Installation (aquarium system, with Macropodus (Black Paradisefish/Chinese Betta), Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (German Blue Ram), Scleropages formosus(Asian Arowana), Cyphotilapia frontosa (Frontosa ), Carassius auratus (Ranchu, Gold Fish) and Paracheirodon innesi (Neon Tetra); styrofoam box)
One visitor at a time is invited to step in the space between the fishtanks.
"The fishes in the tanks have different histories, origins and ways of arriving to Hong Kong. Carassius auratus, the king of gold fish, is a species developed in Japan and later brought to China. It is farmed in Tianjin and was brought illegally to Hong Kong by smugglers, whom I payed in a similar way to how people who were crossing the border from China to Hong Kong in the 70s and 80s had to pay smugglers. Paracheirodon innesi is the most popular tropical fish in the world, originating from South America. It is farmed in China and I smuggled it to Hong Kong myself. Cyphotilapia frontosa is also a popular aquarium fish, originating from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. It is one of the species well known for taking care of its offsprings, making sure they are fed. It is farmed in China and I bought it from the internet. The seller tried to pretend it is not from China. Mikrogeophagus ramirezi originates from Colombia and Venezuela but was improved in Germany and Netherlands, hence the name. It is farmed in China and was brought in by the same smugglers who took the Carassius, however this fish is also available in Hong Kong. Macropodus is one of the earliest domesticated aquarium fish, developed in China and later exported to Europe, as an exotic animal. There are two types of wild Macropodus in the tank, each from two different rivers, one in Shenzhen, one in Hong Kong. The fish is protected in Hong Kong, but not in China. Scleropages formosus, originating from South East Asia, is popular in China and Hong Kong as a feng shui fish. I don't know where the fish in the tank comes from as it does not have a certificate and it was already abandoned and re-sold twice. In spite of this, it is still elegant and powerful. This fish has a story, and an individuality, like a human being.
The entire work is a metaphor of my shameful relationship with my own background, as I was born in China. Growing up in Hong Kong as a mainlander was the source of many insecurities. When I look at the fish in these tanks, they are in many ways similar to me. But they look at ease and comfortable with themselves in the fish tanks., not caring where they are from. I created the space in between the fishtanks as a space where i could also feel comfortable and safe, invisible and removed from the world but still able to observe it."