In response to the theme of the Tomato Grey exhibition - INFINITE NARRATIVES - I animate the “Now” and refer to “Hong Kong identity” with Hong Kong street names. Hong Kong street names often carry intriguing tales that reflect the rich history and culture of the city. Signs of the colonial era can still be traced back in the street names, especially in the Central and Western district on Hong Kong Island. Given that the district was among the first to be developed during the early decades of British rule, many streets were named after British officials of the era. Other than these British street names, there are names that reflect cultural diversity, like those named after a Parsi businessman, a Chinese businessman, a linguist..... The naming system of streets in Hong Kong has changed over the years, resulting in different classes of street names. Other than those named first with English and then translated into Chinese, there are also street names using Chinese words that have auspicious meanings or derive from local features. Hong Kong street signs are in both Chinese and English. Some are translated phonetically, some literally.
My collaborator, Patrick Fabian Panetta, is a conceptual artist in Berlin.
In the beginning of the project, I selected 30 Hong Kong street names and sent them to my collaborator, Patrick Fabian Panetta. He selected 8 for which he created the calligraphy. I burnt his calligraphy and gilded the ash onto Xuan paper. The street name is now hidden in the grisaille graphic symbol. The street is now represented by a series of numbers – the UTM COORDINATES. This half-done artwork was sent back to my collaborator. He then sent me 6 hashtags that he distilled from how he perceived my work. I wrote each hashtag on a wooden spinning top, and took images of the spinning top in motion. The spinning tops with the hashtags are now boxed and placed with the Xuan paper.
I selected another HK street name, and wrote its UTM COORDINATES on a spinning top that is made with Xuan paper. The paper spinning top was placed on a hand-made book that refers to Sagan's book “Pale Blue Dot”.
A spinning top bears a similarity to a street. The street is not moving and yet moving. It witnesses every “Now” of the passage of time. The spinning top is moving and also not moving. Standing on a street, my “Now” is vis-à-vis the “Now” of the street that has embraced decades of narratives.
Annysa Ng and Patrick Fabian Panetta | 50Q_6Hagtags | Calligraphy ash gilding, charcoal on paper, digital print on paper, wooden spinning top | 6.5 x 30.5 x 2.5 in.
An artist book INFINITE NARRATIVES by the Tomato Grey artist collective with 6 artistic collaborators, was launched on January 12th 2019, at the BOOKED: TAI KWUN CONTEMPORARY’S HONG KONG ART BOOK FAIR.
Tomato Grey artists: Teresa Kwong, Bing Lee, Annysa Ng, Wong Kit Yi, Kaho Yu, Samson Young
Collaborating artists: Erika Kobayashi (with Teresa Kwong), Ik-Joong Kang (with Bing Lee), Patrick Fabian Panetta (with Annysa Ng), Freddie Cruz Nowell (with Wong Kit Yi), Yoko Naito (with Kaho Yu), Seth Cluett (with Samson Young)
Annysa Ng Atelier. Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Patrick Fabian Panetta also sent me the book “Pale Blue Dot” by Carl Sagan.
On February 14, 1990, Voyager 1 was about 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) away from Earth. Scientists commanded the spacecraft to turn its face towards the solar system and snap some pictures of the planets. Among them was this famous image of Earth, which astronomer Carl Sagan called the Pale Blue Dot.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us,” wrote Sagan in his 1997 book of the same name.
About INFINITE NARRATIVES