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A Conversation with Qu Chang, Holok Chen, Lo Lai Lai, and Michael Leung

Apr 25, 2017
7:00 pm

Para Site is pleased to present a discussion between artists and cultural researchers Holok Chen, Lo Lai Lai, and Michael Leung, as well as Para Site’s Qu Chang, curator of the case study A Tale: The Land of Fish and Rice, part of the exhibition Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs. They will discuss the politics of farming and agricultural practices in Hong Kong, how the history of local farming correlates with the new modern land movements, and re-examines the role of land policy and how it responds to the rapidly shifting identity of the city, particularly in the post-Umbrella Revolution era.

The discussion will be conducted in Cantonese and English.

All are welcome!

About the speakers

Qu Chang is Associate Curator at Para Site.

Holok Chen is Executive Secretary of SCMHK, and a former member of the Hong Kong Land Justice League.

Lo Lai Lai is an artist and one of the members of Sangwoodgoon, a collective organic farm founded in the anti-XRL and Choi Yuen Village Movement.

Michael Leung is an artist, designer, and urban farmer, and founder of HK Farm, an organisation dedicated to the benefits of locally produced food and promoting rooftop farming, established in 2012.

About the case study

A Tale: The Land of Fish and Rice

Comprising of both factual and fictitious sections, this case study is based on Hong Kong’s indigenous history and legends, religion and politics. It employs “water” and “soil” as traditionally sacred elements, to weave different strands of imaginations of Hong Kong, into a multi-faceted and ever-shifting historical and collective narrative with dramatic tension.

Beginning with a vision of the ethnic composition of early Hong Kong, the “tale” takes the current perspective of nostalgia, and uses the fishing and farming traditions of the Tanka/Hokkien and Hakka/Cantonese people, respectively, as the doorway, through which it juxtaposes the production, folkways, worship, and legends closely related to agricultural societies in early cultural fabrics, into a theatrical and imaginary scene of an evocation ritual that summons the past. Meanwhile, the recounting of the history of local farming and fishing production correlates with the “new farming” culture concurrent with modern Hong Kong’s land movements, and utilises the concepts of time, cultivation, and production in the act of farming to beckon an imagined future.

Combining a narrative of local consciousness with multiple origins, the ever-morphing urban culture created by the convergence of multiple groups, and the local history as a collage of multiple fragments from history, A Tale: The Land of Fish and Rice tries to build a small multiplex, with a theatrical and mystical background setting, that fosters reading, thinking, and dialogue.