Another Day in Paradise is a photographic series that investigates the persistent ideology of contemporary England, delving beneath its veneer to expose the complex realities of life in the country. Against the backdrop of hopelessness and a desire to leave that characterises the experience of many Hongkongers, the work offers a daily, often surreal, interpretation of the social landscape.
Maybe it came from the shade of history; a wonderful imagination towards the UK was embedded in my mind. The unique cultural character of Hongkongers under the influence of colonialism, which incorporates Eastern and Western cultures, offers me a blurry position in viewing the British landscape. After the Brexit referendum, I came to Britain, and the issue of nationalism rose. I intended to rediscover the social landscape. The mixture of memory, stereotype, politic and the psychological landscape became my response to my foggy understanding of Britain.
From 2017 to 2019, I kept visiting different counties in England. I summarised many characteristics of British life to form a sense of the people and the land. My wishful thinking was vivid and sometimes a bit surreal. I travelled to England to document different aspects of contemporary English society to form a bond with the land. During the trips, the stereotypes were reinforced, and the body of work developed a connection. The connection between England and Hong Kong transformed into the present cultural memory of the last generation from the colonial era. The exotic oriental commentary of a non-exist space and undefinable time merged into my work. My position was like a compass but endlessly rotating between being a stranger or an insider. As my education was in lack of a deep understanding of British tradition and history, the exploited elements are the disjunction between pre-existing ideology and wishful thinking. This “interruption” to the contemporary ideology became my notion. The representation of post-colonial existence was rhetorically recreated through my images. And that evolved into the occidental discourse from an easterner.
The idea of Paradise might be too far to reach as a stranger.