of land affected has substantially increased over the last decade. Privatization of water by bottling industries, and the prioritizing of industrial
needs, aggregate the problem for communities with little political/economic power.

Dry Spell highlights environmental injustices against the global South with special attention to the ordeal of women. Many have suffered and perished as they tried to bring home water and feed their families. In the gallery, the artist constructs a drying, cracking ‘paddy field’ with gradually dying seedlings. Also in the gallery lie four locked 80 litre water boxes. At the Third World Water Forum, it was said that 80 litres of water per person, per day are necessary to maintain a reasonable standard of life. Text etched onto the boxes references uses such as pop and bottled water, toilets and urban etiquette, industry and agricultural processes etc. On the floor lie scattered bottles of water containing submerged pictures of women of ‘colour’ consumed/to be consumed and discarded away. A dim projection  documenting a group of women from the First Nations, walking around one Great Lakes ceremonially each year, to reclaim the sacredness of water is projected onto the  gallery walls and circles, representing their annual santification efforts.  This group of people named their action Mother Earth Water Walk.

p.s. After finishing reclaiming the sacredness of the Great Lakes, they have moved on to walk the major rivers.




Earthworks and Murmurs

It is a project using art as a means of doing research and also as thesis for my Master in Environmental Studies final project, in understand how the setting/operation of a university campus affect its dwellers and its environment, including the stories and realities it created or hid.  It also looked at how making art together could form communities that could counter and unmask these effects. The above pdfs presented the installation as thesis part in short hand.

More details and images to come….


My Tribute source

Tribute – to the still native land   “Do give back something when taking something away”, is a First Nations peoples’ teaching I learned when I was doing a short staying at Gibraltar Point Artist Lodge at the Toronto Islands. The artist residency resides right next to the once upon a time Canoe Resting Place” of the First Nations people, when they were still travelling up the down the water way. They say, it was a good spot to nurture a body and its soul.  No wonder the spot gives rise to a school and now an artist residence. Interestingly, the islands have never been signed off to the Canadian government and therefore it is still Native land proper, even though the City is governing it now as a park. Most of the people in Toronto is unaware of these islands’ status, only taking it as a place for them to steal away from the mundane city life. To give back to this tranquil and creative place, I decided to pay my tribute to the people and the place, by making visible the land’s forgotten status. I decided to do a few things:


Hands Off — Source

Background — Hands off looks at some situations immigrants that have landed in Canada for an extended period of time are facing, including their chronic under-employment and earning a much lower-average income when compared to their fellow Canadians. Reports have pointed out that the perceived health of these immigrates deteriorated substantially after arriving in Canada for 8 years.  Seventeen immigrants from various countries were recruited from Craigslist Toronto and Chinese and Koreans, they were referred by immigrant centers and individuals. 

These immigrants told their individual stories  and summarized them in front of a video camera. They were then requested to use a single gesture to express their experiences and feelings, which was then made into plaster of Paris hand casts.  These hand casts were then taken to various location that matched their stories as well as places symbolically significant to their stories.  Pictures then taken.  Their credentials were then written onto their left hands and their current situation on their right hands, borrowing from Palm reading practices, the left hand is the congenital hands and right is the present life. 

A shared experience was that their credentials and work experiences had been undermined or dismissed in Canada. While some of them  put themselves through and through re-training and training programmes ardently, they found themselves still being denied of promotion opportunities or posts that matched their capacities. Some found themselves too tired as they were handed over extra and intense work discriminatorily.   Married women faced extra hardship, as they doubled up as the principle caretaker of the family and w

ere contingent upon their husbands’ job requirements and locations. Affluent investment immigrants were not better off, as they burnt off money without the promised return, they had no inner peace. 

The Installation:  

I am/I am not  We all have to face the challenge of identity – Who we really are.  Immigrants are always facing identity issues, as no one fits into rigid categories, yet these rigid categories are always imposed or projected on us, or we at the same time want to maintain that we do fit in.   This is particularly true for people crossing boundaries or trying to cross boundaries, including immigrants.  Their recognition of their own selves, the projections denying them as well as being thrown on to them, created tensions that brought forth intense questions.  Four set of phrases were keyed onto the two sides of the flip mirrors for people to contemplate on or wrestle with, when they encounter their own images and the phrases together; people can fill in their own concerned identity or identity struggles, say, woman, Chinese, Canadian…..etc.

I am?  / I am Not        I am Not/You are    You are?/You are Not    You are Not/I am



Hands Off: Casts of their hands that captured their expressions about their current state of being are lying on the floor, while silenced video clippings are their self-introductions, their descriptions of their work situations in Cana

da, in three segments corresponding to an older male voice saying : Who are you?  You Are?  You Are Not. 

The on-location pictures of the hand casts are printed in small format on the wall.


inside 內窺 @HKVegfest (slides)

材料: 開了孔的老人及嬰兒奶粉罐, 塑膠乳牛, 豆奶粉, 小型照明, 小型黑光燈, 小型放大鏡

乳牛在產乳工業眼中, 並不是整全有生命和感覺的個體,  而是將她們物化為盛載和生產牛乳的工具, 是牛乳的化身, 又或是將她們的身體”割切”, 只剩下閃金的乳房. 乳牛是眾生之中苦難最深的動物之一, 她們被不停插入授精, 懷孕和生產 卻只得與初生的子女有一兩天共聚的時間, 便被強行分離, 即使她們犢情深, 然後她們都要超量生產乳汁, 卻生活在條件惡劣的環境, 她們的生產的大量排泄物也同時對環境和水源造成嚴重壓力,

materials: cans from milk powders for elders and for infants with small holes punched, plastic cow models, soy powder.  mini lights, mini black light,  mini magnifiers

Diary cows in the eyes of the milk production industry, are no longer sentient lives, but are being reduced to milk containers and/or milk producing machines. They may also been “dissected”  and cut down to what is “the gold plated milk sac”.

Diary cows are amongst the most suffering farm animals of all: frequently impregnated and gave birth so that they could continue to produce high quality and quantity of milk, but not for their beloved calves that would forcefully separated from them in a day or two. They are also left in deplorable situations, surrounded by their excrement that pollutes heavily the water bodies and its immediate environment.


Change in Drought Conditions 旱情變化指數

This map shows the change in drought severity all over the world – the world has gone drier as a whole, but drought and precipitation over different areas polarized and intensified, thus adding pressure to the availability of clean water especially for disadvantaged places.

Participants were invited to add their stories or things they knew about water to the map.

這圖顯示了全球的雨量/旱情變化情況 – 總的來說地球的降雨在急劇減少的同時在重新分佈。嚴重的旱與澇相繼頻繁, 使清潔水源帶來了壓力, 特別是資源較少的地區。

參加者被邀請獲在地圖上寫上自己知道的與水有關水的故事, 來豐富我們對水的感情和認知。

1/6384 The Last Words of a Coal Miner 一名礦工的遺言

In the year 2003, 6348 coal mining casualties were officially reported. Estimated unreported death in private mines might be its double.  Nièqingwen was among those who lost his life in Hunan. Knowing his fate ahead after his mine collapsed, he wrote his last words on his helmet during his last hours in the mine.

On the outside of the helmet: It is difficult to say goodbye to my love ones; I owe my mother 200 Yuan; and Deng 100 Yuan. Inside the helmet, he addressed his wife: JianJiang, take care of the young ones, and be good to parents. Be sure your good acts will be rewarded. He also wrote about his guarantee deposit and salary he had with his company.

His last words were carbon-copied onto the white mugs which required lots of energy in their production.

2003, 6348名礦工在礦難中死亡。如果包括瞞報和私有礦場數字,總人數會倍增。聶清文便是在那年在湖南礦井賠上了生命,當知道自己將與死神握手,在他的安全帽上寫下他給家人最後的思念和交帶。





Two Elements 二元 (full)